How to install quarter-round moldings in different ways
The quarter round is a fantastic technique to conceal the margins of hardwood floors or to emphasize craftsmanship, and it’s never going to go out of style.
There are various installation strategies, and today we’ll go over everything you should know for an effective project.
What is quarter-round molding?
While floor coverings are frequently flexible, baseboards are usually straight and rigid. In old buildings, sags in outside corners and between the joists are typical. It might be challenging to have the transition between the floor and long wall flat and smooth.
How can this gap be closed? Homeowners and even installers will occasionally pour unattractive caulk into this area, which can block drafts that waste energy.
But learning how to install quarter-round or shoe molding to close the space between the bottom of the baseboards and the floor is a more tasteful option. It is a cheap, simple installation that offers your flooring a clean, glossy appearance.
Quarter-round molding is, as the name implies, the length of a wood dowel or rod of a rounded shape, divided in half. The cross-section has a 90-degree arc to it.
Sometimes the baseboard is too thin to fill the expansion gap between the floor and the wall, which can be 5/8 inches. Sometimes there may be holes in the baseboard. Use a quarter-round trim to close the gaps so that the baseboard and horizontal floor have a smooth, rounded finish.
Shoe molding is a different kind of molding. Generally speaking, shoe molding is higher and flatter than a quarter-round.
Shoe molding is the best option if you like a less obvious curve.
How to install quarter-round moldings?
These bottom trim pieces are preferred by carpenters because they eliminate the need for challenging baseboard scribe cuts.
If you’re new to installing trim, an electric brad nailer is the ideal tool for nailing shoe molding or quarter-round. You can work considerably more quickly by using this tool, which can automatically set or recess the tiny finish nails required for quarter-round trim.
If you want to know how to install quarter-round molding, adhere to the following directions.
- Make very sure the workspace is clutter-free and organized. Check all surfaces you’ll be working on for tape or other materials and clean the floor’s edges where it meets the wall.
- When you get to the spot where the quarter-round molding will be installed, start collecting measurements on the wall to your left and move clockwise around the room. Anything can be measured simultaneously.
- Keep track of the sides of each piece that are a blunt edge, an inner corner, an outside corner, or a return as you go. From left to right and from the outside corner to the inner corner, record your measurements.
Step 1: Measuring and marking the first trim piece
It will be simpler to prevent errors if you measure, cut, and fix the trim one at a time. Starting with a piece of molding that will fit an exterior corner, you should lay it across the wall and mark the molding’s ends with a pencil where they meet the wall.
For a tight fit, you should measure the wall’s entire length before marking the molding to these precise measurements if you start with the inner corners.
Step 2: Miter-cutting the first piece of molding
Set the miter saw or handsaw blade to 45 degrees first. The trim piece should then be placed on the saw base or miter box, and check your pencil mark: the blade should be resting just above the pencil mark.
After making the initial cut, turn the saw blade around and make a 45-degree cut for the opposite end of the trim that can shave off thin slices of wood cleanly.
Rotate the molding around and cut an opposing 45-degree angle if you’re using a miter box.
Save money by using the scissors
Quarter-round scissors are a valuable item that you can get if you don’t want to own or rent a miter saw. It costs between $15 and $50, which is roughly the same as a miter box and handsaw combo, and cuts the quarter round safely and neatly. Also, if space is a concern, you can keep them within a toolbox.
If you just intend to install quarter-round molding once, quarter-round scissors are the ideal choice.
Step 3: Test-fitting the first trim piece
Check the length of the first molding piece after positioning it on the wall. If it is too lengthy, the excess material can be cut away with a sharp blade to make the molding fit perfectly. You might wish to relocate it while installing the second component, so don’t fasten it just yet.
Step 4: Cutting and test-fitting the second piece
The second piece of trim should be measured, marked, and cut at the proper angle. After that, you must measure the piece’s length and determine whether it fits with the first piece.
Step 5: Nailing the first two pieces
With the aid of a nail gun or nailer and nails, fasten the molding to the baseboard. Calibrate the nailer first using a piece of waste trim. Because a brad nailer will automatically set or recess small finish nail heads, that is the ideal option. Your task could be substantially expedited in this way.
Step 6: Keeping going until the finished look
After the baseboard is entirely covered, quarter-round pieces must be measured, cut, and nailed around the room one at a time. Do not nail the quarter-round to the floor; instead, nail it to the wall.
Useful recommendations on how to install quarter-round molding
- Always use nails to attach these moldings to the wall; to prevent splitting, drill the holes for the nails first.
- Never restrict the floor’s normal expansion and contraction by pounding molding into it.
- Avoid driving your nail at a downward angle to avoid damaging the laminate wood flooring.
