Shoe molding and quarter round are almost the same molding styles and in some cases, people can even interchange one with the other. These are similar and very popular molding styles but they both have their specific uses. Now, before knowing more about shoe molding vs quarter round, you should know what molding means. Molding or molding is a technique for creating a specific design by shaping liquid or pliable raw material with the help of a rigid frame called a mold or matrix.
What Is Shoe Molding?
Shoe molding, also popular as base shoes, is a thin strip of molding that completes the look of baseboards. It is a trimming option that you can use right next to baseboards or walls. It is quite similar to quarter-round molding which features a curved edge. We use shoe molding as a form of smooth transition between the floor and the adjoining walls.
One thing which makes the shoe molding stand out is its design, you can get fewer curves as well as more curves like quarter round molding. But, it can vary in height and you can style it differently. Shoe molding has a standard width of ½ inches. It is a type of molding style which serves as a versatile cap for baseboards. You can solve many issues that you face when you are trying to cover seams and conceal variations between the flooring and baseboards.
What Is Quarter Round Molding?
You use quarter-round molding for the same purpose as you use shoe molding. People install it along surfaces like baseboards and walls. These moldings cover the gap that is present between the surface of the floor and its adjoining walls. You can also use it as the countertop surfaces and backsplashes.
Most of the quarter’s molding pieces are made of wood. In a cross-section, you will see that this molding piece has a curve in the edge and a shape that resembles ¾ of a circle. The edge that has curves is always facing outward which becomes visible as soon as you install the piece. That is why its name is quarter-round molding because it is always shaped like a quarter of a circle. These units are available in long strips of about 7 feet and you have to cut them according to the specific size before you install them.
Quarter Round Vs Shoe Molding
Here are some main differences between quarter round vs shoe molding:
- You get a less-pronounced curve when you use Shoe molding, whereas while using quarter round molding you will get a more prominent curve
- In shoe molding, you get a more squat profile, whereas quarter round molding gives a perfect quarter radius
- Shoe molding doesn’t have versatility, whereas quarter round molding is available in many sizes
- The width of shoe molding is only ½ inches, whereas quarter round molding is ¾ inches in width.
Materials For Base Shoe Vs Quarter Round
You can pair shoe molding and quarter round with many materials, such as wood, natural stone, laminate, and concrete. Generally, both molding styles are seen with either natural, solid wood, or wood veneers. As you can pair them with many materials, you get plenty of options to choose from. Here are some materials below that shoe molding and quarter round molding can use:
Wood is a top and popular choice among homeowners all over the world. The look of the natural wood grain is very appealing and eye-catching. You get 100%-renewability and it is a sustainable resource. Moreover, it hardly ever cracks or warps once you install it properly.
On the other hand, wood material is a little bit challenging to install. Furthermore, it is known to have natural imperfections. This means you won’t always get a smooth and clean wood appearance.
Medium-density fibreboard, also known as MDF, is an increasingly popular material among designers, contractors, and homeowners all over the earth and that is for a reason. It’s extremely versatile, which means you can use it in many parts of your home, including baseboards and molding.
It also has a smooth surface and you get no natural imperfections. It’s normally primed, which makes it easy to paint. Moreover, it doesn’t easily split, which makes it easier to install. MDF is a beautiful option for any designer and is always on a budget. It is the most cost-effective, high-end material present in the market.
Polystyrene is a plastic material that you can also use for molding and baseboards. It is the most favorable material choice because of its properties. This material is lightweight, durable, and easy to install. Unlike other materials, it is resistant to moisture, which means it will neither swell nor will get ruined when it comes in contact with water.
On the other hand, the texture of this material is not so good and is less desirable than the other options present in the market. Furthermore, it is a little inexpensive but that might affect the level of luxury and sophistication that you are looking for in molding.
Things You Should Consider While Choosing Between Shoe Vs Quarter Round
Here are some points you should keep in your mind while choosing between shoe vs quarter round:
The Scale Of The House
The most typical dimensions of quarter round available in the market are ¾” x ¾” while on the other hand, the most common size of shoe molding you get is ½” x ¾”. If you live in a place where your hallways have much space and your living space can easily handle large furniture without feeling confined, you may go for the quarter round option. The quarter round molding will give you a much more substantial look than shoe molding. It is almost important for large spaces from an aesthetic perspective.
On the other hand, if your hallways are tighter and have less space, you have to use shoe molding. The shoe molding will offer you more physical space when you have to move large furniture through the house.
You might be wondering that we’re only talking about a ¼” difference here, but remember this distance is a 50 percent increase in the comparison between both moldings. It is these many delicate details of a home that compound to create an overall impression about the style and comfort that a home provides.
The decision of quarter round vs shoe molding mostly arises when someone is installing new floors in the home. As a result of this process, the shoe molding will be torn up and most likely there will be a need to replace them. A big mistake that many people make while installing new floors is that they install new floors on the old ones. If they’re doing this to save money, they leave the baseboards exactly where they already were. This extra height from the new flooring will make the baseboards feel much smaller than they already did.
However, if your budget only allows for new floors and you still want your project to look as good, go with the shoe molding. Quarter round molding won’t look good with a second installation on your pocket.
Difference Between Base Shoe Vs Quarter Round
The two types of finishing trim are almost identical but shoe molding doesn’t have the same perfect quarter radius that you get from the quarter round. The look of shoe molding is squatter. You get more leeway in the shoe molding end cuts. However, both options will provide you the opportunity for hiding any floors that are un-level at the ends.
The flexibility of shoe molding can wind and mold with the floor to conceal any of the imperfections. However, you should know not all baseboards are compatible with shoe molding. This is the only caution because, to install the shoe molding, the bottom of the baseboard has to be flat.
You can also use quarter round molding along the baseboard to fill gaps, however, homeowners and carpenters often prefer to use shoe molding. This is because they give a sleeker, taller, and narrower look which is more desirable than the quarter round molding which gives a look that has more curves.
Shoe Molding Vs Quarter Round Price
In a comparison of shoe molding vs quarter round price, you will get shoe molding much cheaper than quarter round molding. The cost of quarter round molding is approximately $4.90 per linear foot. While on the other hand, you get shoe molding almost done for $0.50 per linear foot.
Quick Comparison Between Shoe Molding Vs Quarter Round
|Shoe Molding||Quarter Round Molding|
|Design||Less curvy in design, squat profile||More curvy in design, a perfect quarter radius|
|Versatility||Not available in many size||Available in many size|
|Width||½ inches width||¾ inches width|
|Price||$0.50 per linear foot||$4.90 per linear foot|
Both the moldings may appear the same but you will notice that the height of shoe molding is greater when you see it from the side. The shoe molding gives you more flooring space and offers the edges a more elegant look since the molding appears to hug the baseboard. But when you talk about the area that has ample space, the quarter round molding will blow your mind with its looks.
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