Replacing Baseboard Basics

Old 10-05-05, 10:26 AM
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Question Replacing Baseboard Basics

Hi all, first time using this site and I already have read some great tips - thanks. I am doing some baseboard trim work this weekend and wanted to see if anyone out there can help me with a few issues. My questions are:

1. from what I have read on this site, mitred joints (with caulking to help hide any gaps) are accpetable for inside corners if the baseboard will be painted. If the wall is particularly wonky, a coped joint will help me deal with it and so I may want to do that in those siutations. Is that about right?

2. part of the baseboard will be on top of freshly laid hardwood flooring installed in an older (1970's) house. I am assuming the floor will have some variation in it. Do I put the baseboard directly on top of the hardwood, or should I leave a gap for the installation of a base shoe to hide what I believe to be inevitable gaps between the floor and the botton of the baseboard?

3. the baseboard will run from one room with hardwood flooring in to a room with carpeting (stretched & tackless). Do I have to lift the carpet edges to install the new baseboards in that room or should I be able to do it with the carpet in place? I am assuming here that I can get the old baseboards off without having to lift any of the carpet.

4. because of the carpeting in the ohter room, it looks like the hardwood floor will be lower than the carpeted floor. The transition between carpet and hardwood does not happen at a door jamb. How can I compensate for the height difference so that the baseboards hook up evenly at the outside corner where the hardwood meets carpet?

Any help keeping me out of trouble this weekend is greatly appreciated. Thanks a ton.
Old 10-05-05, 10:42 AM
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Welcome to the forums here. Hope you get some good ideas and replies to your posts. In answer to your questions:

1). yes, you basically have it correct. However, it helps if you can square up the corner, either by digging out some plaster from behind the baseboard, or adding a small shim to build it out square. Having a couple small scraps of base can help you to determine how your miter will look once your long pieces are installed.

2). Install it down tight -AND- install the baseshoe.

3). push the baseboard down snugly into the carpet. baseshoe should not be needed here, but is always an option if needed.

4). If the hardwood floor is lower, it shouldn't be a problem. Even if there is a gap, your baseshoe will cover it. If there is a 3/8" gap (for example) as you come around the corner, just try to maintain that same gap on the rest of the base. That way the base will be in a straight line from your carpet to your wood floor.

It will also help if you mark the locations where your studs are. Once you cover up the old nail holes with your new piece of base, you won't be able to see them. Use tape on the wall or floor to mark the stud locations if you don't want to make a pencil mark. You can usually nail anwhere along the bottom, provided your nail is going into the sill plate of the wall, but the top nails need to hit the studs, and should be long enough to penetrate at least 1" into the 2x4. (nails should be 1 1/2" longer than the base is thick, provided you have 1/2" drywall)
Old 10-05-05, 12:18 PM
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1. yes, I use an angle finder and mitre all the corners ( I don't like to cope)

2. If your "newly laid" hardwood floor has variation in it you have bigger problems than the trim being flat. Proper subfloor preparation with give you a flat and level hardwood floor, then trim wont be a problem. Some say a leave a 1/32-1/16" gap for the baseboard, but most just set it on it. You just don't want to inihibit the floor from expanding and contracting. Don't nail any triim to the floor.

3 & 4 per Xsleeper
Old 10-06-05, 09:04 AM
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Thanks folks - appreciate the input -all very helpful.

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