Home Improvement Ideas Home Remodeling Carpentry How to Install Shoe Molding for the Perfect Finishing Touch Cover gaps between hard flooring and baseboards and provide the perfect finishing touch to your room remodel with our tutorial on how to install shoe molding. By Caitlin Sole Caitlin Sole Instagram Caitlin Sole is the senior home editor at BHG. She is a writer and editor with nearly a decade of interior design expertise. She has vast experience with digital media, including SEO, photo shoot production, video production, eCommerce content, print collaboration, and custom sales content. Learn about BHG's Editorial Process Updated on June 3, 2022 Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Jacob Fox Project Overview Total Time: 6 hours Skill Level: Intermediate The first thing to know about installing shoe molding is that it teams up with baseboards in most homes to add a finished look to trim. You'll find shoe molding in rooms with 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's 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 lets you 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 how to install shoe molding. What You'll Need Equipment / Tools Pencil Miter saw Stain marker Pneumatic brad nailer Wood block Coping saw Materials Wood glue Nails Base shoe molding Instructions Choose Shoe Molding There's a wide range of commercially available base shoe molding profiles. Quarter round trim ranges from a dainty 1/4-inch size to a massive 1-1/16-inch dimension. A true base shoe is taller than it is wide, enabling it to conceal a large vertical gap without appearing chunky. With a table saw and router, you can also make custom baseboard and shoe molding profiles. Craig Anderson Mark Shoe Molding Measurements To make shoe molding that dives into the casing, cut the strip to length, then butt it against the casing. Angle your pencil to get a line as close to the casing as possible and draw a vertical mark. Before committing to your finished molding, practice this step and the next on a few scrap pieces of molding to get the exact fit you want. Craig Anderson Cut Shoe Molding Set your miter saw to make a 45-degree cut, then remove the tiny nick of wood that ends at the pencil line. If you're working with stained molding that has a clear finish, a stain marker will take away the raw-wood look in a hurry. Jacob Fox Attach Shoe Molding to Baseboard Pushing down on thin base shoe molding makes it conform to a wavy floor for a no-gap fit. A pneumatic brad nailer makes driving fasteners a one-handed task and eliminates the tedious job of burying each head with a nail set. A wood block keeps your hand safely back from the nail gun. How to Use a Nail Gun Craig Anderson Cope Inside-Corner Trim Pieces Cope inside corners for tight-fitting joints that look great even if the corner is out of square. (And the corner is almost always out of square.) Coping most base shoe molding is a simple matter of following a smooth line. How to Use a Coping Saw Craig Anderson Place Outside-Corner Pieces Outside corners of base shoe molding are mitered, like the baseboard itself. Adding a touch of glue is inexpensive insurance that the joint will stay closed. To avoid splitting this small-scale lumber, resist the urge to drive nails too close to the end.