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Installing Shoe Molding after Carpet removed


We ripped up the carpets and redid the hardwood floors. I will be installing shoe molding to cover up the ends of the hardwood floor, but the house is 80+ yrs old and in some spots there is a considerable gap between the bottom baseboard and floor do to settling.

Any suggestions about what to do about the gap at the bottom, between the shoe molding and floor? In some cases there will almost a 1/4" gap.


Re: Installing Shoe Molding after Carpet removed

Two ways to deal with what you have:

1. Find a quarter molding, wide enough to cover the gaps.

2. Rip the molding you have now and install new wide base molding.

There are countless moldings to choose from, even in the box stores. If you want wood moldings, you better head on to a lumber store or a molding store. Bring money.

A. Spruce
Re: Installing Shoe Molding after Carpet removed

A typical base shoe is 3/4", so if you've only got a 1/4" gap, then you've got nothing to worry about. If you've got more gap than what the typical shoe will cover, then you can double up moldings to not only cover the gap but create a more interesting "new" molding.

As for finish, that is more of a personal preference, whether you match the floor or match the base, either way is acceptable. I recommend finishing the molding before installation, then touching up as necessary once installed.

Re: Installing Shoe Molding after Carpet removed

Older houses with bigger baseboards sometimes had taller shoe molding. 3/4 is now the stock item, but 1 1/8" shoe was not unheard of. Base shoe is very easy to make if you have a router and a table saw.
The taller it becomes, the less it will flex, but the extra margin is great for scribing to the uneven floor.

Re: Installing Shoe Molding after Carpet removed

Nowadays, shoe molding is usually 5/8"-11/16" tall, and nominal 3/4" quarter-round is often 11/16" now as well. Makes you want to scream at how stingy the lumber business has become, but I digress. If these won't cover then use stop molding for doors which is nominally 1 1/4" and actually measures that much. Rip it narrower if you want to. Some suppliers still offer this with a rounded-edge profile which looks great as shoe molding though you may have to have the yard order it. You can also apply a lath strip with a small shoe over that, which with wide baseboards actually looks pretty good, not so well with narrow ones. You've got one thing going for you here as many old homes had more ornate molding profiles than we see in newer homes so being creative like this might not ever be noticed as being a "bodge" used to cover a problem!


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