By Megan Salzano—It’s no secret that dealers looking to boost their ticket sales would do well to sell the total package for each flooring installation. This includes the primary flooring material as well as the accessory pieces to match. When it comes to accessories, that means trim, molding, vents and stair risers. These flooring accessories serve several purposes but, most importantly, help provide the “finishing touch” to any installation. Whether it be a single room or whole home, accessory pieces are the key to a happy customer and satisfied store owner.
“Once you have sold the floor, your next step should be to provide the accessories to complement the flooring,” explained Kraig Coxon, president, Pennwood. “Molding transitions conceal the cut edges and gaps necessary for expansion and contraction. Secondly, it’s important to present all the finished accessories associated when installing a floor. Besides the normal quarter round, T-molds, reducers, etc., it’s important to offer vents and treads to complement the job and give it that coordinated custom-finished appearance.”
David Moore, senior product director, wood and laminate, Mohawk, agreed, adding, “New flooring is a piece of art. It should be protected the same way a masterpiece is protected with a picture frame. A frame provides structure to the picture and ensures the picture’s longevity. Accessories are the finishing touch that preserve the structural integrity of the floor.”
What’s more, profiles unlock creativity, equipping customers to select the diverse coverings they desire for aesthetic and functional reasons without concern for the challenges profiles overcome, explained Karen Bellinger, vice president of Küberit USA. “At the same time, profiles provide the special flourish at a transition point or flooring edge, the embellishment on a stair tread and the thoughtful design details at every turn. Simply said, profiles set well-designed projects apart with a totality of design considerations, making every detail special.”
So, what’s the best plan of attack for flooring dealers looking to sell the “total package?” Bill Treiber, technical sales and education manager at Artistic Finishes, said a dealer should sell accessories with a “must-have” attitude, for example. “Although there are choices within the accessories field, there is no choice as to whether you need them,” he explained. “The key is to know your options and recommend with the confidence that whatever you do use will be the best choice and must be used. Prioritize your recommendations based on the requirement for code compliance combined with the customers’ likes and dislikes.”
Joe Kennedy, president, Perfect Vents, said accessories need to be part of the original quote. “Don’t make accessories an ‘add on.’ If you include them in the original quote, you always have the ability to take them out if the cost needs to be adjusted. This is the best strategy for a few reasons. First, it’s much easier to give the customer a completed total including everything rather than tossing in a bunch of add-on items. Second, if the cost of the job is higher than the customer wants to spend, you can remove items like the flush mount vents. This will lower the cost and make it look like you are discounting the job, but it won’t affect your margin.”
Blakley Satterfield, product manager, residential resilient, Mannington Mills, said flooring dealers serve as the subject matter experts in helping consumers decide what products are going to perform in their spaces. “Trims, moldings and vents work to complete and enhance the design aesthetic customers are looking to create when installing new floors and updating their homes. These finishing accessories are a vital part to overall performance and longevity of their floors—making sure customers are aware of those performance benefits is key to ensuring they are happy with their overall installation for years to come.”
Following is an overview of some of the latest accessories to hit the market along with tips from those suppliers on how to be successful with them.
Digitally printed accessories now include treads and risers, such as these products from Artistic Finishes.
Selling tip: “When selling the total package, consistency in the materials and looks provided is critical to the overall aesthetics. It’s called paying attention to details. If a job requires both floor vents and trims, then the same materials should be used throughout. By knowing the different products available, you’ll be able to make the best choices hence recommendations for your customers.” —Bill Treiber, technical sales manager
Küberit transition profiles are designed to handle transition issues while adding an elegant design element. Küberit wall protection profiles take care of well-traveled corners as well as the edges and turns of wall base areas. While protection is the fundamental quality for wall protection profiles, pro installers know these profiles allow more efficient installation of wall coverings from edge to edge.
Selling tip: “Flooring profiles unlock stylistic and floor covering options for customers, providing answers with every surface, edge of a covering and transition across materials. The right array of flooring profiles ensures a floor covering retailer never loses the opportunity to help customers with the coverings they want and the structural issues that need to be overcome.” —Karen Bellinger, vice president
Mohawk’s new Performance Accessories display has examples of its exclusive 5-in-1 multifunctional tool that allows the user to utilize a single transition to create five different applications: carpet transition, T-molding, end molding, hard surface reducer and a flush or overlap stair nose. It also features the company’s new waterproof quarter round.
Selling tip: “Mohawk also launched a new Performance Accessories demo kit that is shipped with the display—or sold separately—that contains three chain sets with examples of trims that coordinate with wood, laminate and vinyl, a waterproof quarter round for WetProtect floors demo, a stair tread demo, an underlayment sample book, a brochure and a color book that a dealer can use to match to any flooring brand in their showroom.” —David Moore, senior product director, wood and laminate
Pennwood has created wood transitions with multiple stain options that are designed to blend with the flooring.
Selling tip: “By offering all the available accessories to finish the job, you are also increasing your gross profit dollars. Traditionally, trim, molding, vents and treads are high gross margin items.” —Kraig Coxon, president
Perfect Vents is constantly innovating to better serve its customers. In 2021, it is continuing that by offering a new assortment of sizes. From a brand new visual of its 2 x 10 vent to custom sizes up to 8 inches wide and as long as a football field.
Selling tip: “[Accessories] provide the ability for a store to set themselves apart from the pack. When you can show a customer that you pay attention to every detail of the job, you show them that you care about what you do and that you want the best completed job for that customer.” —Joe Kennedy, president