Should You Use Quarter Round – Wood Floor Experts Explain

In your home or your office, there might be gaps between the walls and floor, affecting the overall appearance of your room. You might be considering whether to use quarter-round to cover up these gaps.

Should you use quarter round? You should use quarter-round to cover the space between your wall and floor, improving your room’s appearance. You can also use shoe molding as an alternative to quarter-round.

Steve Brattin, the President of SVB Wood Floors in Missouri, mentions that quarter-round is an excellent choice for filling corners and covering the space between trim and moldings.

Should Baseboards Have Quarter-Round?

Baseboards should have quarter round to cover up gaps and imperfections between the base of an interior wall and the floor. They usually match the color of the baseboard and give a finished representation.

Quarter-rounds are commonly made of wood, have a curved edge, and are shaped like a quarter of a circle in a cross-section, as the name implies. When a quarter-round is installed, its curved edge is the external part that is visible.

Quarter-round pieces are also versatile since you can leave them in their natural appearance or decide to paint them. The width and height of quarter-round pieces are the same, with the standard being 0.75 inches (1.9 cm). They are in long strips, up to 7 feet (2.1 m) and more, which are cut to measure for installation.

Quarter rounds provide a professional look to flooring installations in residential and commercial settings and serve as decorative pieces that offer a smooth appearance. You can use them with a wide range of contemporary flooring materials, for example, concrete, wood, laminate, natural stone floor tiles, and even wood-like tile flooring.

Most homeowners decide to go for wood because the look of natural woodgrain is classy and great for aesthetics. It is 100%-renewable and a sustainable resource. As a plus, wood rarely cracks or warps once it’s been installed. I recommend the unfinished oak quarter round that is available on Click here to have yours delivered.

On the other hand, installing a wooden quarter-round can be tasking. Wood has natural imperfections, implying that its appearance will eventually develop flaws.

Quarter rounds can be paired with many materials, but they can also be made from various materials, giving you plenty of options to choose from. Wood veneers and solid wood are some of the most common choices for quarter-rounds. With a standard width of less than 1 inch (2.54 cm), cutting them is easy.

There are several ways to use quarter-rounds, as they aren’t limited to just baseboards. Door frames, staircases, and edges of windows are other spots where they can be used.

If you intend to design remarkable shapes on the wall and picture frames for your family, they are also an excellent choice.

What Is Better, Quarter-Round or Shoe Molding?

Whether a quarter-round or a shoe molding is better depends on how you want to install them. Quarter-rounds are great for covering large areas while shoe moldings are more flexible.

Shoe molding and quarter-round look similar, and both are popular wood trim types. In some cases, you can interchange one with the other, but they have their specific uses.

Both shoe molding and quarter-round perfectly serve as transitions between a wall and engineered or laminate wood floors. They also provide an aesthetical value to a room due to their curved shape.

When paired with a baseboard, shoe molding provides a perfect finish, neatly covering the seam at the floor. The name “shoe molding” refers to its position since it is placed at the level of your shoe. Shoe molding has a less-noticeable curve and a general width of 0.5 inches (0.7 cm).

Both molding types are equipped with curved edges, but their curves differ in size, affecting their functionality. If you need molding with a well-rounded edge, you should choose a quarter-round.

A quarter-round works well in those spaces where the shape is important as a feature that gives a visual advantage, such as countertops and flooring baseboards. If you want to decorate your window and doorframe, quarter-round moldings are perfect because of their distinct curves. I recommend the Flextrim Quarter Round that is available on Amazon. Click here to have yours delivered to your front door.

On the other hand, shoe molding is an excellent option when you are looking to achieve a curved, yet less-visible molding. When it comes to covering up gaps between steps and installing a trim that is not very visible, shoe moldings are ideal. I recommend the White Sunny Wood Shoe Molding that is available at Click here to have yours delivered to your front door

Whichever molding you decide to go with can boost the appearance of your room if they are installed properly. For the best results, consult with a qualified technician. For tiling lining, I recommend the Quetech quarter round tile liner in white that is available on Amazon. Click here to have yours delivered.

What are the Pros and Cons of Quarter Round?

Pros of Quarter RoundCons of Quarter Round
can hide the gaps in misaligned hardwoodbaseboards may look less formal and polished
gives the baseboard a finished look quarter round is a lazy way to finish baseboard
if the rest of the house has quarter-round, it is best to continue with itthe rounded look of quarter round does not match well with baseboard
data derived from various DIY forums

Can You Install Laminate Without Quarter-Round?

You can install laminate without a quarter-round but this possibility can be affected by how much gap you leave where the flooring meets the wall. Also, the climate of your environment can determine whether a quarter-round molding is necessary for your laminate floor.

The purpose of a quarter-round molding is to bridge any gap that might exist between your floor and your walls, making your room look a lot better as a result. So, when installing laminate, the gap should determine whether you use a quarter-round.

Laminate flooring should be installed after removing the baseboards and then reinstalling them on top of the new flooring. This should leave about a half-inch gap on your floors.

You can then install a regular thin baseboard or a thicker baseboard wide enough to cover the gaps if you do not want to use a quarter-round. All these will be determined by how wide the size of the gap is and the preferences of the homeowner.

