Transitions and moldings serve both a functional and aesthetic purpose. They can help bridge the gap between different flooring materials, protecting the edges and reducing the potential of a tripping hazard. A professional installation without transitions or moldings will often look incomplete and half-finished. We spoke with several manufacturers of these products to learn about the latest advancements in the category.

According to Greg Gelston, Profilitec’s president, North America, when taking into account the multitude of installation situations, “manufacturers within the transitions and moldings segment must have the flexibility, versatility and creativeness to address the market’s rapidly changing needs. Companies must continually innovate and present new solutions to remain viable.”

Newest to the category are longer-length transitions and profiles that “better adapt to North American construction standards [and help] reduce seams,” he said. “There are also new finishes on the market that use ‘sublimation’ technology, which is vastly more resistant to wearing and scratching and can better replicate the look of wood.”

When it comes to wood-plastic composite (WPC), stone-plastic composite (SPC) and other multilayer core floors, Gelston noted that “the key for these types of products is to incorporate transition systems that enable the contractor to address each and every height difference while protecting the edges of the materials—which is the primary intended function—without creating tripping hazards. Look for companies that offer solutions for all flooring products and you will find a vast array of solutions.”

Bill Treiber, Artistic Finishes’ technical sales and education manager, describes his company’s Enduracor line as one that “complements our customers’ multilayer flooring lines. The Enduracor profiles are solid polymer core transitions designed to accommodate any floor from 2.5 to 15mm thickness.

He added, “The compliance in quality to ASTM 1700 has been attained through the creation and availability of the Enduracor line of Artistic Finishes profiles. Through Enduracor all commercial and residential compliances have been met from both a standards and function standpoint. The industry has responded very favorably to the new Enduracor profiles.

“Other manufacturers provide stair nosing, reducers, T moldings, and square nosings made of metal, plastic or rubber. We offer a durable, water-resistant and cost-effective solution in a wood look.”

Sean Gerolimatos, Schluter Systems’ technical director, gave a brief overview of his company’s line of products for use with ceramic tile installations. “Schluter Systems offers various profiles, such as Schluter-Rondec, Quadec, etc., in textured powder-coated finishes as part of our Trendline series.

“These profiles feature a range of colors to complement recent trends, such as porcelain tiles with the appearance of stone, wood, and concrete. Colors include rustic brown, stone gray, ‘greige,’ pewter, bronze and others. Matte black and white options are particularly popular in the design world currently.”

He explained the importance of staying on top of trends when designing the latest installation products. “For example, large-format gauged porcelain panels (e.g. Laminam, SlimLite, etc.) continue to gain in popularity. Most of these panels are less than 6mm thick and none have ceramic trim. Schluter Systems has various profiles available in the appropriate sizes to finish and protect the panel edges, which are the areas most vulnerable to damage.”