Is quarter round molding a type of shoe molding, or are they different things?

Quarter round molding
Quarter round molding

  • 1
    Nice to see you over here, Tester! This is one of those questions that blurs the line between DIY and woodworking.
    – rob
    Jun 18, 2015 at 17:30

2 Answers 2


They're used almost interchangeably today, but no there is a slight difference.

Shoe molding is wider/taller (depending on orientation) in one direction than the other and the curve isn't a perfect arc, rather than being a perfect 1/4 of a circle as in quarter round.

via http://thecraftsmanblog.com/quarter-round-vs-shoe-molding/:


  • It was my understanding that shoe molding was a class of moldings, not a specific profile. I thought that shoe molding was any molding placed in front of base molding, of which there were many profiles. And that quarter round, was simply one of those profiles? Notice in your photo that there's base molding, with a shoe molding in front of each one.
    – Tester101
    Jun 18, 2015 at 17:29
  • Possibly, but in my experience, 'shoe' molding always refers to molding in the shape of a shoe (as a kid might draw it)-- rectangular with a curve on the 'toe' end. The exact dimensions of the rectangle, and the amount of curve could all change, but it's still a 'shoe' molding. A quarter round does not fit that definition. Search box box home building sites and you'll get shoe moldings of various sizes, all with a similar profile- as though you took a rectangle (not a square) and rounded over one corner.
    – TX Turner
    Jun 18, 2015 at 17:33
  • I had always assumed the same, TX Turner. However, I just discovered that searching for "shoe molding" on home supply store websites also returns ogee profiles as well...that and whatever the heck this monstrosity is.
    – Doresoom
    Jun 18, 2015 at 18:48
  • @Doresoom-- maybe if you have feet like Big Bird, that's an appropriate 'shoe' ;)
    – TX Turner
    Jun 18, 2015 at 19:30
  • 1
    @Doresoom that is a painter's nightmare is what that is
    – James
    Jun 29, 2015 at 18:11

I feel like this is one of those answers where more than one answer can be right. It boils down to experience and what you were taught.

I understand shoe molding as the molding family that is partnered with a baseboard. In the same way that crown molding describes the family of molding used to finish top edges.

When used on baseboard the quarter round is being used as shoe molding. It is still quarter round. I haven't found a reliable source worth linking too but seen mentioning that shoe molding is typically taller than wider for aesthetics reasons which gives credence to TX Turner's answer.

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