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Moldings for Wood Floors~ Hardwood Moldings
Installation and Maintenance Guide

 

 

 

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Preparation | Dos and Don'ts | Installing Different Molding Applications  | Molding Proiles

Installation Instructions - Hardwood and Laminate Floors
This installation guide covers the installation of hardwood moldings on glue down/nail down flooring installations and floating floor installations. Any differences in instructions between hardwood and laminate flooring will be noted in the appropriate section of this guide. Please refer to the appropriate section of the guide for the instructions that apply to your installation.

Preparation
Preparation for the installation of hardwood moldings is the same as the preparation for installation of the hardwood floor. Subfloors must be flat and level.. “Highspots" should be sanded down and “lowspots" filled with a high compressive strength underlayment patch or self-leveling cement compound developed by a reputable manufacturer.

Color and grain matching
- It is important to consider color and grain matching any molding and hardwood flooring that will be installed directly adjacent to one another. Because hardwood flooring and moldings are products of nature, they are susceptible to variations in grain and wood color. These natural variations add variety and natural beauty to the overall look of your floor. However, pre-selecting flooring and moldings that will be installed directly adjacent to one another will enhance this beauty. Just prior to installation, the installer should sort through and set aside several pieces of flooring that most accurately match the required moldings. Following this simple, but often overlooked guideline, will provide a pleasing and trouble-free finish on every job.

Dos & Don'ts with Hardwood Moldings
The following guidelines are presented as an overview of steps the installer can take to assure the hardwood molding installation goes well. These "dos and don'ts" have been gathered from the experiences of many installers across the country and can help to assure your installation goes well.
Prefinished moldings must be handled carefully to avoid chipping and marring of the face. Moldings must be pre-drilled to avoid splitting whenever they are to be secured with nails or fasteners. Avoid splits in moldings by controlling the size of the fastener and its proximity to the end of a cut or the edge of the molding. If a pneumatic nail gun is to be used, test it on a scrap molding before the installation to assess possible damage due to fastening. The tool of choice for cutting hardwood moldings is a 10 or 12 inch motorized miter saw with :pre-set adjustments for the basic miter cuts at 22.5°, 45° and 9O°. A carbide tipped blade makes the best cuts. Always use miter cuts rather than butt cuts when splicing. Decide the direction of the miter by cutting the molding with the long point oriented in the same direction as your natural line of vision when you enter the room. When installing Wall Base molding, eliminate the need to putty holes on the molding by placing the bottom nail below the finished line of the Quarter Round molding. On Wall Base or Quarter Round moldings, never restrict the hardwood floors natural contraction/expansion movement by driving the fasteners at a downward angle. Rather, attach the moldings to the wall or vertical surface

Helpful Tips: Installing Different Types of Molding

Wall Base Moldings With A Glue Down/Nail Down Floor
Quarter Round Moldings With A Glue Down/Nail Down Floor
Base Shoe Moldings With A Glue Down/Nail Down Floor
Threshold Moldings With A Glue Down/Nail Down Floor
Reducer Moldings With A Glue Down/Nail Down Floor
Reducer Moldings With A Floating Floor
Stair Nose Moldings With A Floating Floor
Stair Nose Moldings With A Glue Down/Nail Down Floor
T-Moldings With A Glue Down/Nail Down Floor
T-Moldings With A Floating Floor
Floating Floor Moldings
Warranty and Maintenance


 

~~~Wall Base Moldings With A Glue Down/Nail Down Floor
 

Application- Borders the wood floor at the base of the wall to give the room a finished look. This molding conceals the required expansion space between the wall and the hardwood flooring. It is also sometimes used under cabinet toe kicks. Fig A Installation - Wall Base moldings should be installed alter the hardwood floor is in place You must make allowances for an expansion space between the floor and wall in accordance with the hardwood flooring manufacturer's recommendations. The molding should be fastened to the wall (not the subfloor) to assure that the contraction or expansion space for the floor is not restricted (See Fig. A). Pre-drill the molding to avoid splitting. Artistic Finishes Wall Base moldings are eight feet long to ensure minimal splices. This length also helps to assure that splicing joints will be on a stud.
Helpful Tip:
If the expansion space between the wall and the hardwood floor is wider than the Wall Base molding, you will need to use an Artistic Finishes Quarter Round or Base Shoe molding to complete the job. In this case, place the lower nail securing the Wall Base molding below the finished line of the Quarter Round or Shoe Base molding. By doing this, the Quarter Round molding will cover the lower nail in the Wall Base molding and avoid the need to putty the lower nail holes.
 

 

 

