How to install baseboards: The basics

Read our short guide and learn how to install and repair baseboards to create a classy transition between your floors and walls. Baseboards are anything but base, and they certainly don’t have to look basic!

Baseboards: Defining features

Baseboards come in many profiles and sizes, and you can combine different layers of material to create truly unique interior elements. Considering both your furnishings and the size of your room helps you select the right baseboard. After all, the ideal baseboard not only covers gaps between floor material and walls, it enhances the overall style of your room.

How to install baseboard trim

Determine how much baseboard you need. Whether you are installing a new baseboard or replacing old trim, you need to measure the area where it’s going to be fitted. If you want to avoid joining pieces, you will probably have to purchase extra material so each piece is at least as long as the wall you are going to attach it to.

Also consider extra material for the miter cuts that meet outside corners. If you are replacing old baseboard, you can replace the material along the entire wall to avoid excess joints.

Prepare the area. Make sure your project area is free of dust and debris, and remove any old material you want to replace. Run a utility knife along the seam between the baseboard and the wall to start separating the materials and make a clean cut. Insert a long, flat blade between the baseboard and the wall to pry off the baseboard. Cut away any caulking and smooth out edges.

Cut to measure. Place your pieces along the wall at just the position where they will end up after you have installed them. Mark corners, because this is where you will need to cut. Wear goggles using a miter saw to cut corners. Check to see whether your joints line up before you start attaching your baseboard trim. If you are replacing baseboard, make sure the new material fits firmly into place.

Few corners measure exactly 90 degrees. Use extra material or scraps to create a template and determine the proper angle for each corner before cutting the baseboards you want to install.

Attach the boards to the wall. Apply your adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions and press the baseboard firmly into place. In some cases, you may need to use nails to give your baseboards extra hold.

Sand. Remove any sharp edges by lightly sanding all the mitered corners with fine sandpaper.

Caulk. Apply a small bead of caulk along the top and bottom of the baseboard to seal your project.

Which adhesive is right for your project?

Whether you are installing new baseboards or replacing old ones, you can’t go wrong with high-strength adhesives like the ones in Loctite’s Power Grab product family. They reduce the need for nails, which makes them perfect for installing baseboards. Loctite Power Grab Express Molding & Paneling Construction Adhesive has zero second instant grab and bonds molding, baseboards, and many other surfaces to drywall. It is almost odorless, and you need only soap and water to clean it up.

To fill in the gap between your baseboard and the floor or wall and seal your project, you’ll want to reach for a product like Loctite PL Heavy Duty Sealant; it creates a durable seal that lasts a lifetime.