The Cross House

Being Agog With Base Shoe Molding

Base shoe molding is that little strip of molding at the bottom of your base. It is intended to fill the gap between floor and base.

Most of the shoe base in my parlor was missing, and what remained broke apart when removed. It tends to do that.

So, I knew I would have to buy new base shoe. OK. What I was dreading though was having to stain the many thin pieces, and then put on several coats of varnish (sanding between coats). UGH. How tedious was that going to be?

Imagine, if you will then, my delight in discovering something quite extraordinary.


Pre-stained and pre-varnished base shoe!!!!!!!!


So with hardly any work on my part, done! I am agog! I am thrilled!  (Wall color not accurate.)



10 Responses to Being Agog With Base Shoe Molding

  1. The thing that drives me mad is that new base shoe is usually 3/4″ quarter round and the old stuff was at least 1″ and up, sometimes as much as 1 1/4″. As a woodworker, I feel guilty if I don’t buy the router bit and mill my own.

    The 3/4″ looks perfectly fine, but I notice every time I see it. So to mix metaphors another straw is added to my descent into madness every time I notice.

    “Don’t look, Ethel, but she’d already got a free shot”

    • Hi Stewart!

      You will be pleased to know that the new shoe is not a 1/4-round.

      It is 3/4 x 1/2.

      The old shoe was only 1/16-inch higher.

  2. I find it even more frustrating when so many people use regular quarter-round instead of rhe asymmetric base shoe. Even if standard modern base shoe is smaller than what has been used in the past, it looks better than round.

    • I agree with you Seth, my point was that I believe in matching the original accurately. I have also seen original shoe with a cyma curve.

      In reality, I don’t think the Cross House would have shoe at all since it was originally carpeted, at least on the first floor.

      I would also mention that, although I am firm on this point, don’t look at the shoe in my house.

      • Stewart, I concur that the Cross House did not likely have shoe molding because of the original wall-to-wall carpet on the first and second floors.

        It seems that the oak floors were installed in 1929 and 1950. I assume that the shoe mold was put in at that time.

      • Wow, I have not seen cyma shoe before; very interesting!

        And finally, after complaining about quarter-round, I should admit that the original shoe moulding in our kitchen, pantry, and mudroom is in fact 3/4″ quarter-round. How about that, haha!

        I am quite confident it is original, because it is the same the old-growth pine as the baseboards, and all of the dings and scratches align.

        Upstairs, a previous owner used 1/4″x1″ flat stock with a large roundover 3/8″ or larger radius, I haven’t measured). I’ve kept it, even in areas I’ve done work, as it actually looks quite good against the 8″ tall base with simple roundover profile (original). Plus, furniture fits 1/2″ closer to the walls 🙂

        • It was in my first house, which was what I call Victorian tract housing. The house was one of five alike, The shoe actually started from the floor vertically for about 1/4″, and coved in before curving toward the base. It was about 3/4″ high and 1/2″ deep and was quite attractive.

  3. My house has base shoe very much like Stewart described above. It is has an “ogee” shape and router bits can be purchased to duplicate it. I used old flooring boards of old growth pine, ripped them to proper size and routed them to duplicate the existing base shoe. For good or bad, no one except me will know that the base shoe is not original. An exact duplicate but not original.

    • Very nice, just my style! I spent considerable effort at matching the millwork in our house where I needed new or replacement pieces. So far, I have been able to do everything with a router table and table saw, although if I ever have a house with really intense profiles, I may need to move up to a shaper.

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