Flooring accessories such as moldings, trims, stair treads and vents are no longer afterthoughts in the flooring sale. If anything, these accessories are must-haves that enhance the overall look of the floor while making the installation more functional, attractive and safe.
“How important are moldings/accessory pieces? They’re imperative,” said Jon Woodbury, senior director and GM of the Performance Accessories Group for Mohawk. “It’s like running a marathon and not finishing the race. Accessories give you the ability to complete the job and put a bow on it.”
Indeed, moldings and flooring accessories offer the finishing touches that bring a final design together to beatify not only the floor but the home décor as well, according to Kraig Coxon, vice president of sales and marketing for Pennwood.
From an aesthetics standpoint, for example, baseboards can cover the gaps between the flooring and the wall, thus creating a clean and polished appearance. Quarter rounds, meanwhile, can be used to cover gaps where the flooring meets vertical surfaces like cabinets or door frames, giving a more seamless look.
“Flooring accessories like transition strips can help protect the edges of the flooring from wear and tear,” said Adam Sartain, marketing manager for TotalWorx, Shaw’s accessories brand. “For example, a transition strip can cover the edge where the wood flooring meets a carpeted area, preventing the wood from splintering or chipping.”
Sartain added that some accessories like stair nosing can provide a non-slip surface on stairs, reducing the risk of slips and falls.
What retailers should know
Flooring retailers who fail to bring up moldings/flooring accessories when selling hard surface flooring are missing a trade-up opportunity. Indeed, when it comes to flooring add-ons, retailers boost their bottom lines simply by educating customers on the various uses of moldings. As Coxon explained, “Today’s consumer is knowledgeable about a lot of flooring types but may not be aware of the different types of molding and trim accessories that are available or how they can enhance the look and function of their flooring.”
That’s where the opportunistic RSA comes in, according to Kara Slocum, director of operations for Artistic Finishes. “The accessory pieces (moldings and trim) are what complete the job, so if you aren’t having a conversation with your customer about what moldings they might need for transitions between flooring surfaces or up their stairs, you have missed not only on a point of sale but also potential frustration in the end if the customer is unable to finish the job. Accessories are often the forgotten sale because we simply forget to ask what they might need. However, if we ask, typically an additional 10% can be added to any job. In addition, there are opportunities with some jobs to upsell above the traditional moldings, which might include wider, luxury stair nosing, full-length treads and custom vents.”
Slocum’s advice for retailers is to ask specific questions—i.e., what is the layout of the floor space including additional rooms/stairs that might not be a part of the job? What flooring materials are being used in each of these spaces including thicknesses if necessary? “This can give the retailer insight around what transitions will be needed, but also present opportunities for some possible upsell ideas,” she said. “Wood and vinyl flooring have become very popular to use on any set of stairs. This could be a chance to sell the customer on using stair nosing or even full width treads to complete the look that they want.”
Once in the showroom, merchandising becomes key. TotalWorx’s Sartain advised retailers to create a display area that showcases molding and trim accessories. “This will make it easier for customers to visualize how the accessories will look with their flooring and encourage them to purchase the products,” he said.
Sartain added that offering installation services for molding and trim accessories can be an added convenience for customers and help fuel sales.
New and improved
Aria Vent is touting two new products—Framed Floor Vent Lite and Flush Floor Vent Luxe. The former is a “minimalist” framed floor vent constructed of high-grade ABS plastic and customizable with every surface material. Aria Vent described the latter as an “ultra-minimal” flush floor vent. Once installed, only a rectangular air channel is visible.
Artistic Finishes offers hardwood standard and custom size treads to fit any job requirement as well as standard and luxury flush stair nosing. “Our vinyl transitions have also gained more options beyond the flush stair nosing with the release of our Enduracor Digital Print Tread and Riser, which just continues to add to our product offering and makes it easier to shop all of your transition needs in one place,” Slocum said.
Küberit’s Design-Clip Profile is the company’s most versatile profile yet, using a two-part system with a universal base paired with one of three top-profile options addressing reducer, edge trim and transition functions. The unique profile construction allows for floor covering expansion and contraction. There are no exposed hardware elements and Küberit Design-Clip Profiles install with ease. The system’s base is put in place, the coverings installed on either side and the appropriate top portion of the profile tapped into position using a robust connection method. Coverings of varied sizes can be accommodated with the same Küberit Design-Clip Profile system.
Pennwood offers a variety of fixed- and random-length molding programs—including stair nosing, reducers, thresholds, T-moldings and saddles. “These programs are set up for both finished and unfinished material,” Coxon said. Its moldings can range between 3 feet in length up to 12 feet and are produced on domestic and exotic wood species.
Along with Perfect Vents’ matching flush mount vents for floating floors, the company has introduced its expanded line of flush mount drains and access covers. These options solve what can be a headache in basements and laundry rooms where drains or clean outs are located in the middle of the room. The vents are an easy fix for what is usually an ugly sight on new floors.
For Mohawk’s Performance Accessories, the 4-in-1 continues to be its cornerstone product. The moisture-resistant molding provides the functionality of a T-molding, end molding, soft surface reducer and hard surface reducer in a single, easy-to-install piece. The unique flexible zone design of the track allows installation of the profile on either direction, thus eliminating the guess work out of positioning the trim.
Mohawk also recently launched two collections (Boardwalk and Rare Vintage) of its laminate stair treads for its popular RevWood offering. The sturdy stair treads are easy to install and protect the flooring and stairs from heavy foot traffic, accordinto to Mohawk.
Among TotalWorx’s wide selection of premium moldings, its treads stand out, according to Sartain. “These treads offer exceptional benefits such as waterproofing, effortless installation, affordability and—most importantly—seamless color coordination with a diverse range of flooring options, ensuring that our customers achieve a uniform look and feel throughout their living spaces.”
The Ventique Original Series metal flush mount vents feature a fixed ½-inch thickness frame to accommodate most flooring thicknesses. The metal vents can be installed with various flooring types while the unique design allows for a flush mount, seamless finish. The vents come with the frame and grill and can be fastened, adhered or floated on the subfloor for new installs.
Another product is the Kanyon adjustable height floor register. The Kanyon metal series is an adjustable flush mount floor vent. The overall assembly equals 7/16 inches (10mm) and comes with three spacers (two 2mm spacers and one 3mm spacer) and with the Grille & Grille frame. The adjustable assembly lets users adjust the height of the floor registers to the thickness of the flooring.
Trims have becoming so versatile that they will work for three different applications. To that end, Versatrim offers the Versatrim SlimTrim that can be used as a T-molding, end cap or reducer. “As more floors are joining the market as waterproof, Versatrim offers an array of waterproof trims that will complement many different flooring applications,” said Kimberly Blanton, marketing director. “Our moisture-proof MDF trims work well with the new waterproof laminates that have become popular in the flooring world. Then you have the occasional rounded fireplace, columns in the room or rounded staircase. These situations leave installers looking for a trim solution to close those gaps.”
Later in Q2 Versatrim will launch an e-commerce shopping platform with improved functionality and ease-of-use applications to help streamline the online order entry process.