Seneca Millwork offers unfinished and prefinished hardwood transitions in finishes including antiqued, glazed, hand-scraped and distressed.

Cove base, moulding and trim are some of the wide range of accessories that can offer finishing touches to a flooring installation. Manufacturers say consumers are looking for three characteristics when choosing these products: great performance, easy installation and sustainable content.

Flexco’s Health Design wall base features preformed corners.

Ivan Stoler, president of Allstate Rubber, said designers of commercial projects are looking for cove base that does not call attention to itself. “They want neutrals, because unless it’s in a children’s hospital, designers don’t want to see the base. They also want quieter shapes – products that don’t scream, ‘Look at me, I’m cove base!’”

Stoler noted that his company began adding post-consumer content to its cove base four years ago, and is researching ways to make its products even more sustainable. “We are working to make all our products 100 percent natural,” he said.

Jeff Robinette, Johnsonite product manager, said that making products using green materials brings more excitement to the category. “We have gotten very positive feedback on Ecolibrium, our new wall base made from natural materials such as walnut shells, oyster shells and pine rosin. Designers like the rapidly renewable content, and the walnut shell content is a novel way to get it.”

Roppe’s new Rubber Micro Corners are designed for use with the 1/8” Pinnacle no-toe or flat Pinnacle Plus designs (Pinnacle Plus pictured).

He added that architects and designers are constantly looking for sustainable products. “Green content is very important for these projects, because many designers and architects say they want to design using sustainable materials, even on projects that are not pursuing LEED certification.”

Gary Hernandez, Jr., Healthier Choice’s vp specialty products, said people are looking for more choice in finishing accessories. Healthier Choice is launching new products in its Flexitions stainable flexible transition mouldings line, including a rigid version of the moulding and a line for use with LVT products.

Artistic Finishes’ Cork Wrap Molding product.

“The options have to expand and grow just like the flooring in the market today,” he said. “Our Flexitions rigid moulding will be very economical, completely green, extremely durable and allow for even and consistent staining and finishing.” He added that both the rigid and LVT products will feature a bio-based formula and manufacturing process designed to increase green content.

According to Melissa Quick, Flexco’s marketing coordinator, it is important to reinvigorate finishing lines with new designs. “Last year alone Flexco took out 21 colors of wall base that were in the bottom percentage of sales and talked to architects and designers. With their suggestions, we added back 26 colors to the wall base line to offer a total of 61 colors.”

Johnsonite’s Ecolibrium wall base is made with rapidly renewable content including walnut and oyster shells and pine rosin.

She agreed that adding green content is also important. Additionally, offering products that can solve installation problems is key. “Our Health Design wall base with preformed corners still requires welding, but the corners are a nice finished fit that won’t leave unsightly seams,” Quick explained.

Eric Lindberg, Artistic Finishes’ online sales & marketing director, said that consumers and dealers are looking for a coordinated package when it comes to prefinished accessories for hardwood flooring, including moulding, trim, stair treads and risers, and even vents. “Consumers are recognizing the added value that [these] flooring accessories bring; distributors and retailers are recognizing the significant margins these products create.” He also said that special finishes, like hand-scraping and wire-brush treatments, are growing in popularity.

A Threshold profile from Healthier Choice’s new Flexitions Rigid mouldings line.

The company recently introduced its Cork Wrap Molding, a cork veneer product offered in a variety of cork styles that can be stained. The product combines two qualities that consumer’s prize, aesthetics and sustainability, according to Lindberg. He added that the company is investing in new finishing processes designed to lower energy costs and use less consumable materials.

In the commercial arena, sculpted designs and streamlined profiles have moved to the forefront, according to DeeDee Brickner, Roppe’s marketing coordinator. “Streamlined profiles that are easy to install with a knife and straight-edge are being preferred over the original profiles available to the market,” she said.

Additionally, green content is an important consideration. “If our products contain any green content, we market it so we are sure the end-user or building owner is getting a great-looking product that is also environmentally friendly,” Brickner noted. “Our sculpted products, Pinnacle Plus, are only available in our PVC-free compound. This compound contains 10 percent natural rubber and can be recycled as part of Roppe’s IMPACT recycling program.”