Do you always need quarter round when you are having a wood floor installed if a baseboard is being installed?

Updated November 24, 2020
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Question by Guest_93551003: I have one wood floor installer who insists on using quarter round plus the baseboard for my floor installation, whereas my contractor and another floor installer say it's not necessary. The baseboard should be enough if the installers are careful about how they install the wood floor. Is the first installer just trying to make more money off of me?

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Answered by ContractorDon: He may be trying to speed up the process of laying the floor, yes you do need expansion room for the flooring to expand but between the space normally there where the sheetrock meets the wall and the baseboard it should be enough without the 1/4 round. He does not have to be as carefull cutting if he has an extra 1/2 inch provided by the 1/4 round. My house is done with only baseboard and looks great after 14 years of expansion and contraction.


Answered by LCD: sk him why the 1/4 round is needed - I have seen houses where the drywall was installed sitting on the subfloor and mudded to fill the gap at the top, so there is no gap under the drywall to provide expansion space for the flooring. If you basebaord is only 1/4 or 3/8" material, that is cutting it mighty close for expansion/contraction space, so he might be saying do this to protect you from having visible gaps around the edge, or to prevent the floor from shrinking short of the baseboard, then catching on it when it reexpands, which could ruin the floor. If your drywall did not have flooring gap space left under it, and your baseboards are less than 3/4" thick, I would agree with him. Remember, depending on floor size and type of material, you need 1/4-1/2" gap all around - but as a floating floor shrinks and expands, it is common for all the shrinkage to be toward one edge that for whatever reason locks in place, so an initial 1/2" edge all around can become 1" on one wall and zero on the opposite one - which would likely leave an open gap along the baseboard.

Answered by TLD: Sometimes those "un-necessary" things, can be what makes the finished job last longer. Please consider the reasons mentioned by LCD, and that the floor installer might just be trying to do a quility job for years to come is entirely possible. Ask him to explain. 1/4 round doesn't cost that much, and doesn't take that long to put in place.

Other option: you have hired a contractor, and he has hired a floor installer for your job, and have talked to a second floor man? It's a discission that should have been just between you and your contractor in the job specs. or (if that little detail was un-forseen) leave it between your contractor and his sub-contractor. If it messes up, it would be something your contractor would be responsible to get corrected.

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