Why Use Shoe Moldings?

Why should you incorporate shoe moldings into your work? We’ve addressed some basic questions regarding shoe moldings below.

What are shoe moldings used for?

According to the NWFA, “Wood floors require expansion space at the wall and all vertical obstructions. Moldings are used to cover the expansion area, to hide cut ends, to adjust height differences or transitions between floors and to aesthetically finish the area.”

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Using shoe molding gives the floor installer more latitude in their end cuts and also allows you to hide the expansion gaps between the wall and the floor. Due to the small and flexible nature of the shoe molding, it is able to expand and contract along with the floor.

Prefinished shoe moldings in particular are great because they’re easy to install and give you a beautiful, seamless end result.

What is the difference between shoe moldings and quarter rounds?

Shoe moldings and quarter rounds are very similar. They both feature a 90° angle on the backside. However, instead of being a perfect quarter radius, a shoe molding has a flatter profile. A quarter-round is also slightly larger than a shoe molding––it is a full one-quarter of a round dowel.

Do you need to install shoe molding in every case?

Whether you decide to install shoe molding usually comes down a matter of personal preference. It depends on what your clients are looking for, and how they feel about the expansion gap between the floors and the wall. If the homeowners are concerned about the expansion gap, you might want to consider installing shoe molding to cover it up. The shoe molding will conform to the floor’s surface, allowing it to fluctuate along with the floor while tastefully hiding expansion gaps. 

Note that shoe molding should always be installed after the floors are installed. For instructions on how to install shoe moldings, check out this helpful and comprehensive how-to article on The Spruce.

Click here to browse our extensive selection of shoe moldings (unfinished and prefinished) or call (800) 737-1786 for more information.

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