A Guide to Timber Floor Trims

  • Timber floor trim

Floor trims are the final step to completing your new flooring and come in a number of different shapes, sizes, and materials. This article will go over why we need timber floor trim, the common materials that flooring trims are made from, and some of the different trim profile options and their application.

Why Do We Need Floor Trims?

Expansion Gaps

Hardwood floors and floating floors all experience some level of expansion and contraction due to thermal changes. To accommodate the expansion and contraction of the flooring materials, a gap is often required between the wall and the end of the floorboards. Similarly, an expansion gap may be required in large rooms or at doorways to allow the boards to freely expand and contract. Failure to allow adequate expansion gaps may result in the flooring buckling or splitting. Different flooring materials have different expansion rates and contraction and thus require specific expansion gaps specified by the manufacturer. The experienced installation team at Back To Timber always ensure they meet or exceed the manufacturer’s requirements to secure your new flooring’s longevity. Leaving these expansion gaps open would be unsightly and collect dirt and dust. Floor trims are used to disguise and cover the required expansion gaps and also have the added benefit of creating an aesthetically pleasing floor/wall seam.

Expansion gaps - timber floor trim

Flooring Material Changes

Different floor coverings such as carpet, timber, tiles, etc. can vary in height. Trims are used to bridge the material change to create a visually appealing seam and for safety reasons. Trims help to reduce trip hazards from the change in floor types and any height variations. If one of the floorings is carpet, a trim can also prevent fraying and helps lengthen the life of your carpet.

Flooring transitions - timber floor trim

Floor Trim Material Options

Floor mouldings can come in various materials to suit the individual application and aesthetic goal of the project. The location, room use, flooring type, and aesthetic preference will all play a part in deciding which material type will best suit. Floor trims and mouldings are made out of the following materials:

Hardwood Timber

Although a more expensive option, timber floor trim can be matched with your hardwood flooring species providing a pleasing continuity. Hardwood trims can also be stained or finished with the same product as the floor.

Hardwood floor trim


A cheaper alternative to hardwood, pine mouldings often come pre-primed in order to be painted and are a popular choice for new projects.

pine floor trim


The use of composite materials such as MDF are often the most affordable trim and often utilise recycled materials. MDF trims come pre-primed, ready to be painted. Due to the composition of these trims, they can be more susceptible to swelling than solid timber if exposed to water.

MDF floor trim


Aluminium skirting is commonly used in commercial applications due to its strength and resistance to wear. Residentially, aluminium trims are often used in high traffic areas, such as doorways between material changes such as timber and carpet. Aluminium trims come in a variety of colours and some trims now come with a painted timber grain to match a variety of flooring types. Metal trims and moulding can be used as a decor feature.

Aluminium floor trim

Flooring Trim Profiles and Uses


Skirting is the trim located at the base of your walls to cover the transition from floor to wall. The skirting profile often matches or exceeds the architrave profile, depending on the aesthetic choice. In some flooring applications, the skirting can be used to cover the expansion gap between the flooring and wall; however, this will depend on skirting choice and can often only be done with new skirting.

Skirting board floor trim

Quarter Round

Quarter round is often used when new floors are installed where the skirting is pre-existing. Most floating and hardwood floors require a gap to be left between the end of the boards and the wall to allow for seasonal expansion and contraction. The quarter round is fixed to the skirting to cover the expansion gap while enabling the boards to expand and contract freely underneath.

Quarter round floor trim


Like quarter round trims, scotia is commonly used where new floors are being added to rooms with pre-existing skirting. The scotia is fixed to the skirting board and covers the required expansion gap between the flooring and wall.

Scotia floor trim

Transition Trims

Transitional trims come in several of different profiles depending on the gap being bridged. As the name states, the transition trims allow for a clean finish either above expansion gaps or between floor material transitions such as timber and tiles, timber and carpet, etc. Transition trims help where there is a height change between flooring.

Transition floor trim

Reducer Trims

Reducer trims or ramp trims are similar to transition trims in that they are a neat way to finish the flooring where one room is a different level from another. The trims also provide a neat finish to the flooring and help reduce trip hazards.

Reducer transition floor trim

If you have any questions about timber floor trims or would like to discuss your new or existing flooring, our helpful staff can be contacted here, or by phone on (02) 8041 0166. Alternately, feel free to pop into one of our showrooms so we can help answer any questions you may have.

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