How to Install Baseboard in a kitchen or living room: A Step-By-Step Guide

Don’t like the way the seam between the wall and the floor is just sitting there? Or do you want to cover that obvious, uneven edge of flooring next to the wall? Try baseboards!

Not only do they help cover unsightly stuff, but they also protect your walls from dirt, debris, accidental kicks, and even furniture.

Apart from being practical, they also look fabulous and give your home that perfect finishing touch. Best of both worlds, right?

This begs the question. How do you install a baseboard? And can you do it yourself? If you want to find out, keep on scrolling!

Items You’ll Need to Install Baseboard

It’s always good to prep yourself and purchase the necessary supplies before beginning the installation. This helps the job go smoothly without a couple of unnecessary trips to the hardware store.

Here’s a list of things you’ll need:

-Safety goggles



-Nail gun

-Nail set

-Miter saw

-Semi-gloss paint

-Painter’s tape (optional)

-Paint Brush

-Paint roller



-Carpenter glue

How to Install Baseboard: before or after tile or carpet?

Baseboard installation is considered to be a fairly straightforward task that doesn’t call for any special skills.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to install a baseboard. This should be installed after the tile and carpet have been installed. This makes it easier to cover uneven parts of the flooring.

Step One: Pick Your Baseboard Material

The first thing you need to do is pick the baseboard material you prefer.

Baseboards normally come in three different materials, each with a distinct appearance and a different set of advantages and disadvantages. These are MDF, wood, and PVC.

Let’s take a look at all three materials.

MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard)

MDF is a man-made material consisting of resin and compressed wood fibers.

Back in the day, you didn’t have much of an option when it came to baseboard material. It was only wood, mostly pine. Nowadays, MDF is frequently used and has gained a lot of popularity. That’s because it has many advantages:

-Cheaper than wood


-Easier to install

Now let’s look at some disadvantages:

-Can be damaged by water

-Outside corners are prone to chipping


You can typically find wooden baseboards in older homes. The most common baseboard wood is pine, oak, maple, and poplar wood.

Sometimes you can find Ipe and teak wood, especially in tropical areas. Let’s look at some pros of wood baseboards:

-Provide a chic traditional look

-Can be left stained (not painted)

-Strong material

Now some cons:

-Cost more

-May rot if exposed to water

-Not perfectly straight

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

PVC has a porous, foamy texture that resembles wood grain. Nowadays, you can find PVC almost anywhere; all big-box retailers sell one or two brands.

Here are a few advantages:

-Works well in wet areas

-Extremely easy to work with

-Very similar to wood

And a few drawbacks:

-Easily shrinks and expands

-Can be quickly damaged

-Edges aren’t smooth

Step Two: Measure Your Room(s)

Before you go out and purchase your desired baseboards, you’ll want to know how much you should actually buy.

Note: If this is your first time installing a baseboard, make sure to buy extra. That way, you can have room for mistakes.

Start by measuring all the walls where you’ll be installing baseboards, down to the smallest areas. Remember, always opt for accurate measurements. This means you should take measurements to the nearest 1/16th of an inch.

Pro tip: For inner corners, round down to the nearest 1/16th of an inch. For outer corners, round up to the nearest 1/16th of an inch.

Step Three: Paint Your Baseboards

Here comes the fun part!

Once you’ve purchased your baseboards, paint them using semi-gloss paint.

If you got the pre-primed baseboards, you’ll only need to paint them with one coat. If not, you’ll need to add around two layers of paint. Once you paint your baseboards, leave them to dry for at least 24 hours.

Step Four: Cut Your Baseboards

Using the measurements you took earlier, start cutting your baseboards accordingly with a miter saw. Take your time and cut slowly in order to minimize mistakes. Pay attention to the angles you cut at.

Pro tip: After cutting your baseboards, label each piece with the room it belongs to. This will save you a lot of time once you install them.

Step Five: Install Your Baseboards

Finally, it’s time to install your baseboards. Before you go ahead and nail them in, you’re gonna want to dry fit them first. This allows you to see whether the size of the baseboards needs adjustments.

Once the measurements are precise, use your nail gun to nail them into the wall.

Note: Always keep your safety goggles on at all times throughout the installation process.

Step Six: Caulk Your Baseboards

After installing the baseboards, put your gloves on and start caulking them.

Caulking ensures there aren’t any gaps between the baseboards and the walls and provides a clean finish.

Note: Less is more. You can always go back and add some more caulk, but too much will make it clumpy and difficult to work with.

How to Cut Baseboard for Corners

The corners are the trickiest part of cutting baseboards.

We assume that walls are joined together at 90 degrees. However, most of them aren’t. This is because of the excess drywall mud on the walls, which brings us to the next point.

When cutting your baseboards for outer corners, make sure you leave 0.5 degrees. This means cutting at an angle of 45.5 degrees. As for inner corners, cut at an angle of 44.5 degrees.

This will ensure that there are no gaps between the corner baseboards and that everything is nice and neat.

You can use a standard saw for this but a miter saw makes things a lot easier as it is more sturdy. Finishing can be done with a hand saw, a file and some sandpaper.

You can use a pencil and measuring tape to make sure that you cut it correctly. A leveling tool can also ensure that the end result is perfectly straight.

Wrapping Up

The bottom line (pun intended) is that baseboards are the perfect mix of elegance and practicality. They’re a great way to protect walls and hide gaps between walls and floors.

They also add a lovely aesthetic to your home.

Baseboards can also be installed in a garage.

We created this step-by-step guide on how to install baseboards for all you DIY kings and queens out there, so, good luck with your project!