How to Install Baseboards with Hard Floors

Coach Tim shows you how to install your baseboards on your tile or hardwood / laminate floors.
When you finish the installation of your flooring, the baseboard trim finishes off the look of your floor. Baseboard trim comes in a wide range of different styles, widths, and designs. Baseboards also protect the walls from bumping. Common bumping occurs with a vacuum, a mop, or with kids who are rolling around the floor with their wheeled toys.

Measure Room
In order to determine how much baseboard trim you will need, you must measure the lengths of each wall. Purchase your trim from the home center, but keep the lengths down to 12 feet of less. Anything longer than this is more susceptible to warping.

Cut Shims for Carpeting
If you are going to be laying down a carpeted floor, then leave at least 1/4 inch space between the trim and the floor. Cut out shims to place under the baseboard trim so you know exactly how far to keep the wood up.

Dry Fit
Lay the baseboard trim up against the wall before making any cuts. When you know how long to cut each piece, then use a mitre saw to make the cuts. All seams should have 45 degree cuts so the wood overlaps instead of butts up against each other.

Nail To Wall
To finish the installation, simply nail the baseboard trim to the wall using finish nails and an air nailer. Finish the baseboard trim with stain or paint.

What You’ll Need
Miter Saw Coping Saw Base Molding Crown Molding Safety Goggles
A coped joint makes for a much tighter fit with the ends of your wood trim. This works better than a miter box since it makes a much cleaner corner. It will also give your project a more professional look. Here’s how you can achieve this on your own with little effort.

Step 1- Cut Baseboard Wood

Set your miter saw at 0 degrees and make straight cuts on each end of the base trim. Use a wall to wall measurement for this.

After you’ve done this, make a 45 degree cut with the miter saw. Keep the trim turned upwards on the saw. For example, if you are working on the right side end of the base, then the saw will need to be set on the left side at a 45 degree angle.

Step 2- Start The Coping Cuts

Once you have the baseboards done as stated above, use your coping saw and follow the lines of the previous cut. You want to angle the coping saw about 10 degrees back in to the wood. This will be placed on the left wall. It will be straight against the end of your base molding.

Step 3- Crown Molding

You will follow the same basic cutting method for any crown molding. Start with the miter box and move to the coping saw. It’s important to remember how critical it is for a perfect cut to keep the miter saw at the right angle when you are working with it. Having it off by even a degree can really screw up hor flush it is.

Step 4- Finishing

Use the coping saw to finish the ends of the crown molding trim. Cut the area you’ve sawed out of the finished piece. With the cut in place, you can see how the crown molding is shaping up. When you see the profile is when you will cut along that line with the coping saw. Cut back between five and 10 degrees. This will give you the tightest fit possible when the joints are connected on the wall.

Step 5- Test the Fit

Your joint may require some adjusting. Test the fit, and if you need to adjust anything you can use a small rasp or file to cut against the edge until you have a tight fit. Use caution when you do this since thin edges can easily break.

Step 6- Attach the Trim to the Wall

Now that you have this done you can simply nail the molding to the wall. Wood putty could can be used to fill in any holes left from the nails. You can sand this down for evenness later. You can also use caulk to fill any gaps that may remain in the molding.

It Takes Practice

When you are working with a coping saw it may take a few passes to get it to fit right. Make sure you have extra material to allow for this, and don’t get frustrated if your first cut isn’t perfect.


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