The floor is an important element of every apartment. It is the core and background for the style of finishing the house. But whether it will look beautiful depends not only on the flooring material itself, but also on the finishing accessories. In addition to the skirting boards, we must choose the so-called profiles, i.e. threshold bar. They are used to connect various floor coverings, e.g. tiles with panels. How to choose the side skirts and are they always a must?
Not for cork and silicone
In the case of floating floors, we must maintain dilatation gaps. These are the free spaces between the wall and the floor, or between different finishing materials. In the case of all laminate panels and a large part of vinyl panels, the dilatation should also be made in the door and all transitions between rooms. Thanks to those free spaces, the floor can constantly work and move. In the case of laminated or vinyl panels mounted on the so-called click, we should avoid joints between silicone or cork trim materials. The connection of the panels with the tiles made of these materials will be stiff and will make the panel unable to transmit stresses and vibrations. As a consequence, it may lead to a bulge, detachment of locks and finally destruction of the entire floor. If such material is used, warranty conditions would not be granted. Panel manufacturers exclude the use of liquid cork and silicone as threshold joints.
Are the thresholds profiles a necessity?
Threshold bars are most often used to cover the expansion gap between rooms, stairs or balcony doors. When installing the floor panels, we leave a free space in these places, thanks to which the floor has a chance to "work" without damaging it or detaching individual panels from the locks. The threshold bars will perfectly mask the unsightly gap at the connection of the floor and, for example, balcony doors. A well-chosen profile covers all shortcomings and makes the room look very nice. The width of the expansion gaps depends on the one hand on the material from which the floor is made, and on the other hand, on the skill of a specialist. Although in the case of vinyl panels with a mineral core, we do not have to make separate dilatations between the rooms, in the case of other vinyls and laminates it is absolutely necessary. Each time, the threshold bar will appear when we change the finishing material of the floor and in the case of windows and balcony doors.
Types of flooring profiles
There are several types of floor profiles. To choose them, we need to determine what problem we want to solve.
The difference in the levels of connected elements
It happens that when connecting one room to another, a large level difference appears. For example, when in one room we were laying a new floor on top of the old one. But nothing is lost. It is enough to measure the difference and choose the appropriate profile. The most common level difference is from 3 to 5 mm, this is the case of joining laminate panels (8 mm + 2-4 mm of the underlay) with ceramic tiles (8-10 mm + 2-3 mm of glue). In this case, the CS30 or PRO26 profile will be perfect. If the level difference is much greater, choose the CS37 profile. It gives us the comfort of covering the level difference up to 17 mm.
When installing the floor, we try to ensure that the dilatation is 10-15 mm, but it is not always successful. Especially amateurs. What to do if our dilatation is much wider than recommended? It is enough to use the wide profile. The largest PRO10 profile will cover as much as 72 mm of empty space.
More and more, developers offer us wide balcony windows reaching from the floor to the ceiling. They give a lot of light and look beautiful. However, they pose a problem in terms of finishing the floor at this point. How to cover the unsightly hole between these windows and the floor? We choose end strips, eg model PRO20, universal Pro L. We can also choose in this case a profile matched to the color of the panels or the color of the window - CS25. The same threshold bar can be used when we have tiles in the room and we do not want to mount a skirting board on the wall.
When the stairs begin
We can use an external PS2 or PS8 profile. The latter is rather used for external stairs, e.g. to a basement. There are also PRO-S series stairs profiles dedicated to click vinyl panels. Thanks to them, we will finish the stairs not only aesthetically, but also much cheaper, because we can use the same vinyl panels to finish the stairs as in all rooms.
Many problems one solution
If we are struggling with several problems or do not know exactly what we need, choose the threshold strips from the Color System (CS) line. These are the four most universal shapes of floor profiles and 34 colors matched to the most popular Arbiton floors and skirting boards. These are universal profiles that can cope with almost any difficult situation. These are 5in1 solution. They solve problems related to the difference in levels, endings, lengths, etc. They also have an anti-moisture barrier in them, which makes them suitable for balcony doors or bathrooms.
How to choose threshold bars to make them look beautiful?
As a rule, we should choose flooring bar tailored to the specific floor. The first criterion we usually take into account is color. If we choose threshold bars matching the color of our floor, and therefore reflecting the structure and pattern of wood, we should use the solutions offered by the manufacturer of the panels. This is a guarantee of a perfect fit of the threshold bar and the panel. Among the universal proposals, we have the traditional anode, silver, titanium or slightly forgotten gold at our disposal. A very interesting option is the so-called brushed steel, which in color resembles an anode, but thanks to its texture it does not scratch and will be much more durable.
How to properly install flooring profiles?
The threshold bars can be fixed with mounting dowels, glue or a mounting rail. Fixing the floor profile with glue is a very interesting solution that will work especially when we have underfloor heating. We can then be sure that we will not damage the heating pipes during assembly. Usually the adhesive is integrated in the profile - it provides additional protection against moisture and protects the dilatation gaps against the ingress of dirt, sand or dust. Mounting with glue does not require drilling and is very convenient. However, it must be remembered that the threshold bar installed in this way becomes a permanent element of the interior design. So if we ever paint the room again, we must protect it very well.
Dowel mount is available in several versions. The most traditional are the dowels mounted from the outside. It is a certain solution, but moderately aesthetic. We can rather use them in technical rooms - where we do not care about a perfect visual effect. You can also fix the threshold bar with dowels from the inside. This method is much nicer, but also requires more skill from the installer. The third way of mounting on the so-called the rail consists in first mounting the structural element to the floor, and then hooking the profile itself. The bar is held on the rail thanks to the appropriate cutters on the inside. The fastening is invisible and very durable. At the same time, it allows for quick disassembly of the bar if necessary. Perfect for connecting a hard floor with a soft one, e.g. vinyl panels with carpet (PRODUO threshold bar).
What to ultimately consider when choosing a flooring profile?
We should be guided primarily by the challenge we put in front of the threshold bar. We choose dedicated solutions that solve specific problems.