~~~Quarter Round Moldings With A Glue Down / Nail Down Floor
Application - The Quarter Round is used in much the same manner as a Wall Base molding to conceal the required expansion space between the wall and the hardwood flooring. It is sometimes used under cabinet toe kicks where a wall base won't fit or at the base of a stairs to provide a subtle blend between the floor and the wall or vertical surface. Adding the Quarter Round in front of a Wall Base (See Fig. C) softens the transition and adds a decorative touch. Fig B-C
Installation - Quarter Round moldings should be installed after the hardwood floor is in place. You must make allowances for an expansion space between the wall and floor in accordance with the hardwood flooring manufacturer's recommendations. The molding should be fastened to the wall (not the subfloor) to assure that the contraction or expansion space for the floor is not restricted (See Fig. B). Pre-drill the molding to avoid splitting. Artistic Finishes Quarter Round moldings are eight feet long to ensure minimal splices.
 

~~~Base Shoe Moldings With A Glue Down/Nail Down Floor
Application - Used as a transition to vertical surfaces in tight spots where Wall Base will not fit such as the toe-kick under cabinets (See Fig. D) Also used as a substitute for Quarter Round when a lower profile molding is desired to preserve an existing Wall Base molding (See Fig. E).
Installation - Base Shoe moldings should be installed after the hardwood floor is in place. You must make allowances for an expansion space- between the floor and vertical surface in accordance with the hardwood flooring manufacturer's recommendations. Fig D-E The molding should be fastened to the wall and/or Wall Base molding (not the subfloor) to assure that the contraction or expansion space for the floor is not restricted. Pre-drill the molding to avoid splitting. When used to transition other floors, such as vinyl or tile floors (See Fig. D), fasten to the wall or toe plate. Artistic Finishes Base Shoe moldings are eight feet long to ensure minimal splices.
 

~~~Threshold Moldings With A Glue Down/Nail Down Floor
Application
- Typically used at exterior doorways as a transition between flooring and the threshold. Also used to transition a wood floor to different floors to make them fit together perfectly, such as high pile carpeting or tile. The Threshold molding is also commonly used interchangeably with a square nose molding to conceal the expansion space when the flooring runs up to a vertical object that cannot be framed by Wall Base or Quarter Round molding. Examples include fireplace hearths, sliding glass doors and large thresholds.
Installation - Artistic Finishes manufactures two sizes of the Threshold molding (Variable Threshold A for floors ranging from 1/4 inch in thickness up to 3/8 inch; and Variable Threshold B for floors from 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in thickness). Check the label on the bottom side of the molding to be sure you have the right Threshold molding for the job.
When installing Threshold moldings, it is important not to attach the mold-ing directly to the hardwood floor, as the hardwood floor must be able to expand and contract under the lip of the molding in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. Fig F After the hardwood floor is installed, lay the Variable Threshold molding in place. The Threshold-molding should overlap the flooring by 1/2 to 3/4 inch, leaving the balance for required expansion or contraction. To attach the molding, apply one or two 1/4 inch beads of construction adhesive to the sub-floor and seat the molding in place. If nailing, pre-drill the molding to pre-vent splitting and nail to the subfloor behind the lip of the molding. Be sure when nailing, not to obstruct the floor's expansion space under the molding (See Fig. F).
 

~~~Reducer Moldings With A Glue Down/Nail Down Floor Application - Used to join hardwood floor with floors of different heights such as vinyl, ceramic tile or low pile carpeting.
Installation - Artistic Finishes manufactures two versions of Reducers. The Standard Reducer, for nail down or glue down floors, is available in either a flush mount or tongue and groove configuration. The Overlap Reducer is designed for floating floor installations. Because of variances in thickness with some manufacturers' hardwood floors, on both 3/8 inch and 9/16 inch floors, there are two different moldings (Reducer A and Reducer B) available in each size. Match the molding to a piece of flooring on a flat surface to verify whether Reducer molding A or B is needed. Check the label on the bottom side of the molding to be sure you have the right Reducer for the job. Fig G Standard Reducer - To attach the molding, apply glue to the front edge of the molding as recommended by the Manufacturer. Apply one or two 1/4 inch beads of construction adhesive to the subfloor and seat the molding in Place. If nailing, pre-drill the molding to prevent splitting. To assure a flush surface in any glue down installation, it is recommended that the molding be taped to the floor while the glue is setting up as shown in (Fig. G).
Overlap Reducer - The Overlap Reducer is typically used for floating floor applications. See the floating floor section of this installation guide for instructions on how to install the Overlap Reducer.
 

 