If you aren’t using molding, you need to consider the climate. Wooden floors expand in heat and contract in cold weather. This change in size can affect the gap between the floor and the wall. Areas with dry climates tend to experience less expansion than humid climates.

If you do not want a quarter-round, you can go for a door stop instead. It is like a quarter-round, but it is smaller and lighter, and it does not take up much space on the floor. You can also substitute a quarter-round with a thicker trim that covers the expansion between your walls and floor.

A different creative method to finish off the floor may be to install a metallic angle attached to the baseboard or use a trim (wooden or otherwise) that does not necessarily have to be round.

What Can I Use Instead of Quarter-Round?

You can use several other types of molding instead of quarter-round but the most preferred option is the shoe molding (base shoe). It is a thin strip of mold that gives a decorative finished look to the floors.

The shoe molding is smaller and thinner than quarter-round and it is chosen for its sleek and narrower appearance. Shoe molding can be found in curved or round shapes, it can be taller and styled differently.

Shoe molding also serves as a versatile cap for baseboards solving the problem of covering seams and concealing the variation between flooring and baseboard, covering any gaps between them.

Shoe molding can be paired or made from many materials such as wood (which is the most common type), natural stone, laminate, and concrete. It can also be paired with MDF (Medium-density fiberboard), an increasingly popular material among designers, as well as with polystyrene, an optimal plastic material chosen for its lightweight and durability.

Polystyrene is also resistant to moisture although its texture is less desirable for luxury and sophistication among homeowners.

Shoe molding has a small size that makes it flexible, allowing it to be installed flat against the floor. It can also be stained or painted to match your floorboards and you can use complementary colors for added contrast.

Its thin profile and flexibility allow it to be bent easily into place unlike the quarter-round that does a better job covering large gaps. Unlike its counterpart, shoe molding is better at hiding imperfections and gives a finished elegant look.

The only objection to shoe molding is that your baseboard bottom must be flat to use it and it needs to be avoided over carpet since the carpet covers gaps and would pose a problem if the carpet needs to be changed.

Another place to avoid shoe molding is in bathrooms because the smaller space of a bathroom isn’t conducive for more trim since it further reduces how big your bathroom seems.

Do You Need to Caulk Between Quarter-Round and Flooring?

You need to caulk between quarter-round and flooring if you want to create a perfect seal. Caulking is not always necessary, but it can be helpful in preventing water and insects from getting to your wood.

Quarter-round is a molding style usually combined with a baseboard and used to conceal openings and irregularities between the edge and the floor. Filling up the gaps with caulk is therefore a smart choice if you intend to keep your home appearance modern and contemporary.

Although caulk can be used to install quarter rounds on baseboards, it is not advisable as it can be tricky to dislodge if the floor needs to be repaired later. You should therefore stick to caulking the gaps between the quarter round and the floor only while nailing the quarter round to the baseboard.

How To Install Quarter-Round Like A Pro?

You can install quarter-round by accurately measuring your wall and floor, getting the right size of quarter-round molding, and drilling nails to hold in the moldings.

If you have decided to install quarter-round by yourself, you might be looking for guidance on how to handle the task perfectly. Here are detailed steps for completing the installation process.

  • Determine the size of your wall area with measuring tape. Every space has varied molding lengths, so take as many measurements as possible.
  • Measure the bottom of each wall and measure from left to right to make it easy to read when cutting.
  • Ensure your molding material matches the baseboard or floor or purchase flat white primed quarter round and repaint with semi-gloss paint to complement the baseboard. This paint should cover the nails, which will be coated with caulk.
  • Quarter-round molding is available in entire pieces ranging in length from 6 to 12 ft (1.8 to 3.7m). When mounting to a wall, try to utilize a single piece. This eliminates the possibility of gaps opening when the temperature changes and the parts shrink.
  • In cases where pieces must be joined together, apply glue and accelerator to ensure it is sealed tight before mounting to the wall.
  • Mount your miter saw on a firm platform and move the blade along the left or right side of its base to cut your quarter round. The standard approach is to cut at 45°, but in circumstances when the wall area is irregular, this may result in gaps in the front.
  • When cutting from the long or inside corner, therefore, set the saw to 44°, and when cutting from the short or inside corner, set it to 46°.
  • Along the quarter-rounds, mark sites for nails per 12 inches (30 cm) with a pencil. Begin measuring, starting at the edges and work your way down the length of each piece of molding. This guarantees that the quarter rounds fit neatly. Make no marks near the ends of the molding as the nails may crack it.
  • Rather than hammering, utilize a nail gun with a compressor as this is much faster and produces more admirable work, as well as eliminating the need for pilot holes.
  • Because it’s so simple to use, you’ll be able to put in more nails. Nails should be 18 gauge and 1.25 inches (3.2 cm) long. Adjust the pressure level such that the nails are driven just below the top, allowing you to caulk or wood putty the holes.
  • With a caulk gun, fill the gaps around the quarter rounds.  Hold the nuzzle of the gun just over the upper portion of the quarter round, then apply a bead of caulk while slowly pushing the trigger.
  • To squeeze the caulk behind the quarter rounds, trace your finger along the top and fill any gaps between individual parts to ensure the caulk appears even and concealed as much as possible.

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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