Finishing Touches for Flooring: Selling Moldings, Trims and Stair Treads
Moldings, trims and stair treads are accessories that provide the perfect finish to flooring. As categories continue to advance and grow, these accessories are following right along, allowing floors to perform as intended. Therefore, when necessary, including them in the sale is an important step that can’t be missed.
Selling the Finish
Most floors will require some type of accessory and knowing where and why they are needed is the key says, Bill Treiber, technical sales and education manager, Artistic Finishes.
“When a retail sales associate (RSA) is selling a hard surface floor, the topic of trims—moldings, floor vents—wall base and shoe will generally be a part of the conversation,” said Treiber. “The key for the RSA is to know when to discuss the accessories and when to not.”
When it comes to selling these accessories, Treiber says though not always the easiest sale, it is up to RSA to inquire about the jobsite; painting a picture in their minds of the location’s limitations and dimensions and taking notes while accessing the particularities involved with the job in order to deliver the required accessories that go with the floor.
“If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times,” said Treiber. “Transitions are the biggest pain of any sale. For many RSA that’s true, generally because not only do they wait to discuss transitions, but may fail to bring them up at all. The time to discuss transitions is when the job has been fully understood, and that understanding begins in the first five minutes of the conversation with the potential client and continues throughout the information gathering phase.”
To help with the sale, and to give the customer a better understanding, Treiber suggests RSAs keep samples or pictures of installed accessories on hand in order to help give the customer a sense of their knowledge and a better grasp of potential products’ looks.
Products and Trends
Artistic Finishes: From an accessories side of the industry, Artistic Finishes continues to expand its product line offerings to stay compliment market trends.
“Wood is being reintroduced into more and more commercial settings,” said Treiber. “Even the largest vinyl flooring manufacturers have brought wood back onto their top wear layer surfaces. Look for this trend to be strongest in upscale housing – condos, apartments and offices. High end homes have really never left the wood flooring market but with all the new variations of engineered wood and vinyl products, the choice to keep wood as a key component of one’s home is better than ever.”
Treiber says wood products continue to dominate the flooring industry. “This is well justified. The products keep getting more rigid, more durable, stable and real looking real in terms of texture, graphics, color. All this while simulating both real wood and stone.”
In response, engineered wood stair nosings in a modern format accommodate the engineered wood flooring offerings. Increased Enduracor -WPC profiles have also been added to handle the ever-increasing number of vinyl flooring thicknesses and options.
“Soon composite treads and riser will be common place, designed to best compliment the vinyl floors,” Treiber added. “Vents also will soon be readily available for complimenting the vinyl flooring products, but for now wood products still dominate the tread/riser and vent accessory products.”
Mohawk: Streamlining the shopping experience, while providing the perfect finish for Mohawk, Pergo and Karastan products, are new Performance accessories. Featuring multifunctional products like the 5-in-1 transition, which is a single stick of molding that can be used in a t-mold, reducer, end mold, carpet reducer or stair nose configuration, these accessories are improving product performance and installation methods. Also new is a special order program for Karastan, which includes full stair treads and air vents to custom match hard surface products.
Metroflor: With its extensive molding coordination program, Metroflor is adding the finishing touch, and value, to flooring.
“Beyond offering high-quality flooring with some of the best designs in the industry, our molding program adds value and beauty with these finishing touches,” said Gary Keeble, director of marketing for Metroflor.
The company’s comprehensive coordinating molding program features a wide range of waterproof accessories developed for both the Engage Genesis rigid core collection and the new Engage Inception SPC collection to ensure that retailers and installers can create a seamless-looking, premium effect.
By using the same film as the floor chosen for the best match possible, trim options for Engage Genesis and Engage Inception extend its style to the moldings.
Schluter-Systems: For commercial settings, Schluter-Systems has expanded its line of Designbase-SL top-set wall baseboards to provide a modern alternative to traditional baseboards for commercial buildings and condominiums, offering a durable yet attractive touch.
The product line now includes a brushed stainless steel option, in heights of 4-3/8” (110 mm) and 6-3/8” (160 mm), which exceed code requirements in a wide range of commercial facilities including healthcare, commercial kitchens, commercial bathrooms and airports.
Shaw: Shaw Floors’ Trim Master is a professional tile trim that is engineered with a patented Straight Edge Grout Line to protect exposed edges of the tile. Featuring more metal in the face of the profile, Trim Master offers a unique aesthetic available in a variety of metallic hues. Trim Master also prevents dings and dents during installation and protects against chips and breakage once installed.
Shaw’s Trim Master is a professional tile trim that is engineered with a patented Straight Edge Grout Line to protect exposed edges of the tile.