DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Carpentry (
-   -   Baseboard joints in corners (

sosee11 01-31-2013 12:43 PM

Baseboard joints in corners
Hi all - hoping this is the right board for this question.

We just had our basement finished. They did a great job overall, however in one of the rooms, we noticed that the baseboard joints in the corners were not so great. In my mind, you should be able to make the cuts so that the two boards are flush - there shouldn't be a gap, especially if you measure correctly.

Well, in all four corners of this room, the joints are not flush, and I'd say there's a little less than a centimeter of space at some joints. We told our carpenter about it, and he had one of his guys come out to "fix it", but all they did was fill it with caulk. I guess to show us that it doesn't really matter, since it can be filled with caulk?

I don't think it's too much to ask that joints be flush in the corners. Every other corner in our house is that way and never needed caulk to fill in a gap.

Just want to make sure I'm not crazy and am not asking something out of line when I tell him he needs to come back and redo the baseboards!!!


joecaption 01-31-2013 01:52 PM

Almost never are the corners ever exactly 90 deg.'s.
If you coped the inside corners like your suppost to there would be no gaps, or at least less of one.
Any trim that's going to get painted always get caulking to fill any gaps.
Just look at the tops of the baseboards, are they 100% in full contact with the wall? Not likly, going to have to caulk them.

dengle 01-31-2013 02:07 PM

Yep, i've redone a TON of trim in my home and if they're just cut with 45 degree angles for the corners, I can next to guarantee there will be a gap. My chop saw apparently has a bit of flex in the arm as well which makes the bottom of the cut a slightly different angle. Caulk it. Once painted, you'll never see it.

If I didn't have so many projects to do in my money pit of a home, I would cope the corners. It does make for a much better look overall.

sosee11 01-31-2013 02:09 PM

I understand that a certain amount of caulking is necessary for baseboards that will be painted. But I find it hard to believe that they couldn't have done a better job at not leaving a whole cm gap at the joint of the baseboards. To me it just seems like you either didn't measure correctly or you didn't cut correctly. I am absolutely not a carpenter and have never installed baseboards, but looking around my house I see perfectly butted joints everywhere, so obviously whoever did these ones in the basement wasn't taking their time to do it right.

sosee11 01-31-2013 02:11 PM

OK so from the responses it sounds like the probably did not do any coping, just did the 45 degree cuts and put it in. I admit it does LOOK fine with the caulk, but won't the caulk eventually crack? Especially if there's than big of a gap?

Are my expectations too high?

dengle 01-31-2013 02:12 PM

Hmm, a whole cm (~ 1/2"?) is a bit excessive. In that case I would have filled in the gap with another piece of wood and smoothed it over with caulk or wood putty. I've done that a time or two where the measurement was off and didn't have enough extra on-hand to redo the piece. if done properly, you can't even tell.

joecaption 01-31-2013 02:17 PM

If my calculater is right 1 CM is .032808, not 1/2".

funfool 01-31-2013 02:22 PM

caulk on paint grade is all I would do. I call it blow and go.
I also have been doing trim for many years. I prefer to do my own caulking, even if I will not paint. The caulk will be fine, I just see others do not care about the finished product as much as I do, why I always caulk myself.

As joe said, if this was stain grade baseboard, the installation bill just doubled, corners will be shimmed, coped, recut to correct angle, it just takes 3 times as long to do tight miter cuts on corners of walls.

Consider if I was charging you by the hour, would you like me to take 3 times as long to work on a corner that could be simply caulked and look just as good?

I say they did fine .... blow and go for the win!
Stain grade, you put on a different hat and grab a cup of coffee and take your time and be patient.

dengle 01-31-2013 02:30 PM


Originally Posted by joecaption (Post 1106511)
If my calculater is right 1 CM is .032808, not 1/2".

oopsie. I thought it was 2.2cm per inch. Wow I was off. 2.54cm. Yeah, 3/10ths of an inch isn't that big of a gap to "shim" it like I mentioned before.

sosee11 01-31-2013 03:35 PM

OK, thanks for the input guys! This makes me feel a lot better about it. So maybe I was having much too high of expectations based on my lack of knowledge. And now I can have a somewhat intelligent conversation with our carpenter about it too :)

woodworkbykirk 01-31-2013 07:20 PM

3/10" of a inch so closer to 1/4, theres no such measurement as 3 /10's on a measuring tape.. even still that can still show when the caulk shrinks.. i wont accept a gap larger than 1/8". i tell my helper recut it or go home

its perfectly fine to miter paint grade as long as its mdf.. mdf trim is far more stable than paint grade real wood. as for stain grade you have to cope it and it has to be tight

Millertyme 01-31-2013 07:24 PM

Putty and paint or what you ain't. A good carpenter copes baseboard and makes tight joints always, not just when things don't get painted.

Maintenance 6 01-31-2013 08:16 PM

I think a 5/16 gap in a baseboard joint is just wrong.

woodworkbykirk 01-31-2013 08:34 PM


Originally Posted by Millertyme (Post 1106735)
Putty and paint or what you ain't. A good carpenter copes baseboard and makes tight joints always, not just when things don't get painted.

easier said than done especially if using mdf.. mdf is too delicate to cope most times especially if its the low quality mdf trim thats sold in big box stores

funfool 01-31-2013 08:53 PM


Originally Posted by Millertyme (Post 1106735)
Putty and paint or what you ain't. A good carpenter copes baseboard and makes tight joints always, not just when things don't get painted.

At $65 per hour, most of my customers are inclined to say, make it work.
Your grand pappy never had the caulk we do now days.
Did you do the conversion of the gaps from metric to USA measurements?

Just because I am curios, when was the last time you hired a good carpenter capable of doing stain grade trim?

Is a big price jump and unneeded if just going to paint anyways.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:43 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1