SOLVED: Shoe Molding Vs. Quarter Round: A Guide For Homeowners

Nowadays, it’s common knowledge that during the installation of flooring, a number of gaps often form between the floor and the baseboard. To ensure a smooth transition, most modern homeowners usually resort to shoe and quarter round moldings to address the gaps. Versatile and flexible, both styles of moldings could fill the average flooring gaps without difficulty. That being said, the topic of shoe molding vs. quarter round still attracts special attention from people around the globe.

Insights Of The Moldings 

How to Install Shoe Molding or Quarter-Round Molding

So you want to know more about shoe moldings and quarter round moldings prior to deciding which moldings to use? If that is what you have in mind then you need to take a look at this article. Down below is an analysis of the moldings that would help you get a good grasp of the moldings, similarities and differences.

Shoe Moldings And Quarter Round Moldings: Breakdowns 

Shoe moldings: Also known as base shoes, shoe moldings adapt well to various floorings so they tend to be the favorite choices to address gaps. Similar to quarter round molding, shoe moldings feature a 90-degree back but its front curve is not as pronounced.

Quarter round moldings: As the name suggests, quarter round moldings boast a quarter-of-a-round profile which lets them cover gaps between floor surfaces. Additionally, the prominent front curve of quarter round moldings would soften the appearance of joints.

Comparisons Of The Moldings 


  • Aesthetics: Shoe moldings as well as quarter round moldings could give flooring a professional look. Thus, if homeowners manage to use the moldings to good effects, they should enhance the aesthetics of the flooring.
  • Application: While today’s flooring incorporates an assortment of such as wood, concrete, laminate, …, the moldings still give a good account of themselves. It’s possible to reuse shoe moldings and quarter round molding following changes in the floorings too.
  • Customizable: In times of need, people have the option of cutting shoe moldings and quarter round moldings for optimal fitness. Moreover, to create a uniform theme, homeowners may even paint the molding in whatever color they see fit.


  • Curve: Both moldings have a front curve but quarter round is the winner in shoe molding vs. quarter round in terms of pronounced curving. Because of that, people opt to use quarter round moldings in highly visible areas while saving shoe moldings for more obscure locations.
  • Space: Shoe moldings and quarter round moldings come in multiple sizes but on average, shoe moldings prove higher than their round counterparts. As a result, shoe moldings protrude less from the wall after installation and that free up flooring space.

Setting Up Shoe Moldings And Quarter Round Moldings

Different houses have different layouts but if you seek help with the installation of molding, it’s suggested that you go through these steps

  • Step 1: Prepare tools and materials 

There is no need to pick up high-level tools. You should be able to find most of the stuff that you need in your toolbox: saw, utility knives, measuring tape, hammer, nails, sandpapers, … Also, in the case that you wish to create particular themes, grab paints, varnish, caulk, etc. You don’t exactly have everything you require on hand? Then you may want to visit the local hardware store.

  • Step 2: Process the installation area

If this is first the flooring that you install in your house, there isn’t much to do. However, if it’s a reinstallation of flooring, you have to take care of a couple of tasks

In the beginning, loosen the original moldings using the utility knives but be careful so you don’t damage the surroundings. Next, when the time is right, proceed to pull out the moldings and remove the nails. Afterward, if you believe that the baseboard is in poor shape, use a couple of sandpapers to sand it.

  • Step 3: Measure the location of moldings 

Before you install the new moldings, it’s strongly recommended that you take some measurements to ensure fitness. As time passes by, it’s not uncommon for the baseboard to warp which leads to minor changes in dimensions. Depending on the measurements, there is a chance that you have to trim the new moldings here and there.

  • Step 4: Position and secure new moldings 

Get new moldings into position and drive nails through them so they don’t move. It’s essential to place  the nails in the center of the moldings to minimize the odds of cracks. Furthermore, while there is no strict rule about it, you should leave around one to two feet between the nails. In any case, after you hold the new moldings in place, you have to create returns where the molding meets doors, corners and so on.

  • Step 5: Work on the finish 

Get a hold of some caulk to fill all the gaps that you come across. From time to time, to address gaps, it’s a good idea to add extra nails. If you like to hide the nails on the moldings, feel free to use nail crayons.

How to attach quarter-round molding to the base of a shower stall - Home Improvement Stack Exchange

Choosing Between The Moldings: Suggestions 

How to Install Base Shoe Molding | Better Homes & Gardens

It’s tough to determine the winner in shoe molding vs. quarter round without taking into account issues like household layout, interior theme, individual liking, … Still, if you want to make a wise decision, it’s widely advised that you check out the tips and tricks below

  • Think about the baseboard: To use shoe moldings, the bottom of the baseboard must be flat. Therefore, if your baseboard fails to meet such a demand, you should resort to quarter round moldings to fill the gaps.
  • Consider the role of molding as decoratives: Thanks to the pronounced curve, quarter round moldings excel at supplementing the profile of door frames, window casings, etc. In the case that you place aesthetics above all else, you don’t regret using quarter round moldings in your house.
  • Keep availability in mind: With the right skills and tools, homeowners would have an easy time making shoe molding and quarter round moldings by themselves. That being said, if you opt to get your molding from stores, stick to shoe moldings.


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