Posted on: 14.04.2023 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Whether you’re naturally handy or just excited about a new construction project, learning the proper installation of baseboards is just one of the many things you can become a pro at. Installing baseboards can be challenging, but many people struggle the most with installing baseboards around stairs.

While installing baseboards around stairs requires planning, measuring, and a bit of elbow grease, it can be done easily in just a few steps!

Whether you’re looking to spruce up the baseboards around your stairs or do a complete renovation, you should first familiarize yourself with the basics of constructing a baseboard and know what materials are required to get the job done.

The Basics of Installing Baseboards Around Stairs

Roundings, beads, and V-grooves are just a few of the terms associated with baseboards. If you’re not familiar with any of these terms, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to learn some of the basics required for the proper installation of baseboards around stairs.

However, there is cause for concern if you don’t know where to start. This step-by-step guide will walk you through all the things you need to know before you begin.

Installing baseboards around stairs can undoubtedly be a DIY job, whether professionally or not. However, with any job that requires measuring, cutting, sanding, and paying attention to details, you’ll want to make sure it’s done correctly. Any mistakes with this type of project can cost you a lot of money.

The first prerequisite is, of course, understanding the jargon associated with baseboards. This is important as you need to know what certain terms mean to ensure you purchase the right baseboards that you like aesthetically AND that are compatible with the stairs they will be placed around.

Here are a few explanations for common terminology related to baseboard designs and the like:

  • Rounded/Rounding – also known as a “bullnose corner,” the rounding refers to the top of the baseboard or the top edge. This design creates the effect of a square top edge and a rounded corner below, both measured at 90-degree angles. This term relates more or less to the design of the trims on the baseboards.
  • Beads/Beaded – this refers to the decorative trim design of the baseboard where the top edge of the baseboard is rounded or curved. Underneath the curve of the top edge moulding of the baseboard, there is a small gap or bead that separates the rounded bottom edge of the baseboard. Click here to see an example of a beaded baseboard.
  • V-Grooves – are vertical grooves running from one end of the baseboard to the other. These grooves have a slight depth and are often found on manufactured baseboards. Click here to see an example of a baseboard with v-groove.

While these terms are mainly associated with the appearance/designs of the baseboard and not necessarily the actual practical process of installing the baseboards around the stairs, they can be useful in at least helping you get an idea of how you want the baseboards to look around the stairs, especially if you’re making your own baseboards.

Similarly, you may also be wondering:

Are the stairs made of wood, carpet, linoleum, etc.?
Does the wall leading to the stairs already have a baseboard?
Is it easier to install the baseboards if there’s a skirt on the stairs instead of placing miter cuts around each individual step?

These are all relevant questions to consider before installing baseboards around stairs.

How to Properly Install Baseboards Around Stairs

When it comes to the trim or design of the baseboards, there is no right or wrong way, but when it comes to actually installing the baseboards around the stairs, you’ll want to get it right the first time.

Remember that if you’re planning to purchase baseboards with a fairly expensive trim, it can be very costly to not install them correctly the first time, especially if the work needs to be redone more than once. That’s why it’s important to strive to do the best job the first time around.

The best way to ensure that you install baseboards around stairs correctly is to follow a series of steps rather than trying to complete all aspects of the project at once. Such hands-on work should be fun, right?

Even if you’ve never installed baseboards before, you’ll have even more reason to be proud of yourself with each successful completion!

Equip Yourself with Safety Gear

The first thing you should do when preparing for a job like this is to make sure you have the proper tools and necessary safety gear. Since this job involves wood and heavy machinery, and you’ll want to keep your eyes for seeing, it’s naturally recommended that you wear safety goggles.

These will protect your beautiful eyes and prevent injuries!

In addition to safety gear, you’ll also need most of these tools and materials to install the baseboards around the stairs:

  • Tape measure
  • A random orbital sander or sandpaper with 100 grit
  • A miter box
  • Pine or hardwood boards (if making your own baseboards)
  • Heavy-duty nails
  • Carpenter’s glue
  • A speed square or angle finder

Once you have your tools and materials at hand, you’re one step closer to the job!

