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Use caulk or foam between baseboard and hardwood flooring?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by rmcfall, Oct 23, 2007.

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  1. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    While I am sealing things up, I thought I might as well seal up the area beneath the baseboards and/or bottom of my plaster walls (in places where the baseboards have been removed). Caulk would do the trick, but then so would the low expanding foam by DAP. With the DAP foam, I've had pretty good luck controlling how much is applied. Any thoughts on whether caulk would be preferred over the foam, or visa-versa?

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    There is also rolled foam caulk for large gaps. It might be neater to just stuff the gaps with that stuff. It comes in various diameters.
  3. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I would be a little careful sealing the gap between the baseboard and hardwood floor. If it is a true hardwood floor, it will expand and contract with temp and humidity changes. This may mean that a caulking bead will tear and may get pushed under the baseboard as the floor expands, or pulled out away from the board as the floor contracts. Worst case if you seal up the floor-to-wall gap with something stiff and the floor can't expand, it may lead to a buckle and that is really bad news.

    When I put in my wood floor, the mfr recommended a 1/16" gap for every foot of floor, so that may give some idea of the expected expansion.

    Corey
  4. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    I plan on doing this very job soon. I was informed that Alex Plus caulk is the best way to go (latex + silicone). This offers some flexibility, but I have Pergo, so expansion/contraction isn't as much of an issue for me.
  5. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    I was wondering whether there would be any issues when the flooring expands/contracts. As you mentioned, solid hardwood flooring needs a 1/4" gap at the board ends, and a 1/2" gap along the sides. I was thinking there would probably be enough give with the DAP foam made for windows/doors because it remains pretty flexible, but it may not be worth the risk.

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