Do you want to install baseboards in your home? Are you planning on changing the floor in your home? Are you worried about the finishing on the corners of your floor and the bottom of your walls after renovation?
Or maybe, you just want to learn the easiest and most convenient way to effectively cut baseboards. If your task cuts across any of these, then you will love to read this article.
This article will teach what baseboards are, how to measure baseboards to be cut, and the best way to cut baseboards for your task. So, stay glued to your screen as we take another fascinating dive into the world of woodworking.
Table of Contents
What is a Baseboard?
A baseboard is also called floor molding. A baseboard is that wooden board that runs on the bottom or base of your walls. Baseboards are usually wooden boards that cover the space where the wall meets the floor. A baseboard can either be nailed or glued to the bottom of your wall.
During painting or while installing a new floor in your home, the edges and corners where the wall comes in contact with the floor are difficult to finish cleanly.
As a result of this, woodworkers and homeowners usually install a baseboard around the edges of the floor after working on it to cover those hard to reach spots.
Baseboards are common parts of home decoration. They can be made from different materials including plastic, although wooden boards are very common. A well-installed baseboard can add that touch of class to your home.
What Are Baseboards Used For?
The basic function of a baseboard is to cover the edges and intersections between your walls and floor. But as you have probably noticed, when it comes to woodwork, no board, log, or tool is used for just one purpose. Additionally, a baseboard can be used to:
- Prevent scratches and dust stains on the base of the wall.
- Beautify the home.
- Prevent water from penetrating the floors and walls.
- Increase the durability of your floor and wall.
How to Measure Baseboards for a Miter Cut
As with all cutting tasks, cutting baseboards with a miter saw also requires you to make accurate measurements and mark out the parts of your baseboard that you want to cut.
Due to different shape and size requirements for baseboard installation, measuring baseboards for miter cuts can be a bit tricky.
However, the steps below will make the measuring process easier. For this, you need a measuring tape, an angle finder, and a pencil. Generally, there are two types of cuts.
The straight cut and the angled cut. The angled cut is needed for corners where you will need to join two baseboards together perfectly. Let’s move on to measuring.
Measure the Base Of the Wall
The first step in measuring baseboards for a miter cut is to measure the base of the wall where you want to install the baseboard. To do this, simply use your measuring tape to determine the distance between two ends of the wall.
While using your tape, ensure it is pressed against the wall tightly to prevent slacks on the tape which can lead to inaccurate measurement. When you get the measurement, note it down on a piece of paper. Also, note the type of cut that should be made, angled, or straight.
Mark the Measurement
Since you have the required length of baseboard needed after measuring the base of your wall, make and mark out that same measurement on the baseboard with your measuring tape.
Do not cut the baseboard yet. There is a specific cutting method required for baseboards and we’ll get to that in the next section of this article. While measuring, take note of the door frames and dead-ends on your walls.
Tools needed for cutting baseboards with a miter saw
To make a clean cut, you need:
- A Miter Saw (Read our review)
- A pair of work gloves
- A pair of goggles
- A measuring tape.
- An angle finder
- A pencil.
How To Cut Baseboard With a Miter Saw
There are generally two types of cuts that are required for baseboard installation.
- Straight cuts.
- Angled cuts.
Let’s move on to the steps involved in making miter cuts on your baseboard.
Put On Your Safety Gear
While cutting, removing, or installing baseboards on walls, you will be using your hands a lot. To move boards, to handle objects, and to use your miter saw. So, use a pair of thick gloves, a pair of goggles, and a dust mask.
Mark Out The Measurements Needed
If you haven’t done this earlier, you need to do so now. Use your measuring tape to get the accurate measurements of the length of the baseboard needed, and then use the pencil to indicate that measurement on the baseboard to be cut.
Cut Out the Required Length
Since you already marked out the measurements needed on the baseboard, you can go ahead to cut. When making baseboard cuts, the baseboard is placed on the miter saw in a way that it stands against the fence of your miter saw.
Don’t place the board on any of its surfaces. Place the board on its side and against the fence. As a precaution, always take note of the part that is needed and the part that will be cut off or be the waste material. As stated earlier, there are two types of cuts when installing baseboards. The straight cut and the angled cut.
How To Make Straight Cuts For Baseboard
The straight cut is pretty much straightforward. You don’t need to tilt the table or the saw. Just leave your miter saw on the zero degree-angle and cut straight and downward.
This type of cut is used for the base of your wall that doesn’t end at an angle. For instance, baseboards that will end where the door frame is.
How To Make Angled Cuts For Baseboard
When attempting to cut baseboards, most of the cuts you will make will be angled cuts. Angled cuts are different from straight cuts. To make angled cuts, you will have to tilt your miter saw table to a needed degree.
This will make diagonal cuts on your board. For instance, to make 90-degree cuts that will fit into most corners of your home, you will need to make a 45-degree cut on two pieces of the baseboard.
Then join both boards together to make a nice angle. There are two types of angled cuts. The inside angled and the outside angled cut. The inside angle is an inward angle or a corner. The outside angle is an outer angle or edge.
How Can You Make Baseboards Fit in Different Angles?
Sometimes, after making the perfect 45-degree angled cut on your baseboards and you try to fit the two 45 degree baseboards together in the inside corner or around the edge, it still wouldn’t fit.
Angles in your room or home are usually not 90-degrees after a while. This is because, over the years, certain parts of your house might have depreciated. The painting on the wall might have given way or your wooden floor might have chipped a little. This makes it difficult to get a perfect corner in a room and why the perfectly cut 45-degree baseboards might not fit.
The first thing to do is to measure the angle on your corner or edge. This is what an angle finder is used for. It’s like a pair of scissors. Open it up and place each leg of the angle finder against each wall that makes up your corner. You will get a reading on the screen that tells you the precise angle.
If it’s an angle less than 90 degrees, it’s called an acute angle. Simply divide the angle by 2 and tilt your miter saw table to the number gotten. For instance, if the angle is 82 degrees, divide 82 by 2. You will get 41 degrees. Then tilt your miter saw table to 41 degrees and make two 41 degree cuts on the baseboard. When you join them together, they will fit perfectly.
If the angle is more than 90 degrees, this is an obtuse angle. Divide the angle by 2 and subtract the resulting number from 90. For instance, if your angle is 100 degrees, divide 100 by 2. You will get 50 degrees. Subtract 50 from 90 and you will get 40.
This means you need to make two 40 degree cuts on your baseboard and they will fit perfectly. Additionally, many woodworkers prefer to use a method called coping to get the baseboards to fit perfectly at an inside angle. This method will be discussed in another article.
Fit Your Baseboards Together
If you are installing a new baseboard, fit the two baseboards together after making your cuts and install them on the wall.
Follow the steps above to measure and cut your baseboard easily with your miter saw. Let us know if you have any questions or comment below. Have a fine cutting experience.