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post #1 of 14 Old 09-18-2008, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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New Probably Stupid Question

Hello,

I am currently building a house (well, I'm having one built by a contractor who is clueless on this) and am having an issue with base shoe. We had prefinished solid oak floors put in and my contractor decided that we should put the base down first so that as few people as possible would be on the floor after it was down. He assumed we would want base shoe and that would cover any space between the floor and base. Problem is, we aren't crazy about the base shoe at all, especially how it has to be mitered where it meets the plinth blocks at our doorways. I know that may be a common thing to do, but it is driving us crazy when we hold the shoe up to the base and see how far it sticks out, especially where it sticks out past the plinth.

My question is, does anyone know of a molding that we could use that is smaller than 1/2 inch in depth? We actually need it to be 1/4 inch in order to not stick out past the plinth. The guy who is making the shoe that we thought we were getting says he cant make it any smaller and swears that we can't rip it down after we get it because it will break. Any thoughts at all on this would be greatly appreciated. Or any ideas on where we might get a shoe or quarter round that is itsy-bitsy.

Thanks in advance. Sorry if I'm annoying, I'm desperate.

Julie
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-18-2008, 12:22 AM
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Julie5 I think I may be confused but Why are you putting base shoe down anyway. After the flooring goes down the base board goes on top of the flooring. Base shoe isnt needed. They used to put it down when you changed the Linoleum flooring. But not in a all new house.

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post #3 of 14 Old 09-18-2008, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply. The reason i need the shoe is that we put the base down before we put the hardwood down to preserve the floor as much as possible because it could not be refinished once it was down. There was no way to make a perfect fit that way so we now need base shoe to cover the areas where the floor did not fit tight up against the already- down base. Make sense?

Thanks,

Julie
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-18-2008, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie5 View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. The reason i need the shoe is that we put the base down before we put the hardwood down to preserve the floor as much as possible because it could not be refinished once it was down. There was no way to make a perfect fit that way so we now need base shoe to cover the areas where the floor did not fit tight up against the already- down base. Make sense?

Thanks,

Julie

Yes makes good since to me now. Because most base boards are the same thickness as the door trim or the plinth as you call it. You can buy 1/2 x 3/4 base shoe and 45* the ends. Then cut the long end of the 45* off to reveal about a 1/8 of an inch square or blunt end. The square or Blunt end should butt up to the edge of the door trim or where the base board touches the door trim. In most cases the shoe will stick out past the door trim. Thats just the way it is. The only other option I can give you is to use a thicker door trim like the 3 or 3 1/4 wide trims. They, I believe or 7/8 thick on the outside edge. Most 2" wide door trims are from 1/2 to 5/8 on the outside edge.

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Last edited by Handyman; 09-18-2008 at 01:38 AM.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-18-2008, 06:30 AM
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Any thought given to using thicker Plinth Blocks to conceal the ends of the shoe molding? Oh, and by the way, I don't believe shoe molding less than a 1/2" wide would do you much good. Most wood floors are installed with a gap between the walls and the flooring which may not be covered by anything much narrower. As an aside. I always put the base down first in rooms that will be carpetted or get vinyl flooring. That makes it easier to change years down the road without needing to remove the base, just the shoe molding which is much easier and cheaper to replace if need be. For rooms with wooden floors, flooring first then the base, always.

Ed
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-18-2008, 07:45 AM
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Julie is your door/entryway casing sitting on what we call "base blocks"? or does your casing go straight down to the floor? Most instances when the shoe molding projects beyond the casing it runs into (which is rare) then the end of it is nipped back to make for a neater appearance. If your casing sits on blocks, then there shouldn't be a problem.

Is the molding paint grade? (already primed) if so, then the guy is right. Most paint grade pine molding is finger jointed, meaning it has been assembled out of many many pieces jointed together resulting in weak spots in the joints. Especially with shoe molding it is already flimsy to begin with, ripping it to an even narrower thickness would make it a nightmare to handle.

As to your question, yes there are other moldings narrower to use, but you'd have to take a look at a trim catalog from your local lumberyard to see what suits you.

