A common problem with older homes is a crack in between the molding and floor. This crack is due to uneven floors that happen because of the settling of the floor joists. In older homes, this crack is something that must be worked around if you want to have molding for the transition from floor to wall. Here are some steps you can take to minimize this crack or eliminate it entirely.
There are some times when the problem is as simple as the molding having a slight bow in it. However, it can also be because the floor joists are sagging. Take some time to make sure you know the exact problem. It may be that you have other problems that need to be addressed before fixing the crack between the molding and floor.
Fix Small Crack with Putty
If there is a small crack between the molding and the floor then you can easily fix it with some shims and wood putty. Since the crack will be at an angle, shims are perfect for fixing this type of problem. Measure the distance and get enough shims to fill in the space. Cut them to the right width with the use of a table saw. Stack them as needed under the molding and glue them into place. Use some wood putty to create a seamless transition. Sand down the putty and finish with paint or stain.
Jack up Joists
Another way to repair the crack between the molding and the floor you may need to use a bottle jack to hold up the joist. This is generally only used in the case of the joists being on the bottom floor and you have access through the basement. Set the jack close to the joists where the sag is located. Pump up the jack until it makes contact with the joist. Then, gradually work the jack until it brings the joists level with the wall. You may need to set the jack on a pier of blocks in order to get the right height. Once the jack is in place, it must remain there.
Use Extra Molding
If the crack is severe, you may be able to use some extra molding. If done correctly, it will not be very noticeable. Set a piece of molding along the side of the molding on the wall and run a pencil along the top of the molding onto the extra molding. When you remove the molding you should have an outline of what you need to cut out. Cut the molding and position it in the crack between the molding and floor. Instead of trying to nail this smaller piece of molding, you should use some glue. Apply the glue to the length of the wood and position it under the original molding. Use some wood putty to fill in any seams between the two. Sand the putty once it dries. Paint, or stain, the new molding the same as the original.