How To Install Quarter Round On Stairs? – DIY Guide

One way homeowners cover gaps on their staircase is by using molding. While it might sound simple, adding molding or covering gaps with molding isn’t a walk in the park.

How To Install Quarter Round On Stairs

In this article, we’ve decided to put together and share with you this guide on how to install quarter round on stairs.

Equipment/Tools & Materials For Installing Quarter Round On Stairs

Let’s begin with materials and tools or equipment needed when installing a quarter round. Below are the tools/equipment and materials you’ll need for installing quarter rounds on stairs.


  • Quarter Round
  • Wood Glue
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Wood Putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint


  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Nail Set
  • Hammer
  • Brad Nailer
  • Power Miter Saw
  • Tack Cloth

Steps On How To Install Quarter Round On Stairs

Step 1: Measurements & Markings

The first step when installing a quarter round on stairs is taking measurements and makings. This is a simple process, and there are few ways you can approach it. Make sure when taking measurements, you measure horizontally from the end of each stair tread. For those wondering, a stair tread is a step or board you place your feet on.

Be very careful when taking measurements to make sure that you get it right. Furthermore, remember to measure from each stair tread. For markings, remember to make them along the staircase.

The markings on your staircase should be anywhere from 45 – 50 degrees depending on how you want to install quarter round on stairs. You can use a pencil to connect your markings once you are done. This way you’ll have a continuous line making it easy for you to place the quarter round.

Step 2: Cut/Shape Your Quarter Round

When it comes to installing a quarter round on stairs, quarter rounds are always cut at an angle of 45 degrees. Furthermore, you’ll have to cut more than one quarter round at an angle of 45 degrees.

Doing this guarantees that you’ll get a perfect fit with your quarter rounds. Depending on the staircase you are working with, you might cut some quarter round at an angle that’s more than 45 degrees.

While on the subject of cuts, it is advised that you use a miter saw when making your cuts as it helps in getting an ideal cut. Still, on cuts, make sure you cut along your markings to ensure the correct angles.

If you are working with a quarter round that fits the outside corner of your staircase, you can position it along your staircase and mark the ends at the intersection with a pencil. If you are dealing with a quarter round that fits the inside corners of your staircase, measure the staircase’s full length and then start making your marks as per the dimensions you’ve created.

Step 3: Test Your Quarter Round Piece

It is vital that you cut at least one or two quarter round pieces first when you install them on stairs. Don’t just cut all quarter round pieces at once. It’s best if you can cut them one by one as you install them. This way, you’ll be able to test if you made the right cut.

Equally important, when testing the quarter rounds, do not fasten them; leave them there till you are done working on your other pieces. It is recommended that you use glue and placement, preferably construction adhesive.

Running a bead of construction adhesive along the back of your quarter round should do the trick.

Step 4: Secure Quarter Round Pieces In Place

With your quarter rounds in place, it is time to secure them in place. One of the many benefits of using construction adhesive is that it helps to hold the quarter rounds in place for this step. You can secure the quarter round using nails.

For the nails, you have the option of using a brad nailer or hammer. With a brad nailer, you are guaranteed a clean, professional finish as opposed to using a hammer. When using a brad nailer, remember to calibrate the depth by using a piece of waste trim.

Installing Quarter Round On Stairs

Once you are confident you have the right fit, you can secure the quarter round pieces in place using a brad nailer.

Step 5: Create A Return Piece

A return piece is essential when you install quarter rounds on stairs. Why? Well, you are likely to have a quarter round in your staircase that doesn’t end without turning another corner. Meaning you’ll have some small space to deal with. This is where a return piece comes in handy. Return piece helps cover this unprecedented space.

To get an ideal return piece, you’ll first need to measure the space that’s left then cut it. Use glue to stick the return piece in place. If possible, you might use nails to properly secure it in place. Finishing off your work with a return piece gives it a professional, clean, neat look. It is, however, not a must you use it.

Step 6: Finish Off Your Work

Once certain that you have nailed all quarter-round pieces in place it is time to finish off or complete your work. Start by checking whether there are protruding nails (in most cases nail heads).

If they are there you can use a nail set and a hammer to lightly push them in till they are not easily visible. Also important when finishing up your work is removing any painter’s tape. Chances are they might be some painter’s tape on glued return pieces so make sure you remove all of them.

Depending on the quality of work you’ve done and your design, you might need to finish off with a new coat of paint.


As you can tell from this guide, installing a quarter round on stairs is not as simple, nor is it as hard as it seems. With the right tools, materials and just making sure that you follow the right steps, you’ll be able to install them in no time.

If you do find it challenging, you have the option of seeking the services of a professional. There are lots of companies and skilled professionals that offer these services at reasonable prices.