Get Everything Right in the Areas Around the Stairs

This step is probably one of the most important as an incorrect measurement could disrupt the entire process of correctly installing the baseboards around the stairs. Like with any project like this, you should measure everything that’s relevant to the proper installation of the baseboards, including each step and the area around it.

To start with this step, you should first begin by measuring the area where the actual baseboard will be installed. This includes the lengths where the baseboards will be installed as well as around the rise and run of each individual step.

For example, if you’re planning to install a skirt around the stairs before installing baseboards, or if there’s already a skirt around the stairs, you’ll only need to measure the area of the skirt where the baseboard will sit.

A skirt for stairs is not an actual skirt, but the decorative molding that covers the textured corner sections of the stairs. If the stairs didn’t have a skirt, you would have to go through the effort of placing baseboards on each individual step, including on each riser and over each tread.

Additionally, you would have to measure each individual step’s angle.

Having a skirt for your stairs is not a necessary requirement, but if you have one, installing the baseboards will be much easier. Otherwise, if the stairs are not already equipped with a skirt and you have no plans to change that, you will have to go through the laborious task of measuring each length of the stairs, and this requires a lot of work and attention to detail.

“Measure the lengths at which you want to install baseboards. Add 10 percent to the lengths in case of errors during installation. Installing baseboards on stairs can be tricky; therefore, pay attention to the lengths and measurements before cutting the actual baseboards.”

Source: How To Install Baseboards On Wood Stairs

However, it is possible to take the proper measurements without a stair skirt, but be extra careful with each measurement.

Choose the Baseboards You Want to Use

Phew! All that measuring was a lot of work, wasn’t it? Now comes the fun part of choosing the baseboards you want to use. Baseboards are available in a variety of varieties. This can be the most enjoyable part of the process if you have a good eye for baseboard design and can spot a great trim from a mile away, but there are a few things you should consider first.

When choosing the baseboards you want to use for the stairs, it’s important to consider the type of stairs, such as whether they’re made of wood, carpet, linoleum, etc.

Especially with wooden stairs, it’s best to choose a baseboard that matches the color of the wood. If you can’t find baseboards in the exact same color, you can always paint the baseboards before installing them. The same goes if you can’t find baseboards in a specific color or design that you want to use.

When purchasing baseboards, try to select ones with lengths that resemble the ones you measured on the stairs. This will save you time and money as you won’t have to cut off as much excess length that you don’t need. You also won’t have to cut at as many spots and risk one of the baseboards being too short.

Building your own baseboards is a complete process in itself, which in turn requires a lot of measuring, cutting, and even more measuring. While it complements the task of installing baseboards around stairs, it’s ideal if you want to create your own trim design, etc. You can find a step-by-step guide to making your own baseboards for stairs here.

Determine the Angle of the Stairs

For this next step, you’ll need to determine the exact angle of the stairs. This involves measuring the angle between each individual step. It might be tempting to assume that the same angle applies to each step, but you should still measure the angle of each individual step as a precaution.

If you’re unsure how to measure the angle of the stairs initially, you can always use scrap baseboards that can be replaced with the new baseboard if necessary.

Since the stair angle is the measurement for how the stairs are sloping, you should start measuring from the top end of the stairs to the bottom end, not the other way around. The quickest way to determine the angle of stairs is by using a speed square or angle finder.

These simple tools will do the measuring and determining of an angle for you. All you have to do is place it between each individual step. Optionally, you can also use a level with the speed square to ensure the angle you’re measuring is precise.

If the stairs are equipped with a skirt, this step is not necessary as there will be no space left to fill between each step since the skirt is present. Eventually, you will still need to determine the angle of the skirt correctly to place the baseboard correctly along the length.

Additionally, to better help you determine the angles of the stairs, you can also trace each step using the scrap baseboards.

Apply Your Measurements to the Baseboards and Cut Them as Needed

After you have correctly measured and determined the angles of the stairs, it’s now time to apply those measurements to the baseboards that will actually be installed. If you used scrap baseboards to measure the angle of the stairs, transfer those results to the new baseboards.

The same goes if you used an angle finder or speed square.

After transferring the measurements of lengths and angles, you can start marking the points where you want to place the nails in each individual baseboard. After that, you can start the exciting but also nerve-wracking part of the process, cutting and sanding each baseboard.

This part of the process can be