In most homes, shoe molding teams up with baseboards in rooms that have hard flooring surfaces such as tile, stone, sheet vinyl, hardwood, and laminate. For years, quarter-round molding (a name based on its end view) was considered the primary base shoe option. The only real question was whether you chose 1/2- or 3/4-inch quarter-round trim. But there is actually a wide range of shoe molding profiles, and you can even make your own base molding.
The small scale and simple lines of most base shoe molding make it easy to cope the inside corners. After cutting the copes in a roomful of baseboard, it will seem like a quick and easy job. The flexibility of base shoe molding enables you to bend it to conform with wavy floors that are almost universal in older homes and still quite common in new construction.
The most important thing to know about shoe molding is that you always nail it into the wall, never the floor. Once you've gathered your tools and materials, follow our step-by-step instructions for installing shoe molding.