Installing a hardwood or laminate floor can be a rewarding – some might even say fun – project, as long as you have the right tools and flooring accessories. There are a few essential accessories you’ll need to make sure the job looks just right when you’re done. These include the floor underlayment, in the case of laminate floor accessories, and various types of molding, no matter what type of floor you’re installing. Because laminate floor accessories start from the ground up, it’s easiest to start with them.
Floor underlayment is an absolute necessity for laminate floors. It is not one of the accessories that you’ll need for installing solid hardwood floors, however. The underlay comes in several different variations. The most important job performed by these laminate floor accessories is keeping moisture away from the back of the wood. This ensures that you don’t end up with a damaged floor after you’ve put so much effort into laying it. The floor underlayment also provides padding, so that the floor is more comfortable, and provides sound-dampening qualities that are especially appreciated when the floor is above another room. There are floor underlayment products that combine both moisture protection and sound-dampening qualities, as well, and some are attached directly to the flooring itself, which can be worth the price for the ease of installation.
There are accessories that will be needed regardless of what type of floor you’re installing. These include some type of floor trim. You’ll want to make sure that the wall is protected where the floor and the wall meet and, of course, you don’t want an ugly gap between the wall and the floor. This makes floor trim very important among hardwood floor accessories, as these floors must have a gap between the planks and the walls to allow for expansion when the humidity rises. There are numerous different ways to cover this.
Installing baseboard molding is the next step. The baseboard trim goes along the wall, providing protection for the wall and a very nice aesthetic effect. On the base of this, the shoe molding provides a nice transition between the baseboard and the floor and creates an elegant, smooth feel. There is also quarter round molding, which has a convex shape to it and which adds a less-common look. Other common floor accessories include flooring adhesives and transition strips, which you may need if you have carpet adjoining your hardwood floor.
The appropriate floor installation accessories should be chosen along with the flooring product itself. It’s much easier to match the color this way, if you have a prefinished floor. If you’re buying hardwood floor accessories for an unfinished floor, you can do all the staining at once to make sure that the color is consistent. Most laminate flooring accessories are available prefinished, allowing you to skip this step, so if you’ve been wondering how to cover the expansion gap between the floor and wall, now you know how it’s done professionally and elegantly.