Four Easy Steps to Installing Baseboard Moulding

Recently I’ve begun the slow and steady process of renovating parts of my home. With the house being more than 20-years-old, updates and repairs have become common place, albeit necessary.

Choosing a place to start is always difficult. Monetary factors have played a huge role in my choices. Following on the heels of a new paint job, I decided that the kitchen was where I would make my stand.

One of the problems in my kitchen that has nagged me the most recently is the uneven, dilapidated, patches where the wall meets the floor. Although the ceramic tiling is eventually going to be replaced, something had to be done.

One option that I considered was plastering and patching the walls along the floor, in order to smooth it out and allow for a more natural transition. However, I have always liked the “finished” look that baseboard mouldings give.

Being a fairly inexperienced do-it-yourselfer I’ve developed a learn-as-you-go attitude about the repairs I am making in my home. Here are the five steps to take when installing baseboard mouldings yourself.

Step 1: Select Your Baseboard

Baseboard moulding comes in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and materials. Choosing the one that is right for you is the first step in the process. Baseboards are generally made from genuine wood and particle board. Generally speaking, particle board is going to be significantly cheaper (about half as expensive in my case).

You can buy either style primed, though some that are made out of wood also come in a natural finish. For my purposes I purchased primed particle board because I wanted a white finish on it anyway.

After selecting the type of material you want it to be made out of, you have to select the style or look you want. Adding a shoe and a cap to a baseboard can also dramatically changed the look you can get.

Step 2: Measuring

Before rushing off to the hardware store you will need to measure so that you know how much to buy. This might seem like a redundant step, however, baseboard is typically sold by the linear foot, so solid number will help you purchase the right amount.

You will want to measure each wall individually, marking down your measurements. You will also want to take special note of any corners, and which way the corners go, in or out. Knowing where your corners are at will help you determine where to cut your angles on each board to save time and money.

Once you have your measurements for each wall add them up to get your total linear feet. This is the amount of baseboard material that you will need.

Step 3: Purchasing

After taking all of your measurements and finding how much material you will need, you need to make a quick trip to your local hardware store, such as Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Aside from the baseboard material you will also need to make sure you have a few other supplies. These are: A hammer, a box of finishing nails or a tube of liquid nails, a hand saw and a miter box.

Generally at most home improvement stores they will have a miter box and a saw in the same area as the baseboard so that customers may cut the material to the necessary lengths they will need. If this is not the case, you will need to purchase the tools to make the cuts on your own. Some home improvement stores, such as Home Depot, allow customers to rent tools from them.

Step 4: Mounting Your Baseboard

Once you arrive home with your materials and tools, the next step is to get the baseboard hung on the walls. To do this, simply take each piece, cut to the appropriate length with the appropriate corner angles, and place it against the wall, so that it is flush against the floor.

Taking your hammer and nails, begin at one end and hammer a nail in every six to eight inches along the board. If using liquid nails, squeeze the recommended amount on the back of the baseboard all the way to the end and then press firmly against the wall.

Continue doing this for each of the respective baseboards, making any necessary adjustments to board length and angles to get them to fit.

It may be necessary, as was the case in my kitchen, to use a small amount of caulk along the joints and at the angle to seal any gaps. To do this, simply squirt a small bead of caulk along the gap. Next, using either a tool or a wetted finger tip, smooth the line of caulk so that it is even and sealed.

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