While commonly overlooked in the process of buying floors, accessories such as molding, trim and stair nosing play a huge part in elevating the entire look and feel of an interior. When deciding which trims and moldings to choose when completing a job, not just any color, texture and/or finish will do. To achieve a seamless look, it’s in one’s best interest to utilize a company’s matching molding program.
“When a customer makes an investment in their home in a high-performing floor, they do not want the trims to be any less quality than their flooring,” said Tina Keeton Emery, national sales manager, Versatrim. “Imagine walking into a room where you have this beautiful, rustic wood-look waterproof SPC and at the doorway to your kitchen there is a gold metal molding. The consumer would be very disappointed.”
To avoid this scenario, Versatrim offers coordinating moldings that not only complement the floor, but also allow the surface to flow seamlessly from one room to the next. Versatrim has created partnerships with the majority of the industry’s leading flooring manufacturers to match the colors of its accessories to the floors suppliers produce. Currently, the company has 17,000 color options in its library that can be produced with no minimums and can be shipped within 10 business days, according to Emery. Within its product offering lies waterproof PVC moldings, moisture-proof traditional transitions, traditional MDF moldings, wall base and quarter rounds.
When it comes to the term matching, however, Emery explained that the color and grain should come close to the overall appearance of the floors, allowing the trim to blend in with the overall flooring layout. In many cases, consumers in the market for flooring accessories simply want something that “coordinates” with the floor they selected versus an exact match with the floor design or pattern.
Bill Trieber, technical sales and education manager, Artistic Finishes, agreed, noting that the term “matching” is in the eye of the beholder, and leading customers into believing they’re getting an exact match can be misleading. “We like to use the term ‘custom blend,’” Trieber said. “If it’s a wire-brushed floor, [the product] is wire brushed. If it’s hand-scraped, it’s hand-scraped. If it’s oil finished, we typically use an oil finish.”
Artistic Finishes takes great care and pride in the components it creates for its clientele—going as far as staining one individual accessory piece at a time for a customer and adding new products, such as its “LVT/LVP minis” based on the demand from its end users. “The name Artistic Finishes truly reflects what we do,” Trieber explained.
The company has over 2 million SKUs, and when it comes to coordinating colors, Trieber said the sky is the limit. “We are constantly doing product development for new products, new colors, new thicknesses, new composites and new demands on the industry.”
For many accessory producers, color matching is only part of the goal. It’s important to develop coordinating trims and moldings to match the floor from a materials perspective. Case in point is Pennwood Products, which strives to use the exact species of wood when creating its accessories.
“If a floor is made out of white oak, we’re going to make moldings out of white oak,” said Kraig Coxon, executive vice president, Pennwood Products. “Whatever the species is we’re going to use that species—tigerwood, Brazilian cherry—we’ll match the species so you get the exact same wood and then we color match.”
Companies like Mohawk, which manufactures both the flooring material and the coordinating moldings, trim and stair nosing, boasts the technological capabilities to develop products that coordinate with any flooring manufacturers’ floors—no matter the color, pattern or design.
“We have the capability to design our trim décors to coordinate with any existing or new floors that are launched into the marketplace,” said Ruth Nelson, vice president, accessories. “Performance Accessories products are made with a precision color matching process to ensure compatibility with color palettes from the leading flooring brands.”
Accessories = profit center
Matching/coordinating moldings do more than complete a flooring installation; they also have the ability to provide additional profit opportunities. “It’s like a necessary evil,” Pennwood’s Coxon quipped.
At the end of the day, experts say, profiting through matching accessories is not a dirty word. “Retailers can, and should, leverage these products to upsell their customers,” said Jon England, VP of enterprise accessories, Shaw. “This increases their own profit margins and allows homeowners to personalize their flooring installation with the design and performance accessories that best suit their preference/need.”
To that end, Shaw offers its TotalWorx line of accessories, which aims to simplify the process for consumers by categorizing accessories according to installation steps (i.e., floor prep to aftercare/maintenance and everything in between). When it comes to trim and moldings specifically, the FinishWorx category includes the company’s complete portfolio of these products.