~~~Stair Nose Moldings With A Glue Down/Nail Down Floor
Stair Nose Molding Application
- The Stair Nose transition molding combines style and function to create an attractive threshold that catches the brunt of floor traffic while enhancing the beauty of a staircase or step. The Stair Nose also provides the proper overhang for a transition from one floor level to the next such as the step into a sunken living room.
Installation - Artistic Finishes manufactures Stair Nose moldings for glue down/nail down applications that mount flush with the hardwood floor to provide a clean transition to the next step or sunken room. Stair Nose mold-ings arc available for floors ranging from 1/4 inch in thickness up to 3/4 inch. Because of variances in thickness in some manufacturers' hardwood floors, in both 3/8 inch and 9/16 inch floors, there are two different moldings (Stair Nose A and Stair Nose B) available in each size. Match the molding up to a piece of flooring to verify whether Stair Nose molding A or B is needed. Check the label on the bottom side of the molding to be sure you have the right Stair Nose for the job.
Standard Stair Nose - When used on a stairstep, the Stair Nose molding should cover and overlap the riser. (See Fig. H).Fig H When used on a step-up to another room, the Stair Nose molding becomes the starting "edge" of the floor. Because of the interlocking of the molding with the floor, the Stair Nose molding should be installed first. Once the molding is in place, the interlocking floor can be installed out from this point. To install the Standard Stair Nose molding, apply one or two 1/4 inch beads of construction adhesive to the subfloor and seat the molding in place If nailing, pre-drill the molding to prevent splitting and nail to the subfioor To assure a flush surface in any glue down installation, it is recommend that the molding be taped to the floor while the glue is setting up as shown in (Fig. H). Overlap Stair Nose - The Overlap Stair Nose is typically used for floating floor applications. See the floating floor section of this installation guide for instructions on how to install the Overlap Stair Nose.
 

~~~T-Moldings With A Glue Down/Nail Down Floor
Application
- Commonly used in doorways to join two wood floors in adjoining rooms. Also recommended when making a transition from a wood floor to another floor that is approximately the same height such as ceramic tile. T-moldings are also used to provide expansion joints when a floor dimension exceeds 40 feet.
Installation - Artistic Finishes manufactures one T-Molding to fit floors ranging from 1/4 inch in thickness up to 3/4 inch.
When installing T-Moldings, it is important not to obstruct the space for expansion or contraction recommended by the flooring manufacturers. For this reason, you will need a space between the two adjoining floors of approximately 1 1/4 inches to properly install the T-Molding.
Installing T-Molding between a wood floor and another floor of the same height
- Lay the T-Molding in place to determine proper fit. To attach the T-Molding between a ceramic tile floor and hardwood floor, apply a 1/4 inch bead of construction adhesive to the top edge of the ceramic tile. Seat the molding in place, making sure that you have a minimum of a 1/4 inch molding overlap on the wood flooring, including an expansion space between the T-Molding and the wood floor to handle expansion or contraction (See flooring manufacturer's recommendations on required space) (See Fig. I) Fig I-J Installing T-Molding between two wood floors of the same height - Lay the T-Molding in place to determine proper fit. To attach the T-Molding between two hardwood floors, apply a 1/4 inch bead of construction adhesive to the top edge on one side of the hardwood floor. Seat the molding in place, making sure that you have a minimum of a 1/4 inch molding overlap on the wood flooring on the adjacent floor. Check to make sure that you have also provided an expansion space between the T-Molding and the wood floor to handle expansion or contraction (See flooring manufacturer's recommendation, on required space) (See Fig. J).
 

