We had a guy come by to finish some previous tile work we had done. The morning of finishing the tile, he called and said he couldn't get the grout to stick along the edges, and it was just going under the baseboards and not setting up. He suggested we instead install 1/4 round to cover the edges.

I was fine with this, but the corners look... not right? exhibit a exhibit b exhibit c

Considering these pieces are cut, do I have any options to fix this without buying more 1/4 round?

  • 12
    The why is easy - they were lazy or didn't know how to do it right. The bigger question is how do you fix it.
    – uSlackr
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 21:01
  • 8
    I've contacted the contracting company (this went through Lowe's > local contractor > sub-contractor). The local contractor company is going to make this right, and assured me this is not how it should have looked.
    – ctote
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 21:11
  • 1
    Unfortunately most cabinet installers are just that, installers. They're not typically what you would call "skilled trades", and it often shows. More high end companies would have a carpenter come in and do the finish work, but obviously that drives up the price of the install.
    – Tester101
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 13:44

5 Answers 5


That's the worst job I've ever seen at installing quarter round. As others have said, your installer was incredibly lazy.

There are several different techniques that could be used for terminating the corner rounds in both the corners and at the ends.

A simple 45° miter is the simplest for both inside and outside corners. If you want to get fancy, you can cope one of the pieces. Both of these joints look identical when they're installed.

enter image description here

(Image Source)

For the bare ends that stop at a non-corner location, you can do either a mitered return, or just miter the outside edge at 45° and let it angle up against the wall/cabinets.

enter image description here

(Image Source)

As for your questions about fixing the quarter round without buying new, you can probably get away with doing so for your cabinets, but not on the inside corners. For the cabinets, it will look a lot more natural if you miter the ends so they taper back up against the cabinet.

For the corners, you could buy a short length (12-24" or so) and splice it by cutting back the existing quarter round a slightly smaller distance. Then miter or cope the new piece appropriately.

  • 1
    A coped joint is more difficult to make than a miter, but they generally end up looking better. For a miter to look good, the corner would either need to be perfectly square to do 45 degree cuts, or you would need to use a tool to measure the angle and have a saw that can cut it at the perfect angle. Otherwise, the corners won't meet perfectly. There is more play in a coped joint, and you typically don't need to cut precise angles for it to look good. Coped joints also stay together a little bit better if there is any shifting in the wall. Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 19:17
  • There is slightly more surface in contact between the pieces in a coped joint that has been well cut, so more strength also.
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 21:47
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    Yeah but for us non-professionals a miter joint is a ton easier to cut with a standard compound miter saw. Cuts through trim like butter and easy to measure.
    – user4302
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 23:36
  • The Image source link in this answer has a ton of good info!
    – kinar
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 15:48

Exceptionally unprofessional work. The quarter rounds should be mitered together at a minimum. They're not even touching at all in your second and third pictures. It's just cosmetic, though. Not gonna hurt anything except your aesthetic preferences.

  • Does the edge of wood on the 2nd and 3rd picture matter? Could he have removed, or trimmed around it? Personally, I think it looks horrible.
    – ctote
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 16:04
  • 1
    Yes, there are a number of techniques that could have been used to make this look better. Needless to say, your installer didn't. But the good news is that it's easy to remove these pieces and fix it yourself if you have a miter box and some saws and stuff.
    – iLikeDirt
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 16:30

I agree with ILikeDirt; This installation is awful. I think the best thing to do is to remove all of the quarter round around the cabinets.

To fill the gaps, try to use a sanded caulk that is roughly the same color as your grout. It should setup fine and stay looking good for a number of years. One thing you will want to make sure to do is tape off the area with masking/painter's tape. You don't want to get the caulk on your woodwork or tile.

FYI quarter round is not the correct type of molding for that purpose. The installer should have used shoe molding which looks similar, but has a slightly different contour.


Your second and third photos show where the thin piece of wood that is used to cover the end of the toe kick should be cut to the height of the quarter round. Before I install the quarter round I use a scrap piece of quarter round and a saw or an oscillating tool and cut them to the right height. Heres 2 photosenter link description hereenter image description here


That is some shoddy work. Mitering 45° angles in wood trim is standard practice for any carpenter or handyman.

I'm appalled at the "nerve" that a person would do this and say "I'm done" and expect payment. Ugh.

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