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What is Quarter-Round Molding?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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Quarter-round molding is a simple kind of wooden molding that is often used for commercial or residential projects. Molding is any decorative element that goes along the corner formed by a wall, floor, or ceiling, or which gets installed in a straight line to demarcate areas of a wall. Although quarter round molding is usually made of wood, some other kinds of this product are now popular.

In terms of the design of different kinds of wooden, plastic and composite molding, quarter-round molding is any molding that utilizes the shape of a quarter cylinder. The two sides of a piece of quarter-round molding form a right angle, so that these small pieces can be flush with a floor on one side and a wall on the other. The piece of quarter round molding may or may not have a gap at its interior corner, rather than being squared off at an exact right angle. When builders or home improvement project managers buy quarter-round molding in wooden designs, they can choose from a wide selection of materials. Quarter-round is frequently available in oak and maple constructions. Other softer woods, like poplar, pine, and white wood provide cheaper options.

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The most common use for quarter-round molding is as a simple molding between the walls of a room and the floor. It may also be used as a kind of “chair rail” higher up on a wall. Another possible use of quarter round molding is in a threshold, where a doorway needs additional trim pieces. By contrast, the kinds of molding called “crown molding”, which are pieces that go between the walls of a room and the ceiling, are not usually quarter round, but a bigger, more elaborate design.

In addition to these uses, quarter round wood or composite molding can also be used as a decorative element in other interior installations. For example, renovators or others could use quarter round wood molding at the base of a smaller area like a column or frame. As an alternative to quarter round, they could use straight rectangular trim, or other common designs. One of these designs is “shoe” molding, which blends a rounded surface with a more detailed lip or groove. Choosing the right kind of molding for any job is important, and will add to or detract from the overall look of a finish result.

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