Using Quarter Round to Cover the Expansion Gap

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  #1  
Old 02-25-08, 10:17 AM
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Using Quarter Round to Cover the Expansion Gap

Hi Folks, I'm doing a new build and plan to install a good quality engineered hardwood floor after I rip out the builder's default carpeting.

Here's my question, right now the baseboards are installed flush to the slab. I want to skip the step of removing the baseboards and just use a good 3/4 inch radius quarter round to cover a 1/4 inch expansion gap from the flooring to the baseboard.

The engineered hardwood flooring I am contemplating is a 9 layer 1/2 inch thick. I've tested samples and I'm pretty sure it won't expand much at all.

Will this be OK? Thanks for your feedback.
 
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Old 02-25-08, 04:24 PM
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Not the pro around here, but do whatever the manufacturer's instructions say. Definitely use the quarter round and keep the required gap regardless of tests.
 
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Old 02-26-08, 11:19 AM
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how tall are your baseboards? if they're the normal short kind, they'll look even shorter if you don't remove them & reinstall them higher. not to mention that quarter round screams "REMODEL/NOT ORIGINAL". which is even sadder in a brand new house. do it the professional way - remove the baseboards, lay your floor, then reinstall your baseboards & let them cover the gap.
 
  #4  
Old 02-27-08, 08:04 AM
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Yes I should have mentioned it, the baseboards are pretty tall. The difference between lifting it up 1/2 inch vs. leaving it on the floor won't make much of a difference.

Annette, I don't understand you comment about quarter round. Isn't quarter round a normal feature of wood floors? Most baseboards are only 1/4 inch thick and most expansion gaps are 1/2 inch so how would baseboards be able to cover the gap without quarter round???
 
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Old 02-27-08, 08:13 AM
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Monster, I'm with you on the shoe/ quarter round.

Did exactly that in my foyer at my last place. I think if your baseboards are tall enuf, then you can do what yer thinking about. In fact, it will prob look better cause now your baseboard heights will be the same throughout the house.

I had the laminate butting up to carpet on 3 sides. If I had raised the base in the foyer, then it wouldn't have matched the other 3 rooms.

I was able to use shoe, like the rest of the house, as the foyer was long and narrow, so I left a little more gap on the carpet side, and fudged a little on the wall side.

Is your base painted or stained? That will be your next issue, match the shoe to the base, or to the floor.
 
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Old 02-27-08, 09:20 AM
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Quarter round isn't a normal feature for wood floors but it's used quite often for installers and/or DIY'ers when they don't want to replace or take off and re-install baseboards to give it a nice clean look. It's a type of "cover-up".

Some people notice it and know about it and some people don't. Go with what flows throughout the rest of the house.
 
  #7  
Old 04-22-09, 04:46 AM
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Using Quarter Round to Cover the Expansion Gap

I do SINCERELY hope you did not install 1/4round in that new house! As Annette said, it screams "re-model job".
 
  #8  
Old 04-22-09, 05:18 AM
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I think this must be a regional thing - around here (Chicago) base and shoe has been the accepted method since the mid-19th century, and straight baseboard over hardwood is the mark of inexpensive remodelers who don't want to take the time to detail in the traditional manner or carpet installers who have removed the shoe to facilitate their work.
 
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Old 04-24-09, 10:54 AM
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Michael, I agree with you that the use of quarter-round must be regional. Here in Kansas, I have family members who have hardwood floors installed as original construction in houses dating from the late 1800's, through the 1950's and 1970's to brand new construction, and ALL of them had quarter round moulding installed during new construction. Frankly, seeing a wood floor without a quarter round would look like a strange omission to my eye.
 
  #10  
Old 04-24-09, 11:31 AM
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As Annette, I am alsonot a fan of quarter round my personal feeling is ts too big and bulky looking, and screams remodel.

I have successfully used a power jamb saw sometimes referred to as an undercut saw to cut the bottom of baseboard off allowing enough room to tuck my flooring under., then I used 1 scribe molding to cover the rough edges and to fill the gap where there may have been irregularities

In the spirit of full disclosure, it takes time and patience but the result is outstanding.

Depending on where you are, you may be able to rent the tool at a local tool rental. You'll only need it for a day, so it may be worth it. Anyway good luck.
 
  #11  
Old 04-25-09, 06:19 AM
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BTW, "base shoe" is not the same as "quarter round" - the difference seems subtle in profile, but to my eye the choice makes a surprisingly large difference in the finished appearance:




-http://www.woodfloorsonline.com/tech...-outlines2.gif

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Home Inspection: "A business with illogically high liability, slim profit margins and limited economies of scale. An incredibly diverse, multi-disciplined consulting service, delivered under difficult in-field circumstances, before a hostile audience in an impossibly short time frame, requiring the production of an extraordinarily detailed technical report, almost instantly, without benefit of research facilities or resources." - Alan Carson
 

Last edited by Michael Thomas; 04-25-09 at 07:51 AM.
  #12  
Old 04-25-09, 06:51 AM
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Was just reminded of this. Friend put down laminate in his house..came over and asked me to help with a problem putting in shoe, kept splitting when he tried to nail to the base.

Turns out he had just slightly too big an expansion gap, and he turned the shoe with the long side down to try and cover it..lol.

Gave him a choice of replacing the laminate (glue together) or using 1/4 round...guess what he did.

I think he gave all the shoe (that he'd already stained and varnished) to another neighbor for his project.
 
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