Baseboard Installation Mistakes to Avoid
There is nothing too demanding about baseboard installation in a domestic space. Baseboards or baseboard moldings are a functional and an aesthetic addition to the home’s interiors. They are mainly used to cover the gap that exists around the joints connecting the walls and the floors. Baseboards aren't always necessary if the flooring and the walls have been plastered and finished in a precise manner. However, some homeowners still prefer using them, since they are an easy and affordable way of lending a newly-installed/finished appearance to the home. Baseboards should be seriously recommended if you often find your mop or vacuum cleaner being stuck in gaps around the wall-floor joints. Over a period, these gaps are filled with dust particles that are hard-to-detect, becoming a common cause of allergic reactions within the house. Further, in homes that have leaky plumbing, these gaps tend to pass-on moisture inside the house that can lead to mold growth. Whether you are considering a baseboard installation from a remodeling or functional perspective, ensure that you don’t commit the following mistakes.
Mistake 1—Mishandling Protruding Seams
Using a precisely measured basement trim means creating a baseboard layering without seams—a vital factor that decides the overall appeal of the molding as a trendy, remodeling addition. However, if seams become unavoidable during the installation process, ensure that they are lined-up in a straight line. They should be parallel to the ground and as close to the middle of the wall. This creates the impression of a midline seam that is often seen in decorative (fabricated) wall layering. Ensure that the midline seam is stretched at 45-degree angles, towards the joints. This ensures minimal folding of the seams in the future. Seams that are stretched towards the walls tend to loosen-up faster and are susceptible to be weathered due to internal moisture seepage within the walls. If the seam is long and needs some degree of folding, keep the folds along the inside corners (facing the room) a bit longer. This helps in keeping the seam stretched-out and upright. If the seams still protrude a bit, use thin nails to compress them. However, the presence of nails can spoil the overall appearance of a baseboard-layered wall. Thus, you should paint the nail-heads to camouflage them in the background of the wall.
Mistake 2—Improper Measurements
Precise measurement of the baseboards is the most crucial factor that defines their visual appearance. Compressed baseboards or those that fall short of covering the required area are easy to spot and spoil the appearance of the room. The best way to guard against this is to use a single piece of basement molding to cover the length of the wall. This reduces the need to use pre-cut baseboard pieces that are difficult to adjust according to varying, room measurements. This also reduces the number of joints/cuts within the baseboard layering which further helps in creating a smooth-looking appearance. Some wasting of the molding for making durable, deep-cuts is inevitable during baseboard installation. Therefore, you should always purchase the molding material in excess, at least 20 percent more than the width of the wall.
Mistake 3—Inability to Handle Simple, Installation Injuries
You can use wooden corner blocks if split seams are visible after installing the baseboard. Corner blocks appear like a baseboard accessory, often referred to as wooden trimmings. They help to conceal the installation injuries in a decorative manner. You can choose corner blocks in shades that complement or are in contrast with the wall’s shade. You should always pre-drill the nail-holes as baseboard trims are easily torn if you hammer the nail repeatedly.