Shoe Molding vs. Quarter Round: Which & Why
Author: Omar Alonso | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Shoe molding and quarter round are home improvement materials used to enhance the appearance of a room and protect its baseboards. Shoe molding is a thin strip placed at the bottom of the baseboard to fill the gap between the floor and the wall. At the same time, a quarter round is molding shaped like a quarter circle that covers holes and provides a decorative touch. So which would you prefer between shoe molding vs. quarter round?
Both moldings add an aesthetically pleasing touch to the home while protecting the baseboards and other areas of the room. Knowing the differences between these two types of molding can help you determine which is best for your home improvement needs.
What is the same and different about shoe molding and quarter round? In this article, we'll look at what shoe molding and quarter rounds are, what shoe molding and quarter rounds are for, how they're similar, and how they're different; so that you can choose the right one for your home improvement needs.
What is Shoe Molding?
What is shoe molding? Shoe molding is a thin strip that covers the area between the floor and the baseboard and is one of the main baseboard styles out there. It goes at the bottom of the baseboard to cover the gap. The shoe molding is made of a strong material like solid wood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Shoe molding gives the room a finished look and keeps the baseboards from getting damaged.
Different Kinds of Shoe Molding
- Solid Wood Shoe Molding: This shoe molding is the most traditional type. It is made of solid wood. Solid wood shoe molding is the most durable and long-lasting option, but it also costs the most.
- MDF Shoe Molding: This type of shoe molding is made of medium-density fiberboard and costs less than solid wood. MDF shoe molding is less likely to warp and crack than solid wood, but it only lasts for a short time.
- PVC Shoe Molding: This type of shoe molding is the least expensive. It is made of polyvinyl chloride. Additionally, PVC shoe molding is simple to install and resistant to water damage, making it a popular choice for bathrooms and kitchens.
Uses of Shoe Molding
Shoe molding is often used in the living room, bedroom, and hallways. It is also often used to keep the baseboards in bathrooms and kitchens from getting wet. It's commonly used as a type of crown molding along the ceiling corners as well. Shoe molding can also be used to hide flaws in the room, such as gaps between the baseboard and the floor or other spots. It should match the baseboard height stylistically.
What is Quarter Round Molding?
What is quarter round molding? Quarter round is a type of molding that looks like a quarter circle and is used to cover holes and add a decorative touch to a room. It is often made of solid wood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), like shoe molding. The purpose of the quarter round vs. shoe molding is to give a room a finished look and cover up gaps and other flaws.
Different Kinds of Quarter Round Molding
- Solid Wood Quarter Round: This type of quarter round is the most traditional and is made of solid wood. Solid wood quarter round is the most durable and long-lasting option, but it also costs the most.
- MDF Quarter Round: This type of quarter round is made of medium-density fiberboard and costs less than solid wood. MDF quarter round is less likely to warp and crack than solid wood, but it only lasts for a short time.
- PVC Quarter Round: This type of quarter round is made of polyvinyl chloride and is the least expensive choice. PVC quarter round is also easy to put up and doesn't get damaged by water, which makes it a popular choice for bathrooms and kitchens.
Uses for Quarter Round Molding
Quarter round is often used in living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways, among other places. A quarter round can also hide imperfections in the room, like gaps between the floor and the baseboard. Furthermore, the quarter round is frequently combined with other moldings, such as crown molding, to make a room appear more decorative and put together.
What’s the Same & What’s Different?
How are shoe molding and quarter round molding similar? Both shoe molding and quarter round are used to fill in spaces and make a room look nice. Also…
- Material: Quarter round and shoe molding are usually made of solid wood, MDF, or PVC.
- Installation: Both shoe molding and quarter round can be cut to size and glued or nailed into place.
What makes shoe molding vs. quarter round different? Shoe molding looks like a strip along the baseboard, while a quarter round looks like a quarter circle.
- Placement: Shoe molding goes on the floor right up against the baseboard, and a quarter round goes along the baseboard to cover the space between the floor and the baseboard.
- Protection: Shoe molding is made to keep the baseboard from getting scuffs and scratches. Quarter round is made to keep the baseboard from getting wet.
So ultimately what we’re talking about is a difference of function (what they’re meant to protect) and what they look like once installed.
Shoe Molding vs. Quarter Round: Pros & Cons of Each
Shoe molding is simple to install and protects the baseboards. However, shoe molding can be hard to clean and can stand out more than a quarter round.
Quarter round is easy to put up, protects the baseboard well, and stands out less than the shoe molding. Unfortunately, quarter round costs more than shoe molding and is more susceptible to water damage.
Quarter Round vs. Shoe Molding Protection
The baseboard is well protected by shoe molding and quarter round but in different ways. Shoe molding protects the baseboard from scuffs and scratches, and quarter round protection keeps moisture away from the baseboard.
The type of protection you need will depend on what your room needs. Shoe molding is better if you want to protect your baseboard from scuffs and scratches. A quarter round is better if you want to keep water away from your baseboard.
Considerations When Choosing Quarter Round or Shoe Molding
What do you want to accomplish with the molding? Do you want to cover up holes and make the room look nice, or do you want to protect the baseboard from scuffs, scratches, or moisture?
What Material Do You Want the Molding To Be Made Of?
Solid wood, MDF, and PVC have pros and cons, and the best material for you will depend on your budget and the room's needs.
How hard is it to put the molding in place? Both shoe molding and quarter round are easy to put in, but some types of molding may be easier to work with than others.
Aesthetic Style of Your Home Decor
What style are you going for with the molding in your room? Choose quarter round molding instead of shoe molding if you want your finished product to have a more understated appearance. Shoe molding is more noticeable and bold than quarter round molding. You can use both if you desire for an even more ornate look as if you bulit-up your own intricate molding.
Tips for Choosing the Right Shoe Molding or Quarter Round
Think about what you need: What do you hope to get out of the molding? Are you looking for a decorative touch, protection from scuffs and scratches, or protection from water?
Select the Right Stuff
Choose the suitable material based on your budget and the room's needs. Think about how it will be installed: Make sure to pick a molding that is easy to install and comfortable working with.
Think About the Style
Think about the kind of atmosphere you want to create in the room, and then choose a molding that goes with that style. If you're into minimalism or maximalism, you'll be making completely difference decisions, for example.
Ask a Professional for Help
Ask a professional if you need clarification on what molding will work best for you. A professional can help you determine what molding will work best for you and help you put it up.
The Shoe Molding vs. Quarter Round Debate!
Shoe molding and quarter round are two flexible and functional molding options that can make any room in your home look and work better. When choosing between shoe molding and quarter round, consider your needs, the style you want to achieve, and how easy it will be to install. Both types of molding protect your baseboard and can be made from solid wood, MDF, or PVC, among other things.
Consider putting in shoe molding vs. quarter round if you want to add a touch of style and functionality to your home. It's an excellent choice for any home improvement project because it has many uses and is easy to work with. So why hold out? Start right away and see how it can change your home.