Content of the material
- Before You Begin
- Inside vs. Outside Joints
- Measuring for Baseboard Installation
- Safety tips
- Step 3 Making Inside Corner Cuts
- 3. Prime and Paint Before Installing Baseboards
- 5. How to Measure Baseboards
- In Conclusion
- How to Install Baseboard Trim
- STEP 1: Remove the old baseboards.
- STEP 2: Determine if your floor is level.
- STEP 3: Prepare and measure your walls.
- STEP 4: Cut the baseboard corners.
- STEP 5: Nail the baseboard to the wall.
- STEP 6: Install quarter round molding.
- STEP 7: Caulk and finish the job.
- How do people contribute to Howtolinks in order to solve How To Miter Baseboards?
- How To Cut Baseboard With a Miter Saw
- Put On Your Safety Gear
- Mark Out The Measurements Needed
- Cut Out the Required Length
- How To Make Straight Cuts For Baseboard
- How To Make Angled Cuts For Baseboard
- Step 5 Making Square Cuts
Before You Begin
As with any DIY project, there are some things that are worth knowing about finish carpentry before diving in. Also, finish carpentry is one of the most difficult aspects of home improvement to truly master.
The following are some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when cutting baseboard corners.
Inside vs. Outside Joints
Inside corners can be especially tricky to pull off. For a tight fit, use a coped joint. “Coping” means using a special handsaw to cut and shape one piece of trim to fit over the profile of the other piece. This results in a very tight, clean gap.
A mitered corner might be ideal for an outside corner, but an inside corner joint will be better formed if you cope the profile of one baseboard to fit snugly against the contours of its mate.
Measuring for Baseboard Installation
When it comes to trim carpentry, the less measuring you do, the better. But, for instances like boards running between inside corners, measuring is a necessary evil. There are two approaches, however:
Measurements can be rough, and slightly over length to give the carpenter something to work with. With these boards cut slightly long, the carpenter marks the board in place or simply makes repeated cuts until the board fits snugly, using the actual space in which the board will fit for reference.
Should measuring be necessary, a folded tape measure will not do for inside measurements. Instead, use the tape measure to mark 10 inches from the corner. Then, place the end of the tape in the adjacent corner and measure out to the mark. Simply add the 10 inches to the measurement, and the board should be close to the proper length.
- Every work you will have to do require a safety hand gloves. Make sure you put it on to protect your hands from injuries related to work.
- Don’t forget your protective ear-phone. It protects your ears from noise.
- Safety boots are also relevant, to protect your foot from getting wounded by clips or nails.
- Nose mask is also important to protect you from inhaling dusts into your lungs. This dust could cause one problem or the other to your body system.
Step 3 Making Inside Corner Cuts
You will need to make four inside corner cuts for a room. To make this type of cut, set your miter bevel to 45 degrees. Set your miter to zero degrees. Use your pencil to mark the back of your baseboard. Once your miter and bevel angles are set, turn on the saw. Cut along the pencil line so that the back side of the baseboard is longer than the front side. Lower the saw onto the baseboard. Continue pushing the blade through the trim. Do not apply too much pressure. Do not force the blade too quickly through the baseboard. This could damage your trim. Once the blade has cut through the baseboard, turn off the saw and raise the blade.
3. Prime and Paint Before Installing Baseboards
It’s awkward to crawl along the floor to paint after installing baseboards. Not to mention potentially spilling paint on our new floors! We don’t leave the priming and painting until after installing the baseboards: we finish our baseboards before we even start! Take the baseboard outside and spray it all at once with a spray gun. Let it dry between coats.
We primed first, then used Benjamin Moore’s Aura satin to topcoat. My favourite white trim colour is Benjamin Moore’s Distant Grey (OC-68). It works beautifully with every paint colour in our house.
Of course, you don’t have to do this, but this is what keeps us organized. After the paint is dry, we mark each board with painter’s tape according to the cutting plan you saw earlier. Each one has a number indicating where it will be placed in the basement and the length to cut each piece.
