Quarter Round Basics

Hello Folks, the Jayfest is making a guest appearance to introduce a small (but lengthy)  piece of work recently completed on our 1st floor. (PS - Jay made me say that - it is definitely not done yet!) You saw the "movie trailer" that teased The Quarter Round love story, so now here are the deets on the progress we've made.

Take it away, Jay...

Hello everyone! Like Christen has mentioned in the past, our contractor completed all of our new woodwork around the house, but the original baseboards looked unfinished where they met the floor. To give the lower woodwork a more complete look, we added quarter round to most of the room perimeter downstairs. Think of quarter round sort of like crown molding, except for it's for the seam of your baseboard and floor, instead of the trim and ceiling. Get it?

The whole process took me several months because I completed the work section by section with plenty of procrastination in between. House projects are more of a hobby for me, so I don’t go into “full production mode” like the proprietor of this blog.  If properly equipped and motivated, one could finish this job in a few days.  There are several main steps, including:

  • Measurement (length of the wall & it's angle)

  • Miter cutting

  • Priming the material (we opted for unprimed, unpainted quarter round although you can buy it that way)

  • Painting the material

  • Install (drilling, nailing, sinking)

  • Finish detailing (calking and painting)

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The overall cost of the project is low depending on the work area and availability of tools.  I will break down the estimated project costs, because I am the extremely stingy Chief Financial Officer of our household.  We bought:

  • Material (5/8” quarter round) - $.88/ft. at Home Depot

  • Compound Miter Saw from Clearance rack - $59.  Some people would advise against buying opened, gently used electric saws, but I am not one of them.

  • Hammer $10

  • Finish Nails $5

  • Power Drill $50 (optional)

  • Nail sinker $5

  • Primer $15

  • White Paint $25

  • Adhesive Caulk $10

Overall, the job cost me under $200, and I came out with a nice miter saw which I can use for other work. The average onlooker is not going to notice the quarter round, but they would have definitely noticed the worn areas of the old baseboard that the quarter round masked.

There was one major obstacle of this project:  The base portion of the stairwell is rounded instead of angular. Standard wooden quarter round is not going to wrap around these areas, so we actually purchased a flexible quarter round, which is malleable and can be cut and adhered to a rounded surface. Flex quarter round is much more expensive ($30 for 8 feet), more difficult to install, and must be special ordered (ours was from Home Depot), so it really should only be used in these custom situations.

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We're really happy with the way it turned out. It covers the rough spots and old nail holes from the old trim and gives us the "finished look" we were after.

In the extended video I'll be releasing this weekend, I will include some general quarter round installation tips which I learned throughout the project. Check back next week.