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Molding Glossary: Your A-Z of Trims, Moldings, and Transition Strips

With so many types, styles, and designs of flooring molding out there, it can be tricky to know what's what. Our easy-to-understand glossary is here to help.

5 min read
Published on June 13, 2022

Molding, trim, baseboards, tools, and other commonly used terms are as varied as the words we use to talk about them. Listening to those in the know talk about these products, or scrolling through your options can leave you scratching your head. This glossary summarizes the words and products LL Flooring specializes in.

 

image of types of molding
There are many types of molding and transitions to choose from.

 

Molding And Trim Glossary

Architrave

Molding placed above a doorway for decorative purposes.

Baseboard

Baseboard is a board that runs along the bottom of a wall to protect the wall and cover expansion gaps. Baseboards also give depth to a room by providing an attractive contrasting color between the flooring and the wall.

Baseboards have to be removed for many home improvement projects such as replacing floors or painting walls.

This video demonstrates the Goldblatt Trim Puller, a helpful tool for removing trim without damaging drywall or the molding itself.

 

Base cap

Molding applied to the top of a baseboard for decoration.

Base shoe

This molding, much like quarter round, joins a floor and baseboard.

Bead molding

A type of woodwork that carves small decorative circles or "beads" into trim and moldings.

Brick molding

The casing around an exterior door or window. It is called brick molding because it was originally used to seal the joint between a door frame and a brick wall.

Cased opening

A doorway that has a casing but no door.

Casing

Used both inside and outside, casing is trim. You can trim your exterior windows and doors and your interior windows, doors, floors, and walls.

Caulk

Also known as caulking, this is a sealant designed to close gaps. It’s used in flooring, woodworking, plumbing, and other construction applications.

Chair rail

Also known as a Dado rail, this is molding placed around the middle of a wall for decorative purposes such as separating two colors. It can also help protect the wall.

Cope

To shape or cut the end of your molding to fit the piece you place it against. For example, a corner.

Crown molding

Molding that surrounds the top of the wall where it connects to the ceiling.

Custom match

Moldings and trim specifically made to go with a particular flooring.

Dado rail

See "Chair rail."

Dentil molding

This type of molding uses evenly spaced square cutouts, rather like teeth, to create a formal or stately decoration. It's more often used where ceilings meet the wall or at the top of doorways.

Door frame

The supportive framework surrounding a door.

Door jamb

The edge or side of a doorway.

Expansion gap

The space left between a wall and flooring that allows the floor to expand and contract.

Finger joint

Refers to a type of cut in wood or other materials in which interlocking "fingers" connect pieces together to create one long piece. The cuts are usually wedge-shaped but can also be square.

Floating floor

This flooring should never be nailed, glued, or otherwise attached to its subfloor, walls, or transitions. "Floating" refers to the way we install it: interlocking planks that form a floor that rests or "floats" on the underlayment.

Flush reducer

Used with glue-down or nail installations to reduce a height difference between two floors. We fasten it to the floor with nails, screws, or glue and it sits flush against the highest floor.

Frame

The materials that surround a door or window. It comprises the following parts: the sides are side jambs, the top is the head jamb, and the bottom is a sill.

Jamb

The edge or side of a doorway. Also known as a door jamb.

Lattice

A pattern made by joining strips of wood, metal, or other material into a square or diamond shape. Often used for fences or screens.

Miter

A joint that connects two pieces of wood or other material at a 90-degree angle.

Miter saw

Used to make precise angled cuts in wood or other materials.

Molding

Used for functional, protective, and decorative purposes where a wall meets a floor, ceiling, or window. It covers gaps and is often shaped to serve as a design element.

Overlap reducer

Used with floating flooring, it reduces the height difference between two floors. Fastened to the sub-floor, it lies on top of the higher of the two floors.

Panel mold

When we use molding to create decorative panels on walls by framing raised panels.

Perimeter moldings

Joins walls and floors around the outer edges of a room.

Picture frame molding

Molding that looks like a picture frame and is installed in squares on walls for decoration.

Primed molding

Any piece of molding or trim that already has primer applied.

PVC

Polyvinyl chloride is a versatile, moisture-resistant, and wear-resistant molding material.

Quarter round

A rounded trim that softens the transitions between floor and baseboard.

Rabbet

An edge or groove cut into a piece of wood, usually along its length, to join it to another piece of wood.

Shoe mold

Like a quarter round but less curved.

Solid molding

Molding made from wood, bamboo, PVC, or MDF and free of hollow spaces.

Stair nose

Used to create the finishing touch to a stair tread or transition from a floor to a step. It can be flush when it’s used with nailed or glued flooring. Or it can overlap when joined with floating flooring.

T-molding

A type of transitional molding with a “T” profile. Used to transition between floors of the same height or thickness.

Threshold/end cap

Used wherever we need a finished edge to a floor. This includes fireplaces, stairs, sliding doors, and the tops of staircases.

Transitional molding

Used to create transitions between different flooring as well as where the flooring meets a doorway or stairs.

Trim

Long strips of wood or other materials used for functional and decorative reasons at the edges of your flooring. There are many designs and features that are made to fit with any type of flooring, including wood, vinyl, laminate, and hybrid flooring.

Unfinished molding and transitions

Able to be customized with paint and stain, these come without a finish.

 

 

If you found this guide to different types of molding and trim useful, you may also want to check out our Flooring Education Page to learn so much more about flooring, decor, and home improvement projects.

Please SUBSCRIBE to the LL Flooring YouTube Channel to learn more, leave comments or ideas that helped you, and join the community! 
 

 

 

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