[Home]Baseboard Installation

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Gluing Baseboards to WireTracks

I carried out the re-installation of the baseboards by using the WireTracks recommended adhesive and gluing the mitered baseboards to each piece of WireTracks channel cover. I used rocks from the garden to "clamp" the baseboards into position against the channel while the glue dried.

Stone-age solution to holding baseboards in place while the glue dries.

When I first started this task, I was using my cheesy little yellow plastic Stanley miter box and saw. It took me about half an hour to get the first miter cut meeting properly, since the miter box would flex while I sawed, preventing a straight cut, and necessitating a lot of utility knife whittling by yours truly. Luckily, however, my brother-in-law had just bought a nice "chop saw", and was very willing to lend it to me to make my cuts. What a difference in precision and productivity!

Screwing Baseboards to WireTracks

Boy, did I agonize over whether to do this. To reinforce the glued baseboards, WireTracks recommends you pull the now glued-together baseboards and channel covers off and screw them together with the included small wood screws. Of course, once the baseboards were installed, I didn't really feel great about pulling them back off (even though this is what they're designed for). I feared that it would be difficult to replace the baseboards and get as tight a fit as I'd been able to get when I could directly manipulate the channel cover before gluing. However, I finally decided to do the right thing, pull the baseboards back off and screw them to the channel cover.

Unfortunately, as I feared, it was pretty challenging to get the baseboards reattached with minimal gapping at the top of the baseboard. The problem is especially bad with the outside walls, which didn't have great studs to reinforce the top portion of the channel-back. This allows the channel-back to flex backwards when you press the baseboard back into place, making it very difficult to get it "snapped in" properly. I finally ended up sitting on the floor and kicking with my feet to slam some of the more problematic baseboards back into place (made me glad I didn't paint the baseboards before reattaching them!). (NB: this kicking at the baseboards with my heels gave me a nasty case of plantar fasciitis, so keep that in mind if you're susceptible to it at all).

Caulking and Painting

Caulking was a bit of a challenge, due to the frequently large ( up to 1/4") gaps between the baseboards and wall, due to my wavy walls, and the difficulty in getting the baseboard/channel combination pressed fully back into place in some cases. Still, I managed to get it done. I came up with a pretty decent way to fill the larger gaps in preparation for caulking - I used plastic wrap stretched and twisted, then poked into place with a screwdriver. The plastic wrap would then expand a bit to fit the space, and I could caulk over it. Once caulked, I'd place my stone "clamps" into position to tighten up the gap while the caulk dried.

There's not much to say about the painting - it followed the caulking. Rather than caulk everything first, then paint, I painted each caulked section as it dried.

I have to say, that even with the struggles I went through in getting the baseboard into place, once caulked and painted it looked great. The contrasting wall and trim paint looks snappy and my caulking was good enough (surprisingly) to hide the gaps at the baseboards. A friend came over and commented that it looked professional, which was good enough for me :-).


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Last edited December 26, 2011 12:21 pm by Mike (diff)

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