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10 Tips For Installing Baseboard

Installing baseboard.

Installing baseboards.
Copyright: ronstik / 123RF Stock Photo

So, it is time to remodel. Certain parts of the job may be easier than others. Replacing your baseboards can add a nice touch to any room. With the right tools, installing baseboard can be fairly easy. Today, the DIY market provides a wide variety of styles and types of molding material. Here are some tips that can help to make your project a stunning success.

1) Baseboard Style

Decide the molding face style that will complement the other moldings in your room. How wide and bold of a molding face will fit with your overall finished look?

2) Painted Baseboards or Stained Baseboards?

Do you want a painted or wood stained look? Most baseboard moldings come in wood, MDF, Urethane, PVC, Polystyrene, or rubber. A variety of these moldings come finished, ready to cut, and install. Others are primed and ready to paint. If you want a custom color, purchase the primed molding and give it 2 coats of paint after cutting and before installing. An enamel paint will clean easier and last longer.

4) Profile of Baseboards

If you cannot find the milled profile that you need, then look at combining moldings and trim to get the look you want. Using trims above the baseboard and at the foot can give your room a custom look. To have a formal modern look, create a painted baseboard with a stained trim.

5) Baseboard Installation Tools

For a successful installation, having these tools and materials on hand can be a great help:

  • Hammer
  • Finishing nails
  • Pencil
  • Coping saw
  • Electric miter saw
  • Wood glue
  • Spackling paste
  • Measuring tape
  • Safety glasses
  • File
  • Stud finder

Important Note: Store your tools and supplies safely. Keep out of the reach of children.

6) Baseboard Angles

Look at the corners of the room and determine the angles that the boards will need to meet. Questions to consider:

  • Is the corner an outside or inside angle matchup?
  • What is the angle of the corner?
  • Are there any bullhead corners?
  • Does the wall appear to be square?
  • Is there any sagging in the floor?
  • What is the longest wall in the room?

6) Baseboard Installation

Begin installation with the longest wall in the room. If your molding is not long enough to span the entire length of the wall, you will want to consider splicing or skirt cutting the molding.

7) Baseboard Movement

Remember, walls expand and contract due to temperature changes. The walls and floor can shift due to the house settling. The trick is to use a pliable adhesive that allows for these changes.

8) Cutting Baseboard Angles

When cutting angles for your corners, outside angles need the face side to be longer and inside angles need the back side of the molding to be longer.

9) Baseboard Corners

If your wall is not square at the corners, use your coping saw to inside bevel one end of the molding that is to meet at the corner. Use your pencil to mark your cut outline. Make sure you have a sharp point on your pencil. It will be easier to bevel if you make several relief cuts. The relief cuts should not pass your bevel cut line.

10) Nailing Baseboards

Always nail your baseboard molding into the wall studs. After you nail, apply spackling paste over the nails and allow to fully dry. Once dry, just a touch of matching paint over the spackling paste gives a finished look.

You don’t have to be a pro to be installing baseboard in your remodeling project. These tips will give you success.

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