Repair & Care
Quarter Round Returns - End Capping
In our next step we want to fill in the wall area with piece #4. First cut #3 with the same outside miters as we did in the first illustration on the previous page. With piece #4 make one outside miter that will intersect with #3, either with a long full piece or cut to approximate length leaving a few inches over hanging. Some prefer to actually measure from the inside corner to the miter cut on the original #1 piece with a tape measure. The choice is yours but I've found this method to work better.
After all pieces are nailed securely into place, follow to the next area. This is where it will get interesting.
This is one of my pet peeves. I've seen some really sharp hardwood floor installations only to be ruined by a sloppy trim installer. Expensive $20,000 floors with trim that looks like a 12 year old did the work. End capping or also termed returns, brings the finishing touches together. It doesn't take that much longer to do and you'll love the final outcome.
In our two room example, a total of ten returns will be needed. These are all areas where the quarter round will stop at the door casings or woodwork. Two more can be added, depending on how much of a perfectionist you are. They would be inside the closet where few would ever notice. We'll leave that up to you.
Returns. How They're Made?
First you'll need a very sharp saw blade on that miter saw. In fact, if I haven't covered it already, a sharp blade can be very important when cutting harder hardwoods species like the Maple trim we're using in this example. Let's tackle end cap #2. You want to cut an inside miter that will be the stopping point at the door casing, and whatever measurement is needed to complete the trim along that same wall line.
Don't be misled by the next photo as it is taken out of context but will serve to show how outside corners are handled along with the inside mitered end cap. Measure from the point at which the door casing starts, and to the outside corner that will be mitered.
In the photo below an inside miter is cut for the starting point of the actual end cap area. This is the end of the quarter round that will start at the door casing. To create the actual end cap, swing the miter saw blade position to the opposite 45 degree angle making a cut on a smaller separate scrap piece (no photo).
To create the small end cap from our scrap piece, position the miter saw blade to a zero degree setting and make the cut at the exact point the outside miter was made. This can be especially hard trying to describe so I hope you are following well? Perhaps a video at a later date.
Inside miter to start at door casing
Cutting or creating the end cap piece
Installing The End Cap Return
The next set of photos should better illustrate what we are trying to achieve. After the first piece is cut to the correct measurement it's time to install the area. Apply any wood workers glue, or hot melt glue to the end of the cut that was made to stop at the door casing. Simply attach the end cap and you're ready to nail it home. This procedure was made for right handed returns. For any left handed returns just reverse the procedure we've gone through.
Gluing end cap to inside miter
Make sure the fit is snug and flush before nailing