Living in an old house can be an exciting adventure. However, with old houses come new problems and some are easier to fix than others.
A common issue with old homes, and even new homes, is a large gap between the flooring and the baseboard on the walls.
This gap can be a source of drafts and prevent your home’s HVAC system from being as efficient as possible. Because of this, you will want to close that gap and make sure it stays sealed year-round.
Filling a Gap Between a Baseboard and Floor: Basic Idea
The right method for filling a gap between the baseboard and floor depends on the size and location of the gap.
Some of the ways to get this space sealed include:
- Adding a floorboard
- Installing shoe moulding
- Filling the gap with caulk
- Using flexible trim strips
How Much of a Gap is Acceptable?
When homes are built, there will always be some variation in how things are done. This is one of the things that makes home ownership unique and interesting.
However, gaps between the flooring and baseboards could be the result of poor craftsmanship. If the gaps are large, you will want to fill them in to get a cleaner, more modern look.
Whether or not you fill these gaps is up to you. If they are large enough to let in cold air or are especially noticeable, it might be a good idea.
Add a Floorboard
If the gap is due to the floor not reaching the baseboard, this can be remedied by adding another floorboard.
Trim a floorboard to a desired width that will tuck underneath the baseboard. If the baseboard is low enough, you should be able to completely seal the gap.
You may not have access to the original flooring materials that your home was built with. Since this is a trim piece that will not be load bearing, you can use thinner flooring pieces if you must.
Once the new floorboards are in place, the gap should be sealed or small enough to keep cold air out.
Add Shoe Moulding
If the gap between your flooring and baseboards is due to the baseboard being too high, there is another solution. Shoe moulding is an L-shaped trim piece that is meant to cover gaps just like this one.
If the room you are working in already has trim moulding, you should be able to find a style that matches.
Cut and measure the shoe moulding, and secure it in place with finishing nails. Then, you can paint it to match the walls for a seamless fit.
Fill in the Gap With Caulk
Shoe moulding may not fit in with your home’s particular style. If you want to maintain a modern, contemporary look, filling in the gap with caulk is a good option.
Apply the caulk sparingly with just enough to cover the space. Then, use a putty knife to smooth it out and make a flush joint that lines up with the wall.
Be sure to mask the floor when applying the caulk to keep it from staining the floorboards.
Use Trim Strips
Trim strips are self-adhesive, silicone-based strips that are designed to fit perfectly in trim gaps.
They are a perfect solution if you don’t want to risk marring your baseboards or floors with paint or caulk. They fit in the gaps and seal themselves with their adhesive backing.
Trim strips come in many colors, so you are sure to find some that match the paint on your wall.
- How high should baseboards be off the floor?
If you plan on installing carpet, your baseboards should be about 1 inch off the floor. This will give you enough room for the padding and the carpeting.
If you are leaving the floors uncarpeted, you should not have any gaps. At most, the gap should be around the width of a quarter to prevent heavy drafts.
- Is it okay to caulk over old caulk?
For the most part, it is okay to put new caulk over old caulk. However, you should remove it if there is not enough room for the new caulk to be flush.
Remove old caulk if it is rotting away or water damaged, as well. This will ensure that you will have a tight seal with the new caulking.
- What is the best paint for baseboards?
Semi-gloss paint is ideal for baseboard trim pieces. It is durable and will help protect the baseboards from damage.
The baseboards are a high-touch area that see a lot of bangs and bumps. Using a high-quality semi-gloss paint will provide a longer-lasting finish.
Efficiency and style are incredibly important considerations for homeowners. By sealing off any gaps or openings, you can keep your home eco-friendly and warm in the winter.
Sealing the gaps in your floorboards will also give your home a finished, polished look. Small details count in interior design and this is an easy issue to remedy.