How should we finish this?

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We pulled the carpet off of our stairs and are putting down hard wood floors. The wood where the carpet was has holes and some places are torn up. There is even some wood missing. What should we put in the space between the wood and the trim?
q how should we finish this, diy, flooring, hardwood floors, home improvement, how to, small home improvement projects, stairs, woodworking projects
q how should we finish this, diy, flooring, hardwood floors, home improvement, how to, small home improvement projects, stairs, woodworking projects
  31 answers
  • Barb Barb on Nov 18, 2015
    My initial thought was paintable caulk but the gap looks pretty large so I am thinking the addition of 1/4 round trim or flat screen door trim, whichever look you like best, would work better.

  • Tammy Robertson Tammy Robertson on Nov 18, 2015
    A strip of quarter round would probably work, they come in different widths and easy to install

  • Regina Regina on Nov 18, 2015
    A narrow decorative trim would work nicely and add to the overall look. There are a lot of options at both Lowes and Home Depot. You can get one that is less than a quarter inch thick to hide the crack and paint it all to match.

  • Kimberly A Kimberly A on Nov 18, 2015
    Any of the small trim pieces would fit in there nicely. You could get quarter round as another person stated or you could go with narrow cove moulding which would cover the space and not add a lot of extra depth. The holes are easily filled with spackling compound, then just sand and repaint over it.

  • Ray Phillips Ray Phillips on Nov 18, 2015
    As a retired builder " mostly tired" I would use 1/4 round or cove moulding to cover the crack. As for the holes in the step tread I'm think they are from staples. used to hold the pad down. if you are staining or just a clear finish . Do not use spackling compound. if you want to fill them use wood puty and sand then down then ether stain or use clear finish. For my taste I would just lightly sand and add several coats of clear water based finished. It dries in minutes and has no order Hope this helps

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Nov 18, 2015
    Since this is not a terribly large job expense wise, I would go look for some of those decorative moldings They can be very pretty.

  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on Nov 18, 2015
    I would also use a small piece of molding to cover over the crack. When I took the carpet off my stairs, it took me several hours to pull all the staples out of the treads. I had to paint because they were not in good shape, so I filled in the wholes and gouges the best I could, sanded and primed and paint them red with cream risers and I loved them. If painting is not what you wanted to do, I would just sand and polyuethane them. If you stain them you will only highlight all the dings, scratches and staple holes. You will be glad you did it.

  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Nov 18, 2015
    Hi Marie. I agree with above suggestions. 1/2 round, shoe mold, something along this line will look great. Make sure to have your largest gap measurements and your smallest gap measurement. To make sure your choice will cover all your gaps. Share your finished product! 😃

  • LD LD on Nov 18, 2015
    Personally, I would wood fill the holes with Elmers Wood Filler in the wood steps so you can stain them to match the hardwood being installed, and paint the risers. I have seen were people have stenciled sayings on the risers, some have just stenciled a design, and others wallpaper or decoupage. As far as the gap along the wall next to the staircase, you can look for a piece of decorative trim, or you can fill in with Sherwin Williams Shrink Free Spackling, this product is lightweight and drugs fast, and requires little or no sanding if applied smoothly.

  • Julie Julie on Nov 18, 2015
    Hard to tell how big the gap truly is in pictures. If tiny. You could use printable caulk and paint white to match. Or go to home improvement store and look at trim pieces. Quarter round may work well. Good luck

  • Marie Alesi Caruana Marie Alesi Caruana on Nov 18, 2015
    I'd definitely use moulding and paint it before it gets nailed on, then just touch up the nail holes. And I'd use PAINTABLE wood filler for the holes, sand and stain then use a clear, non-yellowing polyacrylic finish.

  • Fab and Pretty Fab and Pretty on Nov 18, 2015
    For the holes and damage on the runners I would suggest wood fill. Add 1/4 round trim on top to cover that gap, fill the seams with paintable silicone (that's what many contractors use at baseboard joins). Then sand it all out smooth and paint over.

  • Carole Bisby Carole Bisby on Nov 18, 2015
    Yes I agree with most of the ladies above, just put in shoe molding and paint it will blending with the painted area that is separated. I am having this problem with my kitchen cupboards all of a sudden they are separating and I am going to use the shoe molding. Good luck!!!

