If you have a new home or an older one you have purchased, you may spot gaps around the sides of the floors. It’s possible that a gap between the baseboard and the floor can become a home to lots of dirt debris, and insects. Besides this, depending on your home, a draught could blow through the gap, especially if it is close to an exterior door.
Reasons can be poor installation, or the home has settled, and the classic white diamond tiles no longer offer a classic look with a large gap between the baseboard and floor. A gap between the baseboard and tiles is visible even if you have another flooring tile, such as rough stone flooring in your lobby or kitchen.
The fix is quick, and in our guide, you can learn more about the gap between the floor and baseboard and why not to use grout. By the end, you’ll see how to fix the gap between the tile and baseboard to get a uniform, clean appearance on your tile floor. (Learn How To Tell The Difference Between Plaster And Drywall)
What Do You Put Between Baseboard and Tile?
Baseboard gaps look to be of minimal importance to your new tile floor in your central lobby, which they are, to some extent.
It won’t do much damage to your home, yet there are benefits to mending the space between a baseboard and floor that include:
- It’s undesirable from an aesthetic sense and can diminish the value of your home if you’re attempting to sell.
- You can’t quickly eliminate creepy crawlies from the gap between your baseboard and floor; therefore, they might decide to make this their home.
- As these sections lack insulation, your heating and cooling costs may also increase because of the gap.
What Causes A Baseboard Gap?
As a house age, it’s more common to have an air gap between the floor and baseboard. This is because joints and structures sink and settle, thus leading to gaps between the flooring and baseboards.
While you may think you need professional caulkers. Yes, you can have a professional in the trade who can color-match your baseboard color. Although, you can do this yourself around your ceramic tile and door frames without using grout. (Read Can You Put Caulk Over Grout)
Fix the Large Gap Between Baseboard And the Floor
A considerable gap between your baseboard and floor may seem like a major headache, but it may easily be rectified with basic home remodeling skills. Some quick fixes for the baseboard gap are provided below.
Use A Shoe Molding
If the baseboard gap is too high, you have another solution. Shoe molding is an L-shaped trim component used to fill gaps. When putting the shoe molding, make sure it’s the right size. In some cases, buying molding strips that are too short will leave an unsightly gap. If the room already has trim molding, on the other hand, you should be able to match that. (Learn How Long Does It Take For Caulk To Dry)
Cut and nail the shoe molding to the wall. Then paint it to match the white baseboard or walls.
To fill a gap below your existing baseboards, add a length of the quarter-round molding in front of them. It fills the gap and adds layers and detail to your molding with this low-cost, easy-to-use product. There is no need to remove or replace the present base because of this.
Cut it to length with a miter saw, finish, nail it to the baseboard, fix any nail holes with wood putty, and paint or stain it. An eighth round would be too small to nail and too small for huge gaps, but if you want finer detail, you might use powerful glue.
If there is a significant gap between your floor and baseboards, a quarter-round may not be sufficient to fill it. A shoe molding is frequently taller than a quarter round but applies the same installation process. Take, for example, door or window stops, which can be as large as one inch to conceal even the largest gap. Nail or glue these to the installed baseboards, just as you would quarter-round.
Use Trim Strips
You can use these sticky silicone strips to fill the holes in an ancient house. They protect your baseboards and floors from paint or caulk damage. Their adhesive backing closes the gaps.
Then apply the trim strips to a clean area surrounding the gap, where they will fold between the flooring and baseboards, producing a tight seal-like caulk. You may get trim strips from the local home restoration store in different colors to fit your wall paint. (Read Acrylic Vs Enamel Paint)
How Do You Fill Gap Between Wood and Tile?
Caulk is best for gaps up to 1/4 inch. Avoid using sanded grout between the baseboard and the tiles because it lacks elasticity and will crack if the furniture moves. It can also attract filth that is hard to clean. If your flooring gap is over 1/4 inch, utilize your shoe molding and match caulking. Here are the steps to caulk baseboards to make your floors look as if they fit perfectly.
Caulking gaps between baseboards and tile floor is quick and effective.
