How to cover up hardwood floor edges

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Q: We just tore the carpet out of a bedroom of our recently purchased home, which was built in 1946. Underneath are beautiful hardwood floors.

There is a very plain and unobtrusive baseboard already in place that was installed on top of the carpet. With the carpet gone, the uneven edges of the hardwood are exposed. We were thinking of installing a lower baseboard molding that would cover the gap. But we can’t think of how to make it look good when it comes up to the door because it will stick out farther than the door casing.

Is there any solution besides tearing out all the existing molding? It has been painted the same color as the walls, and the crack between molding and wall may have even been glued or caulked, as there is no clear crack or line between the two.

We’re new homeowners and have never done anything like any of this before.

A: Don’t remove any of the baseboard. Your instincts are right on. Nailing a smaller piece of molding to cover the gap between the hardwood floor and baseboard is the right way to go.

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Wall-to-wall carpet was not original to the house. We bet that somewhere after the late 1950s a small piece of molding called a "base shoe" was removed to make carpet installation easier.

We encourage you to keep the hardwood and use area rugs. It’s a good look and all you have to do is replace the base shoe to get it. The job is one you can tackle with a few tools and some time on your hands and knees.

You’ll need a tape measure, miter box and miter saw to cut 45-degree angles, a small hammer, a nail set and a drill and small drill bit to drill pilot holes in the base shoe. These will set you back in the neighborhood of $100 and will be a good start on a basic tool collection to boot. …CONTINUED