How to Fix Hardwood Floors Separating From the Baseboards

Robin Hewitt

Hardwood floors are a natural product and as such tend to expand and contract when exposed to home variables such as temperature, humidity and moisture vapor emission. Because of these tendencies, hardwood floors require an expansion area around the edges of a room where the hardwood meets the baseboard of the wall. If you are facing an unsightly gap where your hardwood floors are separating from the baseboard, there is a standard procedure to fix the problem without sacrificing the integrity of the necessary expansion space.

Step 1

Measure the expansion joint separation at 2-foot intervals around the perimeter of the room, taking note of the widest gap between the hardwood floor and the baseboard. This is the dimension of quarter-round molding you will need to purchase; you will need lengths of molding equivalent to the running feet of baseboard plus 10 percent for cutting waste.

Step 2

Cut the molding to fit the baseboard, using a miter saw and box to ensure straight cuts. For an outside corner, make the cuts on an outer angle; for an inside corner cut the ends to an inside angle. This will ensure a tight, neat fit of the molding.

Step 3

Nail the quarter-round molding into place, taking care not to dent or gouge the baseboard as you work. Your hardwood floor separations will not be visible, and your floor will still have the space it needs to expand and shrink.