~~~Floating Floor Moldings
Artistic Finishes supplies a full line of quality hardwood moldings for floating floor applications. The following installation guidelines provide suggestions on how to properly install these moldings for a picture perfect look.
Wall Base Molding - The installation instructions for Wall Base molding on a floating floor are the same as a glue down/nail down floor installation. See the installation instructions in the "Glue Down/Nail Down Floor" section of this installation guide.
Quarter Round Molding - The installation instructions for Quarter Round molding on a floating floor are the same as a glue down/nail down installation. See the installation instructions-in-the "Glue Down/Nail Down Floor" section of this installation guide.
Base Shoe Molding - The installation instructions for Base Shoe molding on a floating floor are the same as a glue down/nail down floor installation. See the installation instructions in the "Glue Down/Nail Down Floor" section of this installation guile.
Threshold Molding - Artistic Finishes manufactures two versions of the Threshold molding (Variable Threshold A for floors ranging from 1(4 inch in thickness up to 3/8 inch; and Variable Threshold B for floors from 1(2 inch to 3/4 inch in thickness). Check the label on the bottom side of the. molding to be sure you have the right Threshold molding for the job.
When installing Threshold moldings, it is important not to attach the molding directly to the hardwood floor as the hardwood floor must-be able to expand or contract under the lip of the molding per the manufacturers recommendations.
Start the installation by installing Artistic Finishes Shims (Part # 17949) wherever you plan to install Threshold moldings (i.e. against fireplace hearths. sliding glass door tracks, ceramic tile, etc). This Shim should be placed directly against the vertical object or floor where you plan to install the Threshold molding. This Shim serves as a base or foundation for the molding. Secure the Shim in place by either nailing or gluing it down.Fig K Install the pad with the edge of the pad placed directly against the Shim. Install the floating floor so that it overlaps the Shim approximately 3/4 of an inch. The Shim serves to stabilize the floor from compressing under weight and provides a foundation for the Threshold molding (See Fig. K). Lay the Variable Threshold molding in place. The Threshold molding should overlap the-flooring by 1/2 to 3(4 inch, leaving the balance for required expansion or contraction. To attach the molding, apply one or two 1/4 inch beads of construction adhesive to the Shim and seat the molding in place. If nailing, pre-drill the molding and Shim to prevent splitting and nail to the subfloor behind the lip of the molding. Be sure when nailing, not to obstruct the floor's expansion space under the molding.
 

~~~Reducer Moldings With A Floating Floor
Application - Used to join hardwood floors with floors of different heights such as vinyl, ceramic tile or low pile carpeting.
Installation - Artistic Finishes manufactures two versions of Reducers. The Standard Reducer, typically used for nail down or glue down floors, can be used on a floating floor installation when .you want a smooth, flush transition between floors. The Overlap Reducer is designed specifically for floating floor installations and is quick and easy to install. Artistic Finishes manufactures reducers to accommodate floors ranging from 1/4 inch in thickness up to V4 inch thick. Check the label on the bottom side of the molding to be sure you have the right Reducer for the job.
Standard Reducer for flush mount installations - Start the installation by installing Artistic Finishes Shims (Part # 17949) wherever you plan to install a Standard Reducer. The Shim should be placed directly against the edge of the floor to which you are transitioning. Secure the Shim in place by either nailing or gluing it down. Install the pad with the edge of the pad placed directly against the Shim. Install the floating floor so that it overlaps the Shim by approximately 3/4 of an inch. The Shim provides a foundation for the Reducer molding and serves to stabilize the floor from compressing under weight. Lay the Reducer molding in place. Apply glue to the front edge of the molding and one or two 1/4 inch beads of construction adhesive to the shim and seat the molding in place. To assure a smooth, flush surface, it is recommended that you apply tape to the molding and floor to hold-the Reducer in place until the glue is dry (See Fig. L).
Fig LM When installing Overlap Reducer moldings on a floating floor, it is important not to attach the Overlap Reducer directly to the hardwood floor as the hardwood floor must be able to expand or contract under the lip of the molding per the manufacturer's recommendations.
Overlap Reducer - Start the installation by installing Artistic Finishes Shims (Part #-17949) wherever you plan to install an overlap reducer. The Shim should be placed approximately 1-1/2 inches from the edge of the floor to which you are transitioning. Secure the Shim in place by either nailing or gluing it down. Install the pad with the edge of the pad placed directly against the Shim. Next, install the floating floor over the Shim so that only 1/4 to 3/8 inch of the Shim is showing under the floor. The Shim serves to stabilize the floor from compressing under weight. Lay the Reducer molding in place.
Note: The Shim should not extend under the base of the Overlap Reducer (See Fig. M). Lay the Overlap Reducer in place. The Overlap Reducer should overlap the flooring by 1/2 to 3/4 inch, leaving the balance for required expan-sion or contraction. To attach the molding, apply one or two 1/4 inch beads of construction adhesive to the subfloor and seat the molding in place. If nailing, pre-drill the molding to prevent splitting and nail to the subfloor behind the lip of the molding. Be sure when nailing, not to obstruct the floor's expansion space under the molding.
 

