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dealing with gaps after flooring & trim installed


BradW09's Avatar
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06-16-09, 08:35 AM   #1  
dealing with gaps after flooring & trim installed

Hi all. We just had prefinished hardwood floors installed that look great, but the trim work is less impressive (to our novice eyes) and we would greatly appreciate advice on how handle the following aspects.

First, we have some outer corner baseboard gaps, about 1/16" to maybe 1/8" in places. Will caulk adequately fill these, or do they need to be reworked first to reduce the gap?

Second, there are larger gaps (over 1/4") between the new floor and pre-existing "door jams" (entryway frames, no door attached), since the new floor sits lower than the vinyl/underlayment that was removed. How should these gaps be filled/covered? They look too big for just caulk/putty.

Finally, we're wondering what's reasonable to expect of the installers, in terms of baseboard corners lining up and whether they should do the caulking (corner gaps, walls, nail holes) vs. finishing it ourselves. We paid about $500 for baseboard (no shoe molding) and installation labor for all rooms on the first floor (about 1000 sq ft w/ 4 rooms and hallway) of our standard 1970s 2-story colonial home. Thanks!


Last edited by BradW09; 06-16-09 at 09:59 AM. Reason: clarify
 
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marksr's Avatar
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06-16-09, 12:16 PM   #2  
Generally the painter caulks and putties the woodwork. Where the base joins together and along the top at the wall should be caulked [assuming it paints] It is better to install shoe mould to hide the gaps next to the floor. Under the casing/jamb is challenging. It's usually best to cut a thin piece[s] of wood to slide under the jamb and then caulk.


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06-16-09, 06:38 PM   #3  
I would expect the baseboard to meet properly at the corners. The gap you cite is reminiscent of the work of a novice.

 
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06-16-09, 06:46 PM   #4  
Marksr, thanks very much for your reply. I'm painting the walls myself so it sounds like its my job to caulk the baseboards and not the flooring guys'.

I'll try cutting wood strips to slide under the door casing/jams before caulking. The casing has a lot of angles to it, but maybe I can find a small piece of matching casing to caulk in.

I'd like to add the shoe molding since I think it looks unfinished with just baseboard, but my wife prefers it without shoe molding so we'll leave it off until I can convince her otherwise. :-)

BradW

 
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06-17-09, 03:32 AM   #5  
BradW, explain to her baseboard flexes with the wall, not the floor. Shoe molding will finish that off and flex with the floor as well. I have had customers request the same. I can only put it in level, so if the floor has dips in it, I can't follow those lines with base, or it will be terribly off when it returns to the original wall. Shoe molding is a good compliment. Leaving the gaps at the bottom of the door case stiles inexcusable. Cutting the "blanks" as you propose is a good way of getting the finished look. Unless you spent alot on the molding, it is probably WM356 or WM 366, readily available at most lumber yards. It could also be what we call "colonial" molding, which is a little fancier and wider.
Outside corners should meet with minimum gap, while many trim guys prefer to cope inside corners.

 
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06-17-09, 05:51 AM   #6  
I would add that while I like the look of shoe mould, I don't care much for quarter round [it's bigger] It might be that your wife is thinking quarter round. I'm sure if you look around you can find finished examples of each - friends, model homes, etc.


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