Baseboards marked green tape with lengths written on them for how to install baseboards
We stacked longer pieces on some boxes.
Long lengths of baseboard of top of flooring packages for how to install baseboards
The shorter pieces were organized on top of a door we removed from our cold room (which we also used for tiling and it eventually became the desk top surface in my craft studio!)
5. How to Measure Baseboards
Do you know the adage measure twice, cut once? Measuring how long to cut a piece of baseboard can be tricky. I know I get annoyed when I poke that tape measure into the corner, only to get the metal tip caught up on the edge of the flooring! Avoid that scenario completely. Cut yourself a block with a 45° angle on one end, and a straight cut on the other. We cut ours 10″, but it could be any length, and used MDF for our block.
Place block in a corner, line up the edge of the tape measure with the flat end of the block and measure to the end of the wall. Just remember to add the length of your block (in our case 10″) to your final measurement and note which way the angle needs to be cut.
To measure a long alcove, two 6″ blocks might make more sense. Measure between the two and then add one foot onto your final measurement (12″)!
On the opposing wall, the bock can be flipped upside down to measure in the same manner. Just position the angle cut tight into the corner and measure away!
It also helps to have sample angle blocks at your cutting station so you can visualize which way to cut your pieces. Here’s an example of an inside corner (which we’ll get to in more detail later).
There you have it folks, now learned how to use a miter saw to cut baseboards, and how to install them too. When it comes to building or renovating a home, baseboards should be a walk in the park if you measure and cut your molding, as suggested in this article.
It might take some practice mastering the different angle cuts and understanding the type of cut necessary for each application.
While the type of saw you’re using for the job will determine the overall success of the project, whether it’s a single bevel vs a dual bevel miter saw, you will be able to make every cut necessary for effectively cutting baseboard with a miter saw.
That said, if you continue to practice and work the miter saw using some scrap trimmings by testing varying degrees for each angle cut, all of this will become second nature to you in no time at all.
Also, for more information on cutting baseboard molding to absolute perfection, check out one of our more in-depth articles on cutting and installing trim.
How to Install Baseboard Trim
Installing baseboard in a new room or a room that doesn’t have any baseboard is a little easier than replacing existing baseboard. Either way, it’s important to make sure the surfaces are clean and accurate measurements are taken to ensure an excellent finished look.
STEP 1: Remove the old baseboards
If the room is newly constructed, skip this step. Otherwise, score along the top of the baseboard with a utility knife to cut through the caulk. Then, slide the pry bar behind the baseboard from the top down. Pull the pry bar towards yourself to separate the baseboard from the wall without punching holes in the drywall.
It may be necessary to separate several boards at a time, particularly in the corners where coped joint or miters might prevent removing the board.
STEP 2: Determine if your floor is level
Floors that slope more than ¾ of an inch from one corner to the other can be challenging when installing baseboards. However, slopes less than or equal to that measurement are easier to handle.
Find the highest corner and place a scrap piece of baseboard against the wall. Place the level on top of this scrap piece and draw a light, level mark out from the corner. Use the level to continue this mark around the room.
While this method works well for most every situation, for those working with period-correct moldings in historic homes, scribing the bottom of the baseboard may be necessary.
STEP 3: Prepare and measure your walls
Use the painter’s multitool to scrape any residual caulk off the walls, and tap any loose drywall back in place with the hammer.
Since boards running from inside corner to inside corner are impossible to mark in place, measuring is necessary. In these cases, use the tape measure to mark the wall 10 inches from the corner. Next, flip the tape measure around and measure from the adjacent corner back toward the mark. Add 10 inches to the measurement, and the measurement should be accurate to within ⅛ of an inch.
STEP 4: Cut the baseboard corners
When using coped joints, some boards are cut square, while others are cut on 45-degree angles. For the baseboard running on the wall opposite the door, cut two square joints at either end.
For the walls to the left and right of the room, cut a coped joint on the end that meets the far wall, and a square cut on the other end of the board. For the walls on either side of the door, cut coped joints on the ends that meet the side walls, and square cuts on the ends that touch the door.
