SVB Wood Floors Blog

Monthly Archives: December 2018

Drop-In vs. Flush-Mount – Let the Venting Begin

Installing and refinishing wood floors involves a few detail-oriented decisions. One of those decisions is the kind of floor vents you want. Most homeowners haven’t given much thought to their floor vents, but you basically have two choices. To get you started thinking about which you might like, the experts at SVB Wood Floors have some facts about drop-in versus flush-mount wood floor vents.

Consider Floor Vents before Installation Is Done

Deciding which type of vent you’d like is one of those details that you’ll want to consider from the start. That’s because it’s much easier better to install them during the design process rather than trying to fit them in afterward. Fortunately, our free in-home consultation will cover all aspects of your floor design – including vent options.

Drop-In or Self-Rimming Vents

Drop-In Vs Self-Rimmming Vents

These vents have a slight rim all around the edge. That rim fits neatly over the cut edges of your floorboards. Unlike flush-mount vents, these can be installed with ease and at any time during the installation process, and even afterward.

Pros of Drop-In Vents

  • These are very easy to install because they literally just ‘drop’ into the floor opening. They’re generally also a less expensive option than flush-mount vents.

 

  • If you decide on this familiar style, we can install them for you or you can choose to do it yourself later. In either case, we can stain them to match your beautiful new flooring.

 

Cons of Drop-In Vents

  • The raised rim of these vents sometimes gets in the way of furniture placement or floor traffic. As small as that rim is, it can topple toddlers who aren’t steady on their feet yet!

 

  • It’s particularly important to keep the area around the rim of these vents free of damaging grit. Grit has a tendency to gravitate towards them – especially when you’re sweeping. It’s a good idea to vacuum around each vent after you’ve swept in order to keep them free of that grit.

 

Flush-Mount or In-Floor Vents

Flush Mount Vs In-Floor Vents

These vents mount flush with your floor so there is no rim. It’s much easier (and less expensive) to install these along with your new flooring. You can have these installed retroactively, but you’ll need to hire an expert. This is definitely not a project for the average DIYer!

Pros of Flush-Mount Vents

  • These vents fit smoothly and seamlessly into your new floor. Your new hardwood floor takes more of the spotlight when the vents are inconspicuous.

 

  • Since they sit flush, they won’t negatively influence furniture placement or traffic patterns. No more wobbly side tables or tripping toddlers!

 

  • Cleaning is easier without that grit-trapping and vacuum or broom-deflecting lip.

Cons of Flush-Mount Vents

  • These are difficult and expensive to retrofit. That means they’re difficult to change later on, too.

 

Fitting them in after the fact requires a careful layout and precision cuts. It’s also a bit nerve-wracking watching holes being cut in your beautiful new floors!

 

  • Even when installed along with the flooring, these are generally more expensive than drop-in vents.

 

Can’t Decide? Let Us Be Your Guide!

Our family-owned company is committed to providing you with the quality results you deserve. Whether your job is large or small, we want to give you the kind of high-quality, professional service that helped us win the award for the 2016 Wood Floor of the Year from the National Wood Flooring Association. That includes paying attention to every detail – including the vents!     

Base Shoe or Quarter Round – What’s the Difference?

base shoe When we refinish or install a hardwood floor, we replace the baseboard molding. Baseboard molding installations are finished off with a small piece of molding that covers the gap between the bottom of the baseboards and the floor. There are two types of molding that can be used – base shoe or quarter round. So what’s the difference?

Both Types of Molding Are Very Similar

Base shoe and quarter round are almost identical. In some situations, they can be used interchangeably, but they both have their own specific uses as well.

Quarter round (shown in two sizes in the picture on the left and the right) is exactly as its name implies, one quarter of a round dowel. It has a 90° angle on the backside with a perfect quarter radius on the side that shows.  The quarter round comes in a variety of sizes, which makes it versatile enough for a wide range of applications, as well as an ideal solution for eliminating the gap between trim and moldings and to fill corners.

Base shoe also has a 90-degree angle on the backside, but the front of base shoe is slightly more square and does not follow the radius of a circle like the quarter round does.

Does the Base Shoe Need to Be Removed before Refinishing or Installing a Wood Floor?

Yes, it should. There are a couple of reasons why you should remove the base shoe before installing a new floor. It is most likely that the existing base shoe molding has been in place for quite some time, so it may be dented or damaged in places. Plus it probably has several layers of paint on it from over the years. More importantly, however, removing the base shoe will allow you to butt the new flooring up to the wall. If we are refinishing a floor, and the base shoe is left in place, it will prevent us from getting the sander along the edge of the existing floor.

Should the Base Shoe Match the Trim Color or the Floor Color?

This is really a matter of preference. Traditionally speaking, the base shoe color should match the trim color, however, the choice is ultimately up to the homeowner. We suggest matching with your trim color to add contrast and emphasize the beautiful stain color of your hardwood floors.

Related Read:  Everything You Need to Consider When Choosing a Stain Color for Your Hardwood Floors

Do I Really Need Baseboard Molding?

One of the most common questions people ask is if they really need the base shoe, or if it’s just an add on. The answer is a simple yes. Without it, there is typically a gap between the trim and flooring, which is not only unattractive but makes it extremely easy for dirt and debris to build up under the base trim. At SVB, we give you your choice – you can remove the existing shoe base on your own, purchase pre-primed replacements from SVB, stain it, and install it yourself.  Or you can leave this tedious task up to us. We will remove the existing shoe base, and stain and install the new base shoe.

If you are considering refinishing, replacing or installing a new wood floor, call us at (816) 965-8655 or contact us online to schedule a free, in-home consultation.