  • Kim Kim on Nov 18, 2015
    Agree with Fab and Pretty. Quarter round trim should fill that hole nicely. Wood fill and sanding to smooth out the holes; then paint.

  • Jhunt10 Jhunt10 on Nov 18, 2015
    I agree with molding but use shoe not 1/4. Shoe is smaller. Go to one of the big box stores and compare the size. Might even look into putting something called screen molding, it's even smaller . Then caulk with paintable caulk wait till it dries a day, and then paint.

  • Tammy Kelley Tammy Kelley on Nov 18, 2015
    If you have a independent lumber store near you they can show you the different moldings you can use to fill the space.

  • Darla Darla on Nov 18, 2015
    It looks like you have nice oak treads and risers. I agree that you could just cover the side space with molding and paint it white to match the rest. Varnish or polyurethane on that nice oak!

  • Jean Myles Jean Myles on Nov 18, 2015
    I guess everybody has the same idea . I had the same problem . Molding covered the space nicely. Just remember to measure the space all along so you buy a molding that covers the largest space. most of the time things are not even all along .

  • Evelyn P Patriacca Evelyn P Patriacca on Nov 18, 2015
    PUT A DARK MARBLE WOOD FINISH ON THE TREADS AND A SOFTER COLOR ON THE KICK PLATE

  • Lori Johansen Lori Johansen on Nov 18, 2015
    I'd simply use quarter round to fill the gaps. Will take care of that plus give you a bit more profile under the trim.

  • Chris Houston Chris Houston on Nov 18, 2015
    1/4 round trim

  • JOHNNY JOHNNY on Nov 18, 2015
    Gap ! I suggest wood trim and caulk, then prime and paint.. holes wood imperfections ; wood filler, sand and paint or stain

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Nov 19, 2015
    My house is 100+ yrs old. I, too, would use quarterround that isn't "round" - the kind that has a more interesting profile. There were uneven gaps between my baseboard top trim and the plaster wall. This covered the unevenness of gaps perfectly. One set of stairs in my house had holes in the stairs, too. If you use a dark stain, they visually disappear. I use only oil-based stains and poly finish as I think they are more durable.

  • Ginger the farm gal Ginger the farm gal on Nov 19, 2015
    ^ same as above, but may want to consider lighting for you stair way before finishing with caulk and trim

  • Patti Patti on Nov 19, 2015
    I have done the same thing, and planned to put a stair runner, however my husband says he likes it bare. I also purchased 1/2 round, which I plan on installing. Thanks, I have put off the 1/2 round for quite a while and now I need to get busy,

  • Sandy Hartnett Sandy Hartnett on Nov 20, 2015
    If you want cheap...glue rope down. You can paint over the rope, it will resemble fancy trim w paint!

  • D fuhrman D fuhrman on Nov 20, 2015
    how about quarter round molding ?

    • See 1 previous
    • Slb11563661 Slb11563661 on Oct 25, 2016
      To fill the odd gap used Moulding using the same white. Sorry for the double reply

  • can you remove the entire length of molding and either reuse it and lower it (so it sets on top of the wood skirt) or get a different piece of molding and do the same thing? the half round or 1/4 round is also an idea, but it just makes it too jumbled with 'stuff'. See what I mean in the first picture. The 2nd picture is what I'm referring to. As for the tiny holes, white wood filler, sand smooth and paint over it.

  • Diana Diana on Nov 25, 2015
    You could put down that moulding trim that looks like the opposite of corner round and it is like a u shap on top and v on the bottom and it would make it all fit together then just use painters caulking and repainted.

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Nov 26, 2015
    it a common shortcut builders use, especially if they are installing carpet.. My 50+ yr old house has gaps the ENTIRE main floor, except the kitchen where there was no carpet..

  • V Smith V Smith on Oct 20, 2016
    When you put the hardwood flooring down will you replace the baseboard trim? If you do you will have the opportunity to fix this problem. Baseboard doesn't typically run above the stairs. It is usually a piece of ogee molding but I think you will need to do some plaster repair on the textured wall to get it right.