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Installing Baseboards: A DIY Guide

By Mike in Miscellaneous with 0 Comments

Condos and lofts in Core San Diego will be missing something aesthetically if they don’t have baseboards along the walls. If the home you’ve purchased has old trim or no trim at all, you may decide to install it yourself.  Installing baseboard molding is a somewhat simple DIY project to enhance the look of your home. Also called base molding, this board covers the lowest part of the wall where it meets the floor, and it comes in dozens of styles to match the architectural style of your home. Here’s how to conquer this project yourself for beautiful walls and crisp, clean trim.

Start on the Longest Wall

First, determine whether you need one or two baseboards. If only one is necessary, measure twice and cut each end of the board at 90 degrees so it will run into the perpendicular walls on the sides. When two pieces are necessary, they need to be joined together with a scarf joint. To make a scarf joint, cut the end of each board at a 45-degree angle with a miter saw at a wall stud and sand the edge smooth. Once the boards are snugly fit, push them together with a bead of wood glue and drive a single nail into the top of the board on the raised portion and a second nail toward the bottom and angled down.

Cut Inside Corner Joints

When baseboards meet at an inside corner joint, you will need to join them with a coped joint. Start by putting the first piece of baseboard flush against the wall at a 90-degree angle, then lay the second piece of molding face down on the floor. Using a scrap of molding perpendicular to the second board, trace the profile using a pencil. Cut along the profile to make a back bevel cut that is just 1/16″ short of the traced profile. Remove the rest of the back bevel with a file until it sits flush with the first piece of trim.

Troubleshoot Titled Inside Corners

Before nailing the base into the wall at the inside corners, make sure you press on the bottom of the boards to test how they will look once they’re nailed down. A common problem, despite a perfect cut, is tipping at the inside corner in which the bottom of the baseboards tilt downward and leave a gap at the bottom of the joint.

To fix this problem, remove the boards and sink in a 2-inch screw around half an inch above the floor and about an inch from the corner. Leave the head of the screw protruding a bit past the drywall, then test the joint again. Keep adjusting the screw until it corrects the baseboard joint.

Cut Outside Corners

Outside corners are among the trickiest for beginners. Start by setting your first piece of baseboard so it extends beyond the corner and mark where it will meet the piece from the other side with a square. With a miter box, cut your baseboard at a 45-degree angle. Make sure you test the fit of the other piece before you nail down the board.

Troubleshoot Out-of-Square Corners

If your 45-degree angle cuts don’t meet perfectly on your outside corners, it’s probably nothing you did wrong. This problem can be caused by a buildup of drywall compound or imperfect framing. To fix the problem, cut 45-degree miters on the ends of base scrap pieces and put them to the corner to check the fit. Recut both baseboard pieces at angles of a bit more or a bit less than 45 degrees as necessary until you find the right angle. Once you find the angle, cut the finished baseboard pieces.

Installing baseboards is just one of many DIY home projects you can take on when you purchase a property in downtown San Diego. Whether you’re looking for Gaslamp Quarter condos or Cortez Hill San Diego lofts, the real estate experts at 92101 Urban Living can help you find the property you’re looking for. Give us a call today at 619-649-0368. ')}