- To fill the nail heads, use colored putty. Ensure that the nail holes are entirely filled in. It’s important to check nail holes. Do it before allowing the putty to completely cure in nail holes.
Can I install a quarter-round without a nail gun?
There are other alternatives to installing quarter-round molding without a power tool, as was previously mentioned. The first and most straightforward approach is driving the nails in with a hammer and nail set. The second method involves gluing the trim in place.
How do you install quarter-round by hand?
Equipment you require for installing quarter-round molding:
- Paper and a pencil
- Significantly smaller pilot and drill bits than nail gauge
- Set of hammer and nails
- 1-2 inch finish nails (16 or 18 gauge)
- Putty for wood or caulk
Step 1: Testing
According to the gauge of the nails you’re utilizing, use a drill and a pilot hole to help prevent breaking the component. With thicker nails, it is recommended to drill a pilot hole beforehand. If your nails have a thinner finish, you might be able to go without them. Do a test on a scrap first if you’re unsure.
Step 2: Drilling pilot hole
Before drilling a pilot hole, put a tiny piece of paper tape to the board where the nail needs to go. At 80% of the way through the trim, gently drill a small hole.
Step 3: hammering the nail
Use a hammer and finishing nails to tap the nail just several times until it’s approximately 1/8 inch above the surface of the trim.
Step 4: Using a nail set
Choose the nail set that best suits your nail head, then countersink it so that it protrudes past the trim’s surface.
Step 5: completing the nail
Walk around the room just like you would with a powered installation.
Step 6: caulking
Use putty or a thin bead of caulk to level the surface of the trim, and then sand or wipe away any extra.
Step 7: finishing installing quarter-round molding
Cleaning and painting the baseboard and trim as necessary. It could have a finished look with just a few finishing touches!
Installing quarter-round using wood glue
In comparison to the other two procedures, applying a glue to quarter-round moldings can be somewhat trickier. The installer will eventually choose the material to use to fasten the trim to the baseboard.
Also, you could be working in a bathroom or an area that is curved where you might not want hardwood or a composite material that can expand when wet, such as the region around stairs.
Perhaps you simply like the quarter-round trim option because it is the quickest, simplest, and requires the fewest additional tools. The flexible adhesive quarter round that is currently on the market is a more pricey, but a more beneficial option that doesn’t require any additional glue for installation and is water safe.
Actually, this trim is a peel-and-stick product. Even while not all hardware stores carry it, it is easy to locate online.
Equipment you require:
- A piece of cardboard
- Sandpaper with a medium grain
- Your preferred adhesive and, if required, a caulking gun
Step 1: cleaning
Make sure your work surface is immaculately clean. This is especially important for this installation type.
Step 2: Sanding down the trim
Five passes of medium-grit sandpaper on the back of each piece of trim are required to roughen it up.
Step 3: roughing up the curved surface
While being careful not to harm the floor or the baseboard any higher up, gently rough up the baseboard’s lower half inch or so, including its inside corners, with your wedge sanding block. When compared to sandpaper or a square block, the wedge sanding block gives you more control over inside corners.
Step 4: Vacuum cleaning the dust
Dust that was generated extra during the sanding should be cleaned up. The roughened surfaces on the two sides will help the adhesive “grab” and strengthen the seal.
Step 5: Applying the glue
When you uniformly distribute the glue throughout the entire surface, be careful not to use too much. If you use too much glue, it will spread out when you apply pressure to another surface.
To prevent a poor seal that can eventually cause the trim to come off, apply the glue uniformly rather than in dots or dashes.
Step 6: lining up
Align the trim in the designated spot and carefully press down for about a minute before going on to the next piece.
Step 7: Finishing
When the room has been completed, use a wet cloth to remove any leftover glue from the flooring or trim. Give the molding between twelve and twenty-four hours to cure.
Given that caulking and nail-hole puttying are not required, it may be argued that this installation method is the fastest. Although caulking the seams is an option, it isn’t necessarily essential unless it is aesthetically pleasing, because the glue creates a sufficient seal.
Should quarter round be nailed or glued?
Using a power nailer is the most typical way to attach shoe molding and quarter-round trim. Many homeowners are, however, looking for non-power tool alternatives to do the task. The three ways have all been thoroughly explained.
The “best” strategy will depend on the individual.
Nonetheless, the nail gun method is preferred by the majority since it is simple to use and appears to be the most trustworthy.
The hand-nailing or glue choices, however, are also reliable methods if you reside in an apartment or other place where you aren’t allowed to make that much noise, or if you simply don’t have access to or feel comfortable using those tools!
Adding quarter-round trim is a classy option that is inexpensive and provides your flooring with a clean, professional appearance. We do recommend this as a worthwhile do-it-yourself project that can broaden your carpentry skill set and enable you to make some savings.