Q: I’ve just noticed that in some areas of our house, there are gaps between the baseboard and our somewhat bumpy old hardwood floor – sometimes as much as 5 mm. Anything I can do about it?
A: There are at least three ways you can tackle it. For gaps of around 3 mm or less, squeeze some painter’s caulk between the baseboard and floorboards. We prefer a product that combines silicone with acrylic latex, which is both flexible and easy to clean up with a damp sponge. For wider openings, consider installing a base shoe. A simple 20 mm quarter-round can be flexed into place and nailed straight to the baseboard or the floor. For a more ambitious fix, trace the floor’s dips and humps on to the baseboard using a compass as a scribe. Set it to the measurement of the largest gap and run its point along the floor while marking the baseboard. Carefully pry off the baseboard, remove the material below the line with a jigsaw or a hand plane, then reinstall it tight to the floor.
– Roy Berendsohn and David Agrell