Color of Quarter Round Shoe Molding for Natural Oak Floors

cicadacatApril 27, 2014

Hi all,

I'm getting ready to replace my ugly old w/w carpet with new natural red oak engineered wood floors (3 1/2" width) and am trying to figure out what color I should choose for the quarter round shoe molding. My walls are pale gray and the existing trim is white. And while I'd love to have a beautiful, deep baseboard molding, mine is very simple, only about 3 inches and plainly curved (which will somewhat mimic the 1/4 round). My first inclination was to go with white quarter round, to match and visually extend the trim, but apparently many people simply go with a color that matches the floors instead. I've been searching for pictures of both but am not having much luck finding something comparable to what I'll have.

This is my first time getting wood floors so I don't know the pros and cons of a choice like this. Any thoughts from those with more experience? Things I should think about and consider? (I imagine I'll get answers that will tell me just to go with my gut, but I'd also like to hear from others who may have some opinion either way.)

Also, I'm seeing posts about how the shoe molding is being installed. I have to have it because the floor is engineered and floating over concrete, but is it supposed to have a gap between the 1/4 round trim and the floor? How much of one? Should it be nailed to the floor or the baseboard? I need to know what to look for so I can intervene and ask educated questions if I need to.

Many thanks in advance!

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I think stained shoe on white trim looks odd. I don't understand why people do this. The only advantage I can think of is you wouldn't see scuffing from the vacuum cleaner, but I doubt that's why it is done. It does make the base look squatty.

Shoe should rest on the floor and be nailed to the base. You will find a gap during less humid times of year as the woods shrinks, say if you installed it during more humid weather when it was swelled with moisture.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 4:15AM
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Match it to your trim.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 6:54AM
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In the 2 homes that we have owned, we have done it both ways. In our first home we had the oak strip flooring refinished and we painted the quarter round to match with the trim. In short order they were scuffed and chipped badly. In our second home we refinished the old oak strip flooring in the downstairs and they automatically stained the quarter round. I had never seen this before, but 30 years later, the quarter round is as good as the day they stained it. I love it.
It does not appear odd at all. In fact it just blends in with the floor. We chose this staining again when we did the upstairs a few years ago. Upstairs we have some oak and some maple and both floors/quarter rounds look amazing, clean and unobtrusive.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 1:52PM
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