HOW TO INSTALL FLOOR TRIM LIKE THE PROFESSIONALS

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How to Install Floor Trim Like the Professionals - How to cut trim, nail it on the wall, and fill in imperfections. How to fix gaps in floor trim.  Nadine Stay
 

One of my favorite things about home renovations is finally seeing all the little projects come to completion. Like installing the last floor trim board or finally putting the outlet covers back on after a paint job. You can’t beat that incredible feeling!

So let’s talk about one of those projects - installing floor trim. This task can seem like you’re trying to put together a puzzle at times, but there are a few tricks of the trade that will help you immensely.

CUTS

The first thing that will make your trim look more professional and seamless is getting your cuts right. There are a handful of angle cuts that should be done:

 

INSIDE CORNER

How to Install Floor Trim Like the Professionals - How to cut trim, nail it on the wall, and fill in imperfections. How to fix gaps in floor trim.  Nadine Stay

Join two 45° angled cuts on an inside corner.

OUTSIDE CORNER

How to Install Floor Trim Like the Professionals - How to cut trim, nail it on the wall, and fill in imperfections. How to fix gaps in floor trim.  Nadine Stay

Join two 45° angled cuts on an outside corner.

HOW TRIM JOINS ON A LONG WALL

How to Install Floor Trim Like the Professionals - How to cut trim, nail it on the wall, and fill in imperfections. How to fix gaps in floor trim.  Nadine Stay

Join two 45° angled cuts to create a straight line.

HOW FLOOR TRIM MEETS DOOR TRIM

How to Install Floor Trim Like the Professionals - How to cut trim, nail it on the wall, and fill in imperfections. How to fix gaps in floor trim.  Nadine Stay

Join two flat edge boards for door trim.

 

Depending on the space you’re working with, use the 4 tips above to join your boards together. Use the longest trim boards available to you on large walls to reduce the number of joints. And if possible, join your boards in less visible spots of the room.

PAINT BEFORE INSTALLING

 
How to Install Floor Trim Like the Professionals - How to cut trim, nail it on the wall, and fill in imperfections. How to fix gaps in floor trim.  Nadine Stay
 

After cutting all your boards and dry fitting them (aka put each board in place along the wall but don’t nail them on), I like to prime and paint the boards before nailing them in place. It makes painting 100 times easier and it eliminates the need to tape your floors. (NOTE: Be sure to clearly mark the back side of each board before moving them away from the walls so you know where to put them back)

After you’ve applied your primer and paint, you can start nailing them on the wall using 18 gauge brad nails and a brad nail gun. Fill in the holes with wood filler and sand them smooth once dry.

CAULK THE GAPS

Now it’s time for the most important step - fill in all the seams and gaps with paintable caulking. Most homes won’t have perfectly straight walls so you’re bound to see gaps along the wall, trim, and floor. This is the reality of working with imperfect homes. The best way to eliminate those gaps is with paintable caulking.

Using a caulk gun, squeeze a small amount over the length of your gap and use your finger to wipe it smooth.

 

Working in sections, squeeze caulk along the gap.

How to Install Floor Trim Like the Professionals - How to cut trim, nail it on the wall, and fill in imperfections. How to fix gaps in floor trim.  Nadine Stay

Wipe it smooth with your finger.

How to Install Floor Trim Like the Professionals - How to cut trim, nail it on the wall, and fill in imperfections. How to fix gaps in floor trim.  Nadine Stay

You should caulk every seam, the top of the trim (where the trim meets the wall), and if necessary the gap between your trim and the floor.

If you’re caulking the gap between your trim and the floor, I’ve got a few suggestions that will help with this process.

1.

How to Install Floor Trim Like the Professionals - How to cut trim, nail it on the wall, and fill in imperfections. How to fix gaps in floor trim.  Nadine Stay

Place painter’s tape on the floor.

2.

How to Install Floor Trim Like the Professionals - How to cut trim, nail it on the wall, and fill in imperfections. How to fix gaps in floor trim.  Nadine Stay

Caulk along the whole length of the trim.

3.

How to Install Floor Trim Like the Professionals - How to cut trim, nail it on the wall, and fill in imperfections. How to fix gaps in floor trim.  Nadine Stay

Wipe it smooth with your finger.

4.

How to Install Floor Trim Like the Professionals - How to cut trim, nail it on the wall, and fill in imperfections. How to fix gaps in floor trim.  Nadine Stay

Peel off the tape immediately while the caulk is still wet.

Once you’ve finished, wait for the caulk to dry and then go over your caulk and wood filler spots with paint one last time.

That’s it! You now know how to cut and install floor trim like the professionals. I hope this information was helpful and makes trim installation a little bit easier!

Until next time,

 
 
 

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