What You Need:
- Latex caulk
- Caulk gun
- Blue tape
- Caulking tool
- Trim paint of your choice
1. Using the Right Caulk
The caulk is needed to create a strong, waterproof, and flexible bond between the baseboard and the tile. (Learn How To Remove Glue From Wood Floors)
Because we’ll be painting it the same color as your trim, we’ll need a caulk that accepts paint. Silicone caulk will peel, and paint will flake off. The finest caulk for this job is latex caulk.
- Choose a weatherproof, paintable caulk.
- While caulking flooring and baseboards across the home may necessitate multiple caulk tubes, most sections, such as the bathroom, only require one.
2. Tape Your Working Area
Stop caulk from spreading across the tile using blue painter’s tape where the tile meets the baseboard. The painter’s tape edge should match your baseboard’s edge when looking at the baseboard from above. This is because the caulk creates a vertical seal from the baseboard to the tile.
- Tape off the tile to prevent caulk from spreading across your grout and tile.
- Remove old paint with your putty knife.
- For a vertical seal, align the tape with the bottom border of the baseboard.
- The technique appears to be time-consuming, yet it is worthwhile. When you’re through, you will completely seal your baseboard and tile.
3. Apply Caulk
Leave a 1/8-inch gap by cutting the caulk tube at an angle. It would help if you caulked the gap between the baseboard and the tile floor.
- Trim the tip of the caulk tube.
- Fill your caulking gun with the caulk tube.
- Between the baseboard and the tile, apply a steady bead of caulk.
- If required, caulk the top of the baseboard using a thin layer.
If there is a gap between the installed wood baseboard and the wall, proper baseboard installation includes caulking the connections tops to make everything look professional.
Tip: When applying caulk, cut the tip off the tube at an angle. As you pull the caulk gun trigger, you avoid leaving a thick bead, making it easier to smooth.
4. Smooth Caulk
After caulking the baseboard and tile, smooth the caulk with a caulking tool. This hides imperfections and creates a lovely contrast between the wood and the walls or tiles. In addition, this smooth surface is easier to accept as paint and dirt-resistant.
With this tool, apply caulk between the baseboard and the tile. If you’ve done this job before, one of the easiest ways to clear caulking and leave a smooth bottom edge is using a wet finger rather than a smoothing tool.
5. Remove the tape
Remove the tape after smoothing the caulk. Allowing the caulk to dry will trap the tape, resulting in a messy situation.
- Before the caulk dries, remove the tape. This will make the caulk look tidy and professional.
- It would help to get a professional edge if you wiped excess caulk away from the tile and grout.
- If any caulk falls on your tile floor when removing the tape, clean it up. If you don’t allow latex caulk to dry, it can be easily removed off tile and grout.
Types of caulks to use to fill gaps in floors and baseboards.
Acrylic caulks, and materials are less sticky than silicone caulks, making them easier to apply. Therefore, it is one of the most regularly used caulks. Acrylic caulk has no adhesive qualities. However, it comes with a second layer of sealing as a feature. So, you can caulk the top and bottom edges with a double caulking application. It’s even workable to use it on corners!
Acrylic caulking has the disadvantage of not being waterproof. As a result, they should not be used in toilets or other such areas. (Read Water Temperature For Radiant Floor Heating)
Latex caulks have an advantage that acrylic caulks do not. They are watertight. As a result, this caulk effectively stops water from leaking through crevices. In addition, you won’t have to worry about the caulks cracking because it’s highly flexible.
People commonly use silicone caulking instead of grouting for its many advantages, such as its toughness and excellent adhesive qualities. In addition, silicone is fantastic for caulking metal and plastic baseboards with tiles. (Learn How To Paint Over Black Furniture)
So, it’s excellent to use around flooring and joint tops for areas like the bathroom. However, it’s not suited for wooden baseboards or wood floors.
Why You Need Caulk?
- Gaps up to ¼-inch are best covered with caulk. This may be done and cheaply and produces a waterproof seal.
- Do not use grout between the baseboard and tiles because a thick grout line is prone to cracking in these locations.
- When caulking baseboards, use caulk to fill gaps between baseboard and tile up to ¼-inch.
- If the gap is more extensive than ¼-inch, apply shoe molding, then use caulk to fill smaller gaps.
- For a baseboard gap of more than ¼ inch, shoe molding should be used. This addition to your baseboard will minimize the gap, making it small enough for you to caulk the area.