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post #7 of 14 Old 09-18-2008, 07:57 AM
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If all you want to do is add a 1/4" quarter round moulding, they are available...check here.

There are other ways to accomplish this trim detail. If the door casing is of the type that gets finished off at the bottom with a profiled block as you call a plinth, the back of the block could be built out to a depth so a shoe will stop at or near the front. Or, a build up piece could be added to the front to do the same thing. This build up can be used if it doesn't interfere with the door.

If the build up looks too deep, the back of the door casing can be built up the same amount to balance out the look. If a thicker shoe moulding will be used, it can be installed along the wall, and then follow the plinth edge and front and stop at the front edge of the face, with a 45 degree angle.

With solid wood flooring, there is usually a gap left for expansion. This gap is more necessary on walls that harbor long grain flooring as wood will expand across the grain, and not usually in its length. The professional way to do flooring/base is to install the floor first. Maybe you should call the contractor back to fix the problem at his cost. You can't feel sorry for a guy rushing to install. His excuse is a new one to me. He should have known better. The floor could have been protected if necessary.






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post #8 of 14 Old 09-18-2008, 11:52 AM
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It sounds to me like the trim guy didn`t want to work with the floor guy! The floor guys can install the floor if the base is allready down. The problem happened when the plenth blocks were installed too high. A professional floor crew should always have a jamb saw on sight...The trim guy made the mistake!! Rick

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post #9 of 14 Old 09-18-2008, 06:20 PM
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If a customer pays for 5.5" tall base. Than that is how much exposed base there should be, not bury 3/4" of the base behind the flooring. When we used to trim cookie cutter developments the builder used to have us slam down this weak little 3.5" base than the floor guys would undercut it leaving the finished product looking like 1" doorstop for baseboard. It all depended on how the job was scheduled. Trimmers in first, or floor guys in first. On those jobs, the builder was all about banging them out assembly line style. (boy those days are gone)

Now when we trim a house that's getting hardwood flooring after us, we hold the base up. If the wall is 13' long, I'll lay a few blocks of the flooring to be used down along the edge of the wall, lay my piece of base on top of that, and nail it up. The floor guys slide right up under it, and you get your full height of baseboard exposed.

I still don't understand why the shoe would project out past your blocks. Most blocks are made from 7/8 thick material.

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post #10 of 14 Old 09-20-2008, 12:50 PM
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I think it is a mistake to put the baseboard in before the flooring. Big mistake.


Michael
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post #11 of 14 Old 09-20-2008, 01:20 PM
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Huge Mistake...
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post #12 of 14 Old 09-21-2008, 12:45 AM
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I prefer floor before base, but a lot of pros don't and they make some valid points.
Different stokes...
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post #13 of 14 Old 09-21-2008, 02:37 PM
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Julie,
There may be a lot of reasons they put the base down first. I would not do it this way. Like handyman said, if the base is around 5/8" thick, and the plinth blocks slightly thicker, the shoe mold is always going to project past the plinth or if it were casing going all the way to the floor, it would project past the casing. Use a shoe that is 5/8" thick by 3/4" tall. Do not use a true quarter round molding that is 3/4" x 3/4". Aesthetically, in my opinion, it always looks nicer having the shoe mold (if properly done) on any kind of hard flooring rather than not having it. Even if they had put the base down after the flooring, I would install the shoe. It is one more small detail that makes the job looked finished. I install it like handyman mentioned. I would cut a 45 deg angle on the end. Then see how much the casing or plinth block projects past the base, and then cut a 90 deg cut on the end of the angle to leave a small flat so it butts up even with the casing or plinth. I will also take a sanding block and slightly round over the 45 deg cut to soften it up a bit. It looks a bit more finished that way. Good luck,
Mike Hawkins
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post #14 of 14 Old 10-16-2008, 11:06 PM
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Julie: I can make 1/4" quarter round or base shoe. It will have to be installed with a small pin nailer so it won't split. If you still need it I would be happy to quote it for you.
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