Cutting baseboard corners is itself a multi-step process. Please see How to Cut Baseboard Corners below for detailed instructions, and then proceed with Step 5.
STEP 5: Nail the baseboard to the wall.
After each piece is cut and coped, it’s time to nail them to the baseboard. For the pieces that are slightly longer than the wall (approximately ⅛ inch), bend the board out slightly and tuck each end of the board into the corners, and allow the board to snap into place.
Next, align the top of the baseboard with the pencil line drawn around the room. Use a finish nailer to drive a nail at each stud location (approximately every 16 inches, alongside doors and windows, and in corners), as well as throughout the bottom 1¼ of the baseboard. For any gaps that might exist at the corners, use shims placed behind the baseboard to close them as much as possible before nailing.
STEP 6: Install quarter round molding
Install quarter round molding to close the gaps that might exist between the baseboard and flooring. Use the same method for cutting and coping as before, square cutting the ends of the molding that is on the far wall, and coped pieces to meet the square cuts and so on.
The quarter round gives the baseboard a finished look and removes the gap, and, in most cases, hides the fact that the floor isn’t level (at least from plain sight).
STEP 7: Caulk and finish the job.
Load the caulking gun with a tube of latex caulk and caulk along the top seam of each baseboard where it touches the wall, as well as the inside joints. Keep a damp paper towel on hand to wet a finger before dragging it along the wet caulk to create a finished look.
Be sure to close any gaps at the top of the baseboard that might be the result of humps in the wall, as well as the joints between the top of the quarter round molding and the baseboard for a crisp finished look.
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How To Cut Baseboard With a Miter Saw
There are generally two types of cuts that are required for baseboard installation.
- Straight cuts.
- Angled cuts.
Let’s move on to the steps involved in making miter cuts on your baseboard.
Put On Your Safety Gear
While cutting, removing, or installing baseboards on walls, you will be using your hands a lot. To move boards, to handle objects, and to use your miter saw. So, use a pair of thick gloves, a pair of goggles, and a dust mask.
Mark Out The Measurements Needed
If you haven’t done this earlier, you need to do so now. Use your measuring tape to get the accurate measurements of the length of the baseboard needed, and then use the pencil to indicate that measurement on the baseboard to be cut.Related Read — How to Change a Miter Saw Blade?
Cut Out the Required Length
Since you already marked out the measurements needed on the baseboard, you can go ahead to cut. When making baseboard cuts, the baseboard is placed on the miter saw in a way that it stands against the fence of your miter saw.
Don’t place the board on any of its surfaces. Place the board on its side and against the fence. As a precaution, always take note of the part that is needed and the part that will be cut off or be the waste material. As stated earlier, there are two types of cuts when installing baseboards. The straight cut and the angled cut.
How To Make Straight Cuts For Baseboard
The straight cut is pretty much straightforward. You don’t need to tilt the table or the saw. Just leave your miter saw on the zero degree-angle and cut straight and downward.
This type of cut is used for the base of your wall that doesn’t end at an angle. For instance, baseboards that will end where the door frame is.
How To Make Angled Cuts For Baseboard
When attempting to cut baseboards, most of the cuts you will make will be angled cuts. Angled cuts are different from straight cuts. To make angled cuts, you will have to tilt your miter saw table to a needed degree.
This will make diagonal cuts on your board. For instance, to make 90-degree cuts that will fit into most corners of your home, you will need to make a 45-degree cut on two pieces of the baseboard.
Then join both boards together to make a nice angle. There are two types of angled cuts. The inside angled and the outside angled cut. The inside angle is an inward angle or a corner. The outside angle is an outer angle or edge.Related Read — Single Bevel vs Double Bevel Miter Saw
Step 5 Making Square Cuts
Determine which type of cut you will need to make to your baseboard ends. A board that will meet another board directly will need a square cut. Use the miter saw set to zero degrees for these cuts.