How to Install Baseboards in Your Home

Installing baseboards is a relatively simple DIY home project you can do yourself, and yet it increases the look and feel of the rooms in your house significantly. With a few tools and a weekend, you can have several rooms upgraded with baseboards. 

1. Measure Your Floors

Before getting started on the project, you need to make a full set of measurements. Measure the perimeter of every room you want to install baseboards in. You can then subtract out doors or any other obstacles that you won’t be including baseboards on. 

You don’t need to be incredibly accurate during this process. You’re just trying to determine how many square feet you need to buy. Depending on what type of flooring you have, this might be an easy process that doesn’t take very long. 

However, if you want to be detailed, you can use this process to simultaneously make all of the measurements for future cuts. Whether or not you opt to do this is a matter of personal preference. 

2. Purchase Your Baseboard

Baseboard can be purchased at any home improvement store or lumber yard. The great thing about this specific product is that there are a ton of options to choose from. This, however, does make it a challenge to pick which style you want. 

Baseboards come in different size measurements, usually denoted in inches. This refers the height of the baseboard. On the shorter end, 2”-3” is a common size to see in apartments and basic homes. 5”-7” is more elegant and refined, being a good option for nicer homes with vaulted ceilings. 

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3. Mark Your Boards

Once back at home with your baseboards, you’ll want to mark each board for the cut. Often times, because of shorter sections of walls, you can get multiple cuts out of one baseboard. 

It’s very important that you accurately measure at this stage. If you end up with a board that is too short, even by just ¼”, you might have to start over with a new board. This is both a waste of time and material. 

4. Cut Your Boards to Length

There are a variety of different saws you can use to make the straight cuts required to cut baseboard, ranging from a circular saw to chop saw to miter saw. The larger your project, the more cuts you’ll need to make. 

Many try to combine steps four and five into one, but we don’t recommend that. Make your straight cuts first, and take them back to your wall to ensure they’re accurate. After that, move on to your miter cuts. 

5. Miter Cut Your Ends

Miter saws are perfect for this type of cut, because they allow you to make angled cuts that are required for joining two baseboards together at a corner. For 90 degree corners in your room, you’ll want to make 45 degree angled cuts in the adjoining baseboards so they can join up. 

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If you’ve done your measurements correctly, this process should be relatively easy and straightforward. It can be easy to make mistakes though, so take your time as you move through the various angled cuts.  

6. Install Your Baseboards

With the cuts out of the way, its time to install your baseboards. The quickest and most secure way is to use both wood glue and nails to affix the boards to your wall. 

Run a bead of glue along the backside of your baseboard, and carefully affix it to your wall. Follow up by using a high quality cordless pin nailer to quickly put nails into the studs. 

7. Paint and Seal

Your baseboards come primed, but still need paint. Some people prefer to paint their baseboards prior to installing them, but this leaves little holes from the pin nails. 

If you have the time, its best to paint after installation. Tape off your wall and floor, and apply a coat of paint. Your boards are likely to pick up a lot of dirt, as they’re right on the floor. Make sure to select a sturdy and thick type of paint. 


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