I am installing a floating floor (click-lock). The molding is all coming off anyway. Can I use just molding to hold the floating floor down or must I use molding AND quarter-round??

  • What type of click-lock? Do you have pictures of your molding and bare wall where floor will be installed? – DMoore Aug 9 '13 at 16:55
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    Home Depot part number HL9318. Its a Home Depot house brand cork floor. – Freiheit Aug 9 '13 at 18:02
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    And I will again link to my blog post on flooring. It answers a lot of the basic questions. diy.blogoverflow.com/2012/09/… – Chris Cudmore Aug 9 '13 at 18:15
  • @ChrisCudmore - Your blog post never really mentions trim. I think the takeway from your post is "leave a 1/4" gap between the floor and the vertical surface it goes up against then cover that gap with a wide enough trim piece to hide the gap as it expands and contracts". Is that a fair summation? – Freiheit Aug 12 '13 at 16:00
  • Yes, that is correct. – Chris Cudmore Aug 12 '13 at 18:56

Most molding (skirting board) is 3/8" thick. You need a 1/4 inch gap around the floor to allow for expansion due to moisture. So if you're going up right against the drywall, you'll have a problem with getting molding thick enough to cover it (minor variations in the gap WILL show).

One alternative is to buy the stuff they sell as window/door casing which is usually closer to 3/4" thick on one edge. This is a bit pricier, and can look a bit heavy.

An attractive alternative, which can give you a nice look is to use door stop instead of quarter round. This is basically the same as using quarter round, but it's smaller and lighter, and doesn't encroach on the floor as much.

enter image description here

However, if your drywall doesn't come all the way down to the floor (usually a basement scenario) then as long as you have that quarter inch gap under the drywall free and clear, you should be ok with just ordinary skirting board.

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    Your remarks as to why I need a gap and that the 1/4 round is used to cover that gap was helpful. – Freiheit Aug 9 '13 at 18:03
  • It's not hard to find baseboards thicker than 3/8". I installed some 6" tall baseboards in my last house (which, IMHO, looks much nicer than the regular 4" stuff) and it was 1/2" thick. I had to be creative with the toilet supply line because it was mounted low, but it worked out (you can also see the thickness in that picture, and that is installed over a floating laminate floor with 1/4" gap). I also dislike quarter-round so I left it off. – gregmac Aug 9 '13 at 23:05

No you never need to use quarterround. I try to do all installs without using it.

2 best options:

  1. Slice out the bottom .25-.5 inch of drywall so that your flooring has the proper expansion gap.
  2. Buy trim that is thicker and will cover expansion gap.

Also you should never press down trim on flooring - it can be gently set on it. If you do press down on flooring you can see some interesting results in a year or two after humidity changes in the house.

  • "Buy trim that is thicker and will cover expansion gap." So I need a 1/4" expansion gap. How thick should the trim be to cover that? 1/2"? 3/4" 5/8" – Freiheit Aug 12 '13 at 13:42
  • 1/2" would be plenty. – DMoore Aug 12 '13 at 15:31
  • 1/2 inch should be plenty, but it depends on how accurate your cuts are on the flooring itself. – Chris Cudmore Sep 16 '13 at 18:34
  • @ChrisCudmore - if your flooring cuts are off by more than a 1/4 inch, I would recut. – DMoore Sep 16 '13 at 20:56

Gravity should be holding your floor down. Moulding should be mostly decorative in that sense.

So, use whatever you prefer aesthetically.

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