Flooring Transitions - What, When, and Why?

Flooring transitions are not necessarily what we would consider a hot, trendy topic, but they’re a necessary and often-overlooked component of your new floors. What’s the difference between a “t-mold” and an “endcap” for instance, and when would you need them? 

A transition for your floors is usually the last finishing touch before installation is complete. Though most of your floor-shopping time will be taken up focusing on the big decisions (what type, colour, price, installation…), we recommend not leaving the finishing touches until last or as an after-thought! They help to create an even, safe, aesthetically pleasing flow from room-to-room or from floor-to-floor. 

Below we’ve listed a breakdown of some common floor transitions, and what they might be used for:

T-Mold – provides a transition between two even-surface floors or rooms (you might notice it going into the bedroom from the hallway, for instance) It provides a nice smooth surface between the two different floors, and covers the spacing left for natural expansion and contraction. These can be made from hardwood, vinyl, laminate, or metal.

Reducer – These are used to make a safe, smooth transition between connecting floors that are two different heights. We see this often in spaces going from hardwood to tile, for instance, or from vinyl to carpet. 

Stair nose – These can also be called stair thresholds or square nosing, and there are many different types. Typically, if you’re putting hardwood or luxury vinyl plank on stairs, you’ll need to finish each step with some variation of nosing – They sometimes require different manufacturing methods and machinery, but the maker will usually produce these to match any hardwood or vinyl plank products they sell. Because they’re often not produced at the same time or in the same quantity as your plank flooring, you may need to order them separately. 

Quarter Round – Quarter round is an aptly-named piece used for finishing the perimeter of your floors. It’s not always necessary in every room, and mostly depends on what is being installed, what was on the floor before, and the state of your baseboards. It’s roughly ¼ of a 1-inch circle –  one flat side attaches to your wall or baseboards, with the other flat side providing coverage for any gaps that might be left over from a floor height variance (vinyl plank where there used to be shag carpet, for instance), or space left for expansion, like with hardwood. 

When done properly, the right flooring transitions can enhance the flow of your home, as well as keep you safe from any rough edges or height differences. 

Still have questions? Give us a call and let us help!