How to Install Baseboards

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Wood trim
Finish nails
Stain or paint
Mitre saw
Tape measure

Installing baseboards is something that you do after you have completed the installation of any tile, carpet, or wood floor. Baseboards come in a wide variety of widths and designs. Baseboards are not simply used for aesthetics of the room, they also protect the wall from any bumps from vacuums or mops. Installing baseboards is not a difficult project and is done with simple power tools and a little bit of time.

Step 1 - Measure Room

Take the measurements of each wall. In some remodeling projects, measurements are taken on a square foot basis. When installing baseboards you are doing so on an individual wall basis. Measure each wall by themselves and write them down separately. Go to the home center and buy the baseboards you will need.

You may spend time looking over the many different styles, so give yourself plenty of time at the home improvement store. There are many different varieties to choose from. Keep the length down to 12 feet or less because anything bigger than that will have an increased chance of warping while on the wall.

Step 2 - Cut Shims and Dry Fit Trim

Cut some shims to size to lay the baseboards on. This will help keep the baseboards up off the floor in the event you are going to lay down a carpet floor. Leave a ¼ inch gap in this case.

Line up the baseboards and dry fit them to the wall. One secret of installing baseboards is to mark the baseboards while they are laying against the wall. This ensures you get an accurate measurement. This is especially helpful when coming to corners. You simply mark the place where you need to cut and you will have an exact measurement.

Step 3 - Install Baseboards

Being the installation by cutting the baseboards to the lengths you need them. If you are going to be adding a baseboard onto the end of another one, then you will want to pay attention to how you cut it. To give your baseboards a seamless look, cut the ends of each baseboard on a 45-degree angle. This will overlap them together rather than just setting them end to end.

Lay the baseboards to the wall and secure them with finish nails. Depending on the thickness of the trim, you may have to predrill holes so the baseboards do not split.

Step 4 - Fill in Holes and Paint

The last part of installing baseboards is to go around the room and fill in the nail holes. Use wood putty and apply a small amount to each hole. Sand off the excess for a smooth finish. Now you have the option to paint, or stain the baseboards. Apply as many coats as you need to achieve the look you need.