154 East Prescot Road, Knotty Ash, Liverpool, L14 5ND

A Guide to Installing Trim

01 March 2022

Are you a homeowner who wants to install new trim in your living room but aren’t sure of how to go about doing it? In this guide, we cover everything the beginner needs to know about installing trim or baseboard, even on a large scale!

Before you start

  • - Gather the right tools (compound miter saw, finish nail gun, air compressor, tape measure, pencil)
  • - Buy a bit more trim than you think you need (up to 20% extra)
  • - Use a compound miter saw for more accurate cuts
  • - Learn about the three types of joints used in installing trim (coped, miter, scarf)
  • - Consider painting your trim before installation

Learn the joint types

Coped: Great for inside corners. Once they’re cut at a 45-degree angle, the molding is followed closely using a coping saw. Hold the saw at an angle to back-cut the trim, which allows for a fit similar to puzzle pieces.

Miter: Great for outside corners. The corners can be created by cutting two boards at a 45-degree angle and fitting them together at a right angle where your walls meet.

Scarf: Allows you to make two short boards into a longer one. Cut the ends of the boards with overlapping angles of 45 degrees so that you can push them together on the wall and make the joint disappear. Nailing through the joint can give better results.

Installing baseboards

Step 1
Remove any old baseboards you don’t want. You can use a pry bar and a scrap of wood for easy removal and do try to avoid damaging your walls during this process. Be careful of any nails sticking out.

Step 2
Paint your new baseboards before installing them. This will save you a lot of time later, and you’re less likely to end up painting parts of your walls. You may need one or two coats of semi-gloss paint, depending on the type of baseboard you purchased.

Step 3
Measure and cut your baseboards.
This sounds more difficult than it is! Cut each baseboard one at a time, not all at once. Cutting them and then fitting them will help you make less mistakes in your measurements.

To put baseboard up against doors, use a 90-degree cut created by two pieces coming together at 45 degrees.

Step 4
Attach your baseboard.
You can use a brad nailer with 18-gauge nails for the best results. We do not recommend using glue to fix your trim to the wall because you can damage the wall when you finally remove it.

Be sure to use a stud finder before putting any nails through the board and wall because having them go into studs will give you a more secure fit. Studs are usually 16 inches apart, so you’ll need another nail every 16 inches.

Step 5
Cover any minor cutting mistakes using caulk. Caulk is a flexible substance that can seal air leaks created by gaps or joints that are less than a quarter of an inch wide. It’s a real life-saver for people installing trim. To improve the appearance of your trim, you can also use wood filler to cover any holes left by the brad nails. Then just lightly sand and paint if needed!

With over 25 years experience installing and maintaining windows, doors and conservatories we have a wide range of energy efficient solutions to keep your energy bills down and your home warmer this winter. Get your FREE no obligation quote today.

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