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Trim confusion!

Scott G
March 15, 2019

Our contractor is asking us to select trim (even before we started the renovation). The main floor will have a combination of carpet and tile. We need to select door and window casing, and baseboards.

The contractor is asking that he install shoe mold as well in the tiled areas. I'm not convinced this would be needed. Can anyone provide insight on that?

He's also suggesting colonial casing with a back board. The reason he states is that it should be thicker than the baseboard + shoe mold. We find this trim to be quite large and very concaved. We fear it will make the doors and windows look like tunnels due to the profile. Here's an idea of the casing:

Overall we're really confused what to do. We more transitional. So we don't want something really ornate but we don't want something really modern. Can anyone help?

Comments (8)

  • cpartist

    What is in the rest of the house?

    You don't need shoe molding over tile.

  • Scott G

    The upper floor is builders grade colonial I think. Small baseboards (3" I think) and 2 inch casing around windows and doors. We're renovating one floor at a time.

  • Scott G

    Here's what we have for upstairs:

  • Holly Stockley

    I always vote for beefier moldings if the room size can take it. Doing as your builder suggests will make your house look more like a colonial.

    Ask him why the shoe? Possibly he has worked on houses in your development before and knows something about they way they were put together? There might be problems he's anticipating that would be at least mitigated in appearance by shoe molding? (I don't actually get the hate for it. My 1940's Cape Cod has it everywhere. I find it part of the charm of the original woodwork.)

  • Scott G

    I did ask about the shoe mold. He's worried that the floor may not be perfectly flat after it's tiled so we'll have gaps between the baseboards and flooring.

    We're trying to nail down an overall price for the renovation and trim choice could impact that.

    Perhaps we push back and wait until the flooring is in before deciding on trim. Maybe the floor will be flat enough that we don't need the shoe mold.

  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C

    The floor is never perfectly flat but when you doing the tile you can run the tile flat.

  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes

    Hi, Scott,

    Here's a link to a great resource for various trim styles:


    Best wishes for a successful project.

  • PRO
    1625 DB

    Selecting the trim before starting really does help through the rest of renovation. Having a shoe isn't nessecary, but then I would go with his suggestion of a thicker molding; the purpose of the molding is to hide the gap that needs to be left on floors or drywall to allow for expansion. Using a shoe helps to hide it when the molding is skinnier.

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