~~~Stair Nose Moldings With A Floating Floor
Standard Stair Nose Application
- The Stair Nose transition molding combines style and function to create an attractive threshold that catches the brunt of floor traffic while enhancing the beauty of a staircase or step. The Stair Nose also provides the proper overhang for a transition from one floor level to the next such as the step into a sunken living room.
Installation - Artistic Finishes manufactures two Stair Nose versions: an Overlap Stair Nose for quick, easy floating floor installations (See Fig. N) and a Standard Stair Nose for flush mount applications where an overlap is considered undesirable (See Fig. 0). Artistic Finishes supplies Stair Nose moldings for floors from 1/4 inch in thickness up to 3/4 inch thick. Check the label on the bottom side of the molding to be sure you have the right Stair Nose for the job.
When installing Overlap Stair Nose moldings on a floating floor it is important not to attach the molding directly to the hardwood floor as the hardwood floor must be able to expand or con tract under the lip of the molding per the manufacturer's recommendations.
Overlap Stair Nose. Start the installation by installing Artistic Finishes Shims (Part #17949) wherever you plan to install an Overlap Stair Nose. The Shim should be placed approximately 1-3/4 inches from the front edge of the risen Secure the Shim in place by either nailing or gluing it down. Install the pad with the edge of the pad placed directly against the Shim. Next, install the floating floor over the Shim so that only 1/4 to 3/8 inch of shim is showing under the floor. The Shim serves to stabilize the floor from compressing under weight. Lay the Overlap Stair Nose in place. Note: The Shim should not extend under the base of the Overlap Stair Nose (See Fig. N). Fig N-OLay the Overlap Stair Nose in place. The Overlap Stair Nose should overlap the floor mg by 1/4 to 3/8 inch, leaving the balance for required expansion or contraction. To attach the molding, apply one or two 1/4 inch beads of construction adhesive to the subfloor and seat the molding in place. If nailing, pre-drill the molding to prevent splitting and nail to the subfloor behind the lip of the molding. Be sure when nailing, not to obstruct the floor's expansion space under the molding.
Standard Stair Nose - Many homeowners and installers prefer the look of the Standard Stair Nose to the Overlap Stair Nose molding. If you choose to use a flush mount Stair Nose, start the installation by installing Artistic Finishes Shims (Part #17949). The first Shim should be placed flush with the front edge of the riser. Secure the Shim by either nailing or gluing it down. Install a second Shim directly against the first Shim and secure it in place. If proper-ly installed, it should extend under the edge of the floating floor. The Shim provides a foundation for the Stair Nose molding and serves to stabilize the floor from compressing under weight. Install the pad with the edge of the pad placed directly against the Shim. Lay the Stair Nose molding in place. To attach the molding, apply one or two 1/4 inch beads of construction adhesive to the Shim. and seat the molding in place. To assure a smooth, flush surface. it is recommended that you apply tape to the molding and floor to hold the reducer in place until the glue is dry (See Fig. 0). If nailing, pre-drill the molding to prevent splitting and nail to the subfloor behind the lip of the molding.
 

~~~T-Moldings With A Floating Floor
Application - Commonly used in doorways to join two wood floors in adjoining rooms. Also recommended when making a transition from a wood floor to another floor that is approximately the same height such as ceramic tile. T-moldings are also used to provide expansion joints when a floor dimension exceeds 40 feet.
Installation - Artistic Finishes manufactures one T-Molding to fit floors ranging from 1/4 inch in thickness up to 3/4 inch.
When installing T-Moldings, it is important not to obstruct the space for expansion or contraction. recommended by the flooring manufacturers. For this reason, you will need a space between the two adjoining floors of approximately 1-1/4 inches to properly install the T-Moiding.
Installing T-Molding between a stationary floor and a floating floor - Start the installation by installing- the Artistic Finishes Shim (Part #17949) wherever you plan to install a T-Molding. The Shim should be placed approximately 1 inch from the edge of the floor to which you are transitioning. Secure the Shim in place by either nailing or gluing it down. Install the pad with the edge of the pad placed directly against the Shim. Next, install the floating floor over the Shim so that only 1/4 to 3/8 inch of shim is showing under the floor. The Shim serves to stabilize the floor from compressing under weight. Lay the T-Molding in place Apply a 1/4 inch bead of construction adhesive to the top edge of the stationary floor. Seat the molding in place, making sure that you have a minimum of a 1/4 inch molding overlap on the wood flooring, including an expansion space between the T-Molding and the wood floor to handle expansion or contraction (See flooring manufacrnrer’s recommendations on required space). (See Fig. P).
FIG P-Q Installing T-Molding between two floating floors - When installing the T-Molding between two floating wood floors, begin the installation by installing the Artistic Finishes Shims (Part # 17949) under the edges of the floating floors where you plan to install T-Molding. The Shims can be butted together or separated no more than 1 inch. Secure the Shims in place by either nailing or gluing them down. Install-the pad with the edge of the pad placed directly against each Shim. Next, install the floating floor over the Shim so that only 1/4 to 3/8 inch of shim is showing under the floor The Shim serves to stabilize the floor from compressing under weight. Lay the T- Molding in place. Apply a 1/4-inch bead of construction adhesive to the top edge of one side of the wood floor (Caution: Do not glue both sides.) Seat the molding in place, making sure that you have a minimum of a 1/4 inch molding overlap on the side of the flooring that is not glued. Make sure you also include an expansion space between the molding and the sides of the wood floor that are not glued to handle the expansion or contraction of both floors (see flooring manufacturer's recommendations on required space). (See Fig. Q.)
 

~~~Warranty and Maintenance
Preventative Maintenance Use rugs in high traffic areas to reduce wear Use dirt trapping walk-off mats at all exterior doors to keep sand, dirt, grit, grease and oil outside Sweep or vacuum regularly Never wet mop or flood your floor with water or other water-based products as this can severely damage the flooring Remove spills promptly using a soft cloth and use cleaning products recommended by your flooring manufacturer Do not use oil soaps; liquid or paste wax products or other household cleaners that contain lemon oil, tung oil or ammonia Keep pets' nails trimmed and paws clean and free of dirt gravel oil and stains Place protective pads beneath furniture legs and feet to reduce scratches and dents Use a dolly and protective sheets of plywood when moving heavy objects, furniture or appliances Make certain furniture casters are clean and operate properly (a minimum 1 inch width is recommended) Remove shoes with spiked or damaged heels before walking on the floor/moldings Follow all other preventative recommendations of the flooring manufacturer

NOTE: Artistic Finishes, Inc. has authorized the reprint of the following Guide for the Installation and Maintenance of Hardwood Moldings, including graphics herein.

~~~See Related Pages:
Moldings & Wood Floors
Technical Questions & Answers
Installing Wood Floors

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