Shoe Moulding vs. Quarter Round: What’s the Difference?

March 13, 2021

By: The Finished Space

Shoe Moulding vs. Quarter Round: What’s the Difference?

For Blog Only - Sabrina Scrivo - Quarter Round vs. Shoe Moulding

Sabrina Scrivo

Shoe moulding and quarter round are almost identical moulding styles, and utilizing them can elevate the look and design of any home. Many people believe these two moulding styles are interchangeable. At a glance, that seems to be the case, but that’s not always true. These two styles can often be used in the same way, but they have subtle differences in purpose and style that distinguish them. If you’re trying to decide which one to use in your home, it’s essential to know their differences..

Shoe Moulding vs. Quarter Round: Where Baseboard Meets the Floor

Shoe moulding and quarter round appeal to homeowners because they add a bit of sophistication and style to baseboards and frames. Quarter round primarily addresses the functional need for smooth transitions between different surfaces, such as floors and walls. Shoe moulding, on the other hand, delivers beyond functionality; it comes in a variety of profiles, thereby providing design enhancement.

Shoe Moulding

Baseboard and Carpet.png

Paired with a baseboard and painted to match, shoe moulding (also called “base shoe”) is a thin strip of moulding that finishes out the look of baseboards. It can often be found in a curved or round shape similar to quarter round moulding. It differs, though, because it can be taller and styled differently. This molding style serves as a versatile cap for baseboards that solve many issues homeowners face when they’re trying to cover seams and conceal variations between the flooring and baseboards.

Quarter Round

For Blog Only - The Handyman's Daughter - Baseboard and Quarter Round Close Up

The Handyman's Daughter

Quarter round is another moulding style typically paired with baseboards to cover up gaps and imperfections between the base and the floor. As such, it essentially has the same purpose as shoe moulding. However, this style of moulding is always shaped like a quarter of a circle, hence the name. It has a perfectly curved edge and comes in a variety of sizes. It is characterized by its uniform width and depth, typically mirroring each other, which contributes to its smooth and defined appearance. The curved edge is incredibly sleek and defined, adding a professional and smooth look to flooring and countertop installations.


Shoe moulding and quarter round can be paired with many materials, such as wood, natural stone, laminate, and concrete. Typically, they are seen with either natural, solid wood or wood veneers. They can be paired with many materials, but they can also be made from various materials, giving you plenty of options to choose from. Shoe moulding and quarter round selections are typically made from wood, MDF and polystyrene.


Wood is a prominent and popular choice among homeowners. The look of natural woodgrain is aesthetically appealing and high-end. It’s 100%-renewable and a sustainable resource. Plus, it rarely cracks or warps once it’s been installed. On the other hand, this material can be challenging to install. It’s also known to have natural imperfections, which means it won’t always have a smooth and clean appearance. There are a variety of wood species for Shoe moulding and Quarter round including: Hemlock, Poplar, Oak, and Pine, offering a range of textures and colors to match or contrast various interior designs.


MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is an increasingly popular material among designers, contractors, and homeowners – for a reason. It’s incredibly versatile, meaning it can be used in many parts of the home, including baseboards and moulding. It also has a smooth surface with no natural imperfections. It’s typically primed, making it easy to paint. Plus, it doesn’t split, which makes it easy to install. MDF is a beautiful and luxurious option for any designer on a budget, as it’s the most cost-effective, high-end material on the market.


This is a plastic material that is sometimes used for moulding and baseboards. It’s an optimal material choice because it’s lightweight, durable, and easy to install. It’s also resistant to moisture, unlike other materials that either swell or are otherwise ruined when they come in extended contact with water. On the other hand, the texture of this material is less desirable than the other options on this list. It can look a little inexpensive, which might affect the level of luxury and sophistication that homeowners look for in moulding.

How to Install Shoe Moulding and Quarter Round

First, you must choose the moulding type you’d like to use alongside your baseboards. . Once you’ve gathered all the essential tools and removed the original moulding from the walls, it’s time to cut your material into pieces based on the measurements of your home.Use a tape measure to measure the entire area you’re going to cover. Once you have those numbers, begin to cut your pieces to size. Don’t forget to cut the outside and inside corners, as you’ll need those to create seamless and smooth transitions.Once you have all the pieces cut and ready to go, it’s time to start nailing them into place. We recommend using a nail gun for this process, if you can, as it will save you time. The nails must be placed 1 to 2 feet apart in the center of the moulding to avoid cracks and splits. thus achieving an aesthetic that enriches the baseboard and the room's overall design. It is important to note that shoe moulding and quarter round serves to enhance, not replace, your baseboards. 

Alternate Uses for Shoe Moulding and Quarter Round

There are various ways to use shoe moulding and quarter round. They aren’t limited to just baseboards. They can be used around the edges of windows, door frames, and staircases. For fun with the family, you can create homemade picture frames and other crafts. They’re also excellent for creating exciting shapes on walls as an intriguing and luxurious interior design technique.

Where to Buy High-Quality Shoe Moulding or Quarter Round

Both shoe moulding and quarter round have curved edges and are perfect options for concealing seams and transitions between baseboards and flooring installations. While they have the same purpose, the difference between them comes from their shape, size, and styling. If you’re looking for a moulding style that’s distinctly curved and pronounced, then quarter round moulding from Metrie is the style for you. If you’re looking for a sophisticated yet subtle moulding, then Metrie shoe moulding might be precisely what you’re looking for. No matter your moulding needs, Metrie has your back. We’ve been in the business of moulding and trim for 95 years, so you’re sure to get reliable products and expert-level insight for your project. At Metrie, we offer hand-picked and designer-curated moulding styles that will wow your guests and elevate the look of your interior designs. Find out which moulding style best fits your aesthetic with Option {M} today!