I can't seem to find a definitive answer to this age old question, should a shoe
molding be nailed to the baseboard or to the hardwood floor?
From what I could find out with a Google search, There are 2 theories on this:
1) If you nail it to the floor, no gap will appear between the shoe and the
floor if the floor sags. The downside is, when the hardwood floor expands and
contracts (normal winter, summer movement), it will crack the paint seam between
the shoe and the baseboard
2) If you nail it to the baseboard, the paint seam will not crack when the
hardwood floor expands and contracts, but a gap will appear if the floor sags.
Did I get this right?
Not sure what you read and whether you transcribed it correctly, but I
can tell you that you do not nail shoe molding to the floor. The floor
is meant to expand and contract, and that movement is unavoidable, even
with engineered wood floors. Nailing molding to the floor defeats the
purpose of the expansion space around the perimeter of the floor and
you will see some nasty gaps where you don't want to see them.
Now what's this about a floor sagging? If it sags, you have a bigger
problem than where to attach the molding.
Always nail to the base board. Unless the wall is a masonry product.
When you nail shoe moulding to the flooring across the grain, ie.
across the end of the floor boards, expansion of the floor boards will
do crazy things to the joint between the base and the shoe moulding.
I've seen a floor move enough to pull the nails upwards 1/4" at the
ends of the shoe.
If humidity in your area doesn't fluctuate, then you may get away with
it. Kentucky has humidity issues. Arizona may not. I have no idea where
you are. I'd say it's a judgement call for you to make, then live with
Tom in KY, where the humidity rises and falls daily, thanks to the rain
and the temps dropping like a stone at night.
That's my personal call though, If I have an elevated fireplace hearth,
I'll nail to the floor or glue to the masonry with a silicone or a
clear latex caulking. I wont nail it every 12", maybe 1 at each end,
maybe one in the middle. On new construction, when the mortar is still
green, I try to avoid cracking the joints. Pounding nails into dowels
either in the mortar joint or bricks, does nothing to avoid this. On
older construction, this will not be so much of a problem. I can't
recall ever seeing base board run around an elevated hearth though. If
I had to run base around an elevated hearth, I'd use lead insert
anchors and trim screws to fasten. Then you could fasten the shoe to
Tom in KY, Nailing through the floor voids the warranty on some
laminated flooring materials. If the floor shrinks away from a parallel
wall, then the floor will crack open at a joint and may come apart or,
delaminate, splinter on the edge and possibly curl up and grab a foot!
Kind of simple, do you nail the baseboard to the
floor? no. So why would you nail the shoe to the
floor. The floor is suppose to be independent.
You shouldn't plan for something that isn't
suppose to happen (floor sagging).
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