Installing Baseboard Trim
A Baseboard Trim Installation
By: Mark J. Donovan
Installing Baseboard trim is something any DIY
homeowner can do.
Baseboard trim installation requires the following tools:
Hammer, ¼” thick shims, a miter saw, such as the
Black & Decker BDMS200 15 Amp Miter Saw with Laser, measuring tape, a square, coping saw and
Baseboard Trim Installation Preparation
When installing baseboard trim in a new room, one thing that
should be considered is what the finished flooring material will be.
If carpet is expected to be the finished surface, then the Baseboard trim
should be installed ¼” off the base floor.
To do this, simply cut several shims ¼” in height and rest the Baseboard trim on
it prior to nailing. Once the Baseboard trim is secured to the wall remove the
Raising the Baseboard trim is done for a couple of reasons.
First, and especially with 4” or narrower Baseboard trim, you want the finished
baseboard trim to get full exposure. Carpeting, including the pad, stands as
high as ½” to 1” in height. Second, the ¼” space allows the carpet to be tucked
under the trim by the carpet installer. This helps keep the carpet secured to
the tack strips as well as gives a clean and finished look to the carpet.
|When installing baseboard trim it is best to use baseboard
that is long enough to go the whole length of the wall to eliminate joints.
Thus, order your baseboard trim according to wall lengths. In the event
joints are required, always gut the butting ends of the baseboard trim on a 45
degree angle. It makes for more of a finished look.
Installing Baseboard Trim
To begin installing baseboard trim, start with the
longest wall. Simply cut the baseboard trim to the length of the wall, using the
miter saw, and rest on top of the ¼” shims if required. Apply 8 penny finished
nails every 16 inches along the length of the baseboard trim. Make sure the nails
penetrate studs to ensure a solid attachment to the wall.
Working in a clockwise fashion, prepare to install the next
section of baseboard trim.
First measure the length of the wall. Make sure your
measurement is done just above the height of where the top of the baseboard trim
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Now cut a half inch wedge of baseboard trim. Use this piece
to trace on the back of the baseboard piece you plan to attach to the section of
wall, the vertical profile of the wedge. After tracing, use the coping saw to
cut this section off. If done properly you should be able to slide the
freshly cut baseboard trim piece up
against the baseboard trim piece that is already attached to the wall and see that it forms a
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Now simply measure from the tip of the cut baseboard trim piece
the distance between the two walls previously recorded. Using your miter saw,
simply make a straight cut on the far end of the trim board. The baseboard trim
piece should now lay
snuggly into place (on top of the ¼” shims), forming a nice seam with the first
baseboard trim piece you installed. Again, nail the board every 16 inches into studs.
Continue this process all around the room, working in the
Once completed, go back and sink the nails with a center
Apply wood filler or caulk into the nail holes of the
installed baseboard trim and you are
ready to apply stain or paint.
Additional Finish Carpentry and Installing
Baseboard Trim Resources
Tools for Installing Baseboard Trim from Amazon.com