Baseboard Installation | Baseboard Installation – molding

Baseboard Installation

How to install baseboard: everything you need for an easy baseboard installation.

Baseboard installation is fairly easy thing to do once you understand a few concepts and learn to employ a few time saving techniques.

This page will guide you through the process and if you follow it step by step, installing baseboard in your home will be painless.

Let’s Get To It!

Step 1: Figure out how much to buy.

Measure all the walls and add 10 percent for waste. If this is your first time ever cutting anything, and you’re not to good with a tape measure maybe add 15 percent.

Step 2: Gather up your tools.

You will need the following:

nail set or punch

finish hammer


tape measure

sharp pencil or pen

brad nailer and nails

25 ft or longer air line


miter saw

miter saw stand (optional)

wood glue

caulking gun

blue painters tape

Step 3: Set up for the job.

First things first. Make some room. You want at least four feet of clear space around the perimeter of the room to allow free movement.

Put all fragile breakable items away. It is very easy to knock things over during baseboard installation with airlines! Next, if you have bull nose (round) cornered walls you will need to cut and pin on the base corners on before measuring. This is shown in my video, Installing Baseboard Trim.

Step 4: Measure your first room for baseboard.

When you walk into the room, the first space of wall to your left will be your starting point. Meaure each peice or base board to within a 1/16 inch tolerance and write it down on your notepad (you can also use a scrap piece of base board). Use a seperate line for each measurement. As you measure you will need to use some symbol to indicate the type of cut for each end of each board. You can make up your own, or you can use mine as shown in the Installing Baseboard Trim video.

Note: The reason for starting at the left and working toward the right is this. You will be able to cope the base if you choose, and for most people (right handed people) this is the easiest sequence. It allows you cope the left side of almost all the pieces (except the ones that terminate in an outside corner which are flat cut), and this will make a huge difference in the speed at which your baseboard installation moves. Watch the video to understand this better. If you are not to particular about tight fitting joints, you can simply miter every corner, and it won’t matter which direction you measure in.

Measure an entire room before going to the saw to cut.

Step 5: Cut and spread your first room.

I would talk about cutting technique here, but it’s much better understood by watching the video. If a picture is worth a thousand words, than a video is worth a hundred thousand words. Just be careful with the saw, and please read this power tool safety guide before moving on to this step. The basic procedure at the saw is this:

1. Cut first piece, place on the ground directly behind you.

2. Cut second piece, place on top of the first piece oriented in the same direction.

3. Repeat until whole room is cut.

4. Pick up as much of the stack as you can safely maneuver through the house and spread the pieces by placing the first piece from the top of the stack at the right side of the door as you walk in and then the second piece on the ground next to the first and so on.

Step 6: Baseboard Installation.

DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT USE NAILS LONGER THAN 2 INCHES!!! If you do, you run the risk of hitting a wire or puncturing a pipe, and that will turn your modest baseboard installation into a disaster. 1 1/2 inch nails are perfect. Nail up the pieces that have outside corners first, then go back and nail up the pieces that terminate with inside corners. Anyone who says otherwise has much to learn. Tack the ends with a single nail before completely nailing off. A mis-cut piece is a lot easier to pull off with only two nails holding it! Nail sparingly, by the way. You can hide many nail holes by placing them a the bottom if you have a thick piled carpet and a nail at the top edge of your baseboard every other stud is all that is usually needed.

Step 7: Look at all these pieces I have to re-cut!

Don’t sweat it. You’ll get better!

Is it time for a break? It’s Five O’clock Somewhere Right?

Step 8: Re-cut your base.

Just take a deep breath and re-cut one piece at a time and check to see if each one fits before re-cutting the next. Most of the time people make the same notation error repeatedly (i.e. writing 1 1/4″ when it should have been 1 3/4″), so figure out what’s going wrong and keep going. Pretty soon you’ll be finished.

Step 9: Have beer. your installation is done!

Click here for more baseboard installation tips!

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