At some point, when a new floor is installed, there will be exposed, cut edges that need to be covered and concealed. Trims are the best way to hide imperfections or chips and make everything look clean and flush.

From One Room to Another

Trims are implemented when transitioning flooring from one room to another or in tricky places where scotia or skirting can’t be used.

This includes:

  • Floor-to-ceiling
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Benchtops

In this post, we cover the most common situations that require trims and the different types of trims available.


Expansion Gaps From Floor to Floor

From raft to raft, when you are breaking a floor up to allow for expansion, you use trims to conceal this expansion gap.

Below are two of many different types of products you can use to achieve this:

H Profile Trim

As the name suggests, this trim looks like an H laid on its side. It has clearance for the flooring to sit on either side. It must be installed before the installation of the product, and then the product sits inside the slots that are provided by the H trim. The trim will typically have an overhang wide enough to allow for expansion and contraction on either side. Although very flat, this trim is infrequently used because of the pre-installation requirement. You can find more information on expansion gaps in this blog post.


Multipurpose Trim

This trim type has a base section installed before installation, and a cover dropped in after the floor is installed. It covers the edges of the floor installed on either side of the base and allows for movement in the floor. It is a lot more versatile than the H-trim because it does not inhibit your ability to install a floor. However, it also does not sit as flat as an H-trim.

In some cases, the multi-purpose base either screws, glues or nails to the floor. Some other variants use a plug arrangement where plugs are drilled into the floor instead of the base that is used in most cases. Whichever system is used, the trim connects directly to the floor.

Multi-purpose trims typically have two slots on the top that can be used to attach them to the base arrangement. One slot allows it to sit level for products that are of an even height. The other slot is offset slightly and allows for a small ramp for products that have a difference of up to about 5mm.

Multi-purpose trim.

Meeting Other Floor Coverings and Doors

A flooring trim, also called molding, is used to help give flooring a professional and neat appearance.

A few main options come down to personal preference when dealing with doorways with different floor coverings. For some, multi-purpose trims might be perfect for connecting one flooring type to the carpet. However, some people are dissatisfied with this look and prefer to tuck it against the trim against an aluminium angle trim.

C Section

Sometimes called Junior, Mid or Senior end trim (depending on its size,) These are typically used for floating floors and come in different sizes to suit various products. They usually need to be installed before installation through either screw, glue or nail. The product you are installing sits inside the ‘C’ shaped section.

These trims are usually used up against upright surfaces like door tracks or kitchen benches. Where they are used in open doorways that lead into carpeted areas, the carpet can be tucked into a space between the trim’s back and the carpet’s smooth edge, leaving a nice, clean finish.

C-Trim sized to fit laminate

L Trims

Also called an Angle End, This is like a C Trim without a base. However, rather than bonding to the floor, the L trim goes against the wall or surface it is pushing up against. They are more fragile because the trim has limited space to bond with them and can become loose. However, they are versatile as they are installed after the floor is installed.


C Trim Variant

Sometimes referred to as a Border Profile, this multipurpose variant uses a track similar to a Multi-purpose trim below but has a top section that finishes it like a C-Channel. The challenge is they are pricier, bulkier and not as flat as C Channel. Also, some suppliers do not make them. They are, however, very strong and may be installed after installation.

C-trim variant.


Height Differences in Flooring

If you are going from one flooring type to another and there are distinct height differences, multipurpose trims can work well when you are going from 14mm engineered flooring to a 10mm tile as the trim can accommodate this amount of height variance.

But let’s say is a more significant drop from a 14mm timber to a 2mm vinyl plank:


Ramp Trims

These are dedicated specifically to significant height differences between flooring types where they meet. They work the same way as the multipurpose trim in that it has a base & channel arrangement. These are rare because people typically do not have these types of drops between flooring types, but they do exist. They are more unsightly compared to the other trims.

Ramp trim.


Stair Nosing

When dealing with stairs and most flooring types, a few different options are available:

Aluminium Trims

It can be used to create a box stair where you join the planks as the stair riser and the tread. This is the less visually appealing method but is the cheapest.

Aluminium Stair Trim.

Prefabricated Stair Nosings

These are colour matched to the product. Many hybrid floors have the option to have stair nosing that will connect to the product, using the product’s exact picture film. Depending on the supplier, they typically come in 2.2m or 2.4m lengths and can be cut to the size of your staircase, which you install as you lay flooring. They are cost-effective and a very good option aesthetically.

The only downside is that they often do not have the same wear layer protection as the flooring and are coated in polyurethane, meaning they will not be as resilient as the rest of the floor.

Pre-fabricated Stairnosing.

Custom-Made Stair Nosing

Many suppliers will send the product away and have them turned into a stair nosing. This is by far the most expensive but best-looking and resilient option because it is seamless. It also issues the same locking system that your floor does.

  • The pro of this is that this product is on your floor with the same wear layer and sheen.
  • The con is the widths can only be made at the length of the floorboard. This can become a wasteful process as most stairs are 800mm to 1000mm wide, meaning there will be lots of offcuts wasted.

Custom stairnosing.


Colour Matching

Most scotia comes in a colour match to the flooring. Some suppliers bring in a colour match for every product they do. Terra Mater Resiplank Hybrid is a great example of this. Other suppliers have a “best match” arrangement, offering a range of colours and matching them to their products as best they can. For instance, they might have a single spotted gum colour for Scotia which goes with all their spotted gum and similar coloured varieties across different ranges. As you might have guessed, this might be a differentiating factor regarding cheap vs expensive flooring.

This is also true for other trim types, where suppliers keep vinyl-wrapped trims to closely match their flooring products.

Colour matching can be quite a complex process, and in some cases, a product can be close enough but not right and can look worse than a metal trim. As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

C-Trims sized to fit timber.


Skirting & Scotia Around the Outer Edges

We will soon go into this topic in further detail. But to avoid confusion, we also thought it necessary to cover skirting and scotia.

When updating your floors, you can remove the existing skirting around your home, install the new floor and reinstall the skirting. This covers the exposed outside edges of your flooring and is the most favourable way to deal with edge-to-wall situations around your home.

In some cases where you are installing, say, hybrid flooring over tiles and the tiles were laid after the skirting was installed, the skirting will be concreted in, and unable to be removed. In this situation, scotia performs a similar role to skirting and is installed in front of the skirting to hide exposed product edges and any required expansion gaps. Sometimes, people don’t want to remove the skirting and install Scotia instead.

Clem Sturgess

Expert Insights From Clem Sturgess

20+ years' experience in hard flooring

Removing and replacing skirting is the cleanest way to finish your floor. We see scotia as a last resort rather than as pleasing to the eye. Yes, it will add a few hours to the job, but skirting looks like the job is done properly. Considering how long the floor will be there, it is worth the extra time.


Clem Sturgess

Clem is our resident expert on hard flooring. Clem has been in the flooring industry for over 25 years, and has a wealth of knowledge about timber, bamboo, laminate, hybrid, and even in flooring acoustics.