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What’s the Difference Between Shoe Molding vs. Quarter Round?
Life and Style Daily
October 03, 2021
5 min

Shall you go with quarter-round molding or go with shoe molding? It’s a trick question that you should consider after all of the fixes on your house.

Having your home finished with the coatings of the wall, it is essential to know what comes next after it. The little details that come beneath it were just as important as picking the color of your walls. So which mold are you going for?

Can’t tell the difference between the two? Don’t worry because this article got your back.

What Is Shoe Molding?

Looking at the floor of your house, you can see a slight indent that separates the floor and the wall, and that’s where shoe molding comes in.

Otherwise known as the base shoe, it gives off a finished look for your room with its small and thin strip molding that conceals all of the faulty looks of your floor or wall.

It performs the same job as the quarter-round molding, but they have a difference in appearance.

What Is Shoe Molding Used for?

It can be a little inconvenient to watch the corner of your room with lines beneath the wall, right? Besides, cleaning the premises can be a little more challenging because the dirt will surely bulk up. With the base shoe in it, you don’t have to worry about cleaning the line anymore.

As stated before, the primary use of this type of molding is to protect the base of your wall and cover the gaps found between them. It also provides a finish for your wall that keeps the end of your floors from looking dull and lifeless.

What Color Should You Choose for Your Shoe Molding?

Now, this is the next critical part. Choosing a color for your base shoe can easily be set but can be difficult to pair if you don’t consider your wall and floor color.

You can easily pick white, but you should also keep in mind that the adjacent room floor also plays a role in the color of your molding.

For example, if your floor is made of vinyl or ceramic and the one you have in your next room is hardwood floor, you can easily pick the color of your molding just the same as the hardwood ones.

What Is a Quarter Round?

While it is closely related to base shoes, quarter-round molding varies from the prior because of its shape and angle.

The molding in this instance has a 90-degree angle on its corner, while on the other, it has a circle radius, giving off a proportionate radius throughout its body.

Just like base shoes, you can see that it is attached to the ends of the wall as well. You can also attach some of the quarter-round moldings to your kitchen backsplashes and countertops to fill the gaps between them.

Why Would You Need Quarter Round Molding?

Just like the reason why you need the base shoe in your walls, it can give off a dash of sophistication on styling your wall and floors.

What Is the Standard Size of Quarter-Round Molding?

Aside from the specification that we mentioned earlier, quarter-round molding usually has a length of seven feet long. The pieces have a height and width of approximately 3/4 inches, which you can cut to make it fit if you want to install it manually.

Should You Match the Quarter Round to the Floor Color?

Matching the quarter-round molding with the floor is only necessary when you have a wood grain & stain kind of flooring. It is because when you match them, it looks as though it fits naturally.

On the other hand, if you use different floorings such as ceramic and the likes, it would be more appealing if you matched your baseboard. White is the most considered color, but just like in base shoes, it is also essential to think of the other rooms.

If your house is sporting authentic stained wood, you should match the baseboard molding by staining it. The reason why you should do so is that if you’re using the white ones on your quarter round while your walls are just stained, it will surely give off diverting attention which would look tasteless in the long run.

Shoe Moulding vs. Quarter Round: What’s the Difference?

  • Quarter round goes well with a sophisticated touch of well-rounded edge molding.
  • On the other hand, the base shoe gives a delicate fold at the look of the base of your baseboard.
  • If you’re looking for a fitting that does not have a lot of attention-grabbing features, the base shoe fits perfectly in this category.


  • Both of the pieces are customizable.
  • Both of them can be cut and installed easily.
  • The base shoe and quarter round display a professional and neat style on the floorings and countertops.

How To Install Shoe Molding and Quarter-Round Molding

Installing shoe and quarter-round molding can be extremely easy if you do it right. Perhaps you already know how to install one, or if not, you can follow the steps mentioned below to see if you got it right.

1. Prepare the Needed Tools

Installing the molding can be easy if you have the tools readily accessible for your access. Do not fret about the things that you will need because they are not that many. You will only need the following:

  • Nails
  • Miter box,
  • Measuring Tape
  • A putty knife
  • Saw
  • Nails
  • Nail gun (pneumatic)
  • Drill (optional)

You can also get some finishing tools like paint, a nail crayon, a nail setter, caulk, and varnish to achieve the professional look that you’re aiming for.

2. Have the Original Molding Removed

Pick up the utility knife and remove the old paint that holds the molding and the wall together carefully so you wouldn’t have the baseboard chipped in the process. Once you get it removed, you can take the putty knife away with the pulled molding.

Sanding and painting the baseboards are only necessary if you need to reshape them after removing the old ones. After that, you can now install the new molding finished with the surface and have the exact measurement. To top it all off, applying varnish is necessary to protect your new molding.

3. Apply the Molding

Now that you finished reading the new molding, you can nail down the molding with a pneumatic gun. Please make sure that it is centered with a distance of 1 to 2 feet between each nail to avoid cracking it.

4. Finish It All Up

This is the part where your caulk and nail crayon would come in handy. You can use these tools to fill the remaining gaps and hide the nails and paint them off. Wait for the paint to dry and ta-da! You now have a new molding in your home.

Shoe Moulding vs Quarter Round — Baseboard Styles

  • Plain Baseboard Style. The plain ones are either painted or stained.
  • Vinyl Baseboard Style. A versatile kind of baseboard style that you can match with your preference.
  • Back-Profiled Baseboard. Gives off high visual impact because of its cut-out covering the lower part of the wall.

Does the Base Shoe Need To Be Removed Before Refinishing or Installing a Wood Floor?

For refinishing the floor or installation, most experts would vouch for keeping it within the floor so that it would not cause any damages to your baseboard.

But if you can see that the base shoe needs to be replaced, or when you have uneven floors, it is the only time it is necessary.

Considerations When Choosing Quarter Round vs. Shoe Molding

There are many considerations you should keep in mind while choosing between quarter-round and base shoes. To name a few, you should:

  • Consider the size of the house
  • If you will still need to reinstall the flooring
  • The overall finish decision, whether it is paint or staining
  • The height you need for your baseboard

Do You Really Need Baseboard Molding?

Long story short, yes. You need molding in your baseboard because it protects your wall or plaster from having any physical damage from water and even dirt and debris. It can even conceal the crooked ends of your wall and your floor.

Shoe Molding vs. Quarter Round: Which Is Better To Fill Gaps?

In the long run, quarter round endured for years but now the homeowners are turning to the base shoe because it does not take up much space than the prior style. It is neat and overall improved the flooring and the baseboard combined.

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