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Old 08-22-2012, 10:45 AM   #1
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Baseboard - expansion & bowing


Has anyone ever heard of this happening?

This was my first time installing baseboard.

In the spring (Apr. / May) I bought the cheapest DIY baseboard for my basement reno. 10' strips of "pressboard". Brought it home and after a couple days painted it and then installed it. Some of it maybe sat for 3 days uninstalled. I tried to make all the joints nice and tight.

Well, over the past couple month's it has expanded. In a couple places, at my mid-wall joints, one side has pushed out as the baseboard expanded. At a couple other places the baseboard has bowed right out from the wall. I estimate the expansion has been a 1/4" on 10' strips!

I'll have to pull off a bunch of it and re-do it. I may even have to replace strips that won't straighten due to bowing. Our basement is very dry and there is no humidifier in the house.

So, how long does this stuff need to sit before install? Are expansion joints ever recommended on baseboard? If it can expand so dramatically under higher summer humidity, in the winter could I expect major contraction?

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:33 AM   #2
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Baseboard - expansion & bowing


I don't have any input for you but I'm going to pay attention to what the experts say. I am supposed to start our basement renovation in the next year and live in the same climate you do.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:04 AM   #3
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Baseboard - expansion & bowing


I pulled some storage racks away from the wall in my storage room and I see the some baseboard expansion bowing has occurred there too. I'd done this work about two weeks after getting the baseboards in the house. Since we've had a lot of rain and heat this summer, I'm guessing that this has pushed up the humidity far above winter levels. Plus we don't have a humidifier so the shift in humidity since winter/spring install may have been quite dramatic.

I guess I should have gone with wood baseboards.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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Baseboard - expansion & bowing


Never a good idea to use M F baseboard in a bathroom or basement.
Also make sure you nailing into the studs not just the drywall.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:38 PM   #5
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Baseboard - expansion & bowing


I bet the MDF has absorbed moisture. I would redo it with real wood baseboards.
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