Hardwood Flooring Trim Installation:
Installing Nosings & Transistion Mouldings

What do I do when I run up to my railing?

In many cases you will start at your railing. Ask for a piece of nosing that caps the corner where the floor drops off, as well as the first two or three inches of floor space. Your flooring will run parallel to this or run into it, either way, when the flooring is finished, the spindles can be drilled directly into this material to finish off the railing. There are other options for hardwood flooring trim installation but this is just the easiest and most available. Ask your installer for options if you don't think this will work in your special situations.

What do I do at the entrance to my steps?

The same piece of nosing as mentioned above is used in this application. It is normally screwed through the face and into the subfloor. Often a latex adhesive is used as well. It adds strength and reduces the number of screws that are necessary. Wood plugs are used to block the screw holes, then sanded and finished with the rest of the piece of wood.

I'm butting up to ceramic flooring, how do I finish it off?

Usually ceramic tile and flooring end up at an equal elevation, when installed at the same initial floor level. The big caution here is to allow enough expansion space along the intersection between ceramic tile and the wood flooring, when they meet along the long side of the flooring. Remember that wood flooring expands in the wet months and pushes out across the width of the boards. If ceramic tile is pressed up tightly to this edge of the wood floor, the expansion of the wood in the humid months, will cause the first row of tiles to pop off or crack. Use a grout line or metal transition strip that will allow some movement.

If the ceramic tile stops at the ends of the wood floor, expansion is not an issue. Usually one board of flooring is turned 90 degrees to the rest and the flooring runs up to it on one side and ceramic on the other. Metal transitions strips area used often for minor elevation difference. Be cautious of using too much water on the ceramic flooring close to the wood. Some moisture can sneak underneath and discolour the wood before you notice. Finishing the edge of this piece of flooring is often good preventative medicine.

I'm coming up to vinyl flooring, what do I do?

hardwood floor reducerThe important thing to know, is what is the difference in height between the two floors. Usually the wood flooring is laid on top of the vinyl in which case the height difference is 3/4". What you want is a piece of "reducer". It is a piece of wood, moulded into a downhill slope, going from 3/4" at one side, down to 1/8" on the other. You normally glue or nail this down into place. It is a good idea to finish it on all four sides. Using silicon to glue it down is a great idea as well. Vinyl floors are washed frequently. If water sneaks under the reducer it can penetrate up through the wood and discolour from underneath. Finishing it fanatically is, again, good preventative medicine.

I'm coming up to carpet, what do I do?

This is a very similar question, but not always solved so easily. It mostly depends on again, what the height difference is between the wood floor and the carpet. Often a piece of the flooring can be used as a transition strip. The bottom half of the groove is cut off, to leave a small lip that can cap off the edge of the carpet. Each application is somewhat different so please ask when ordering your flooring.

I hope this answers some of your questions about hardwood flooring trim. Installation that looks professional at the end of the day, often requires that you address these issues BEFORE you begin.

Further Information:
Hardwood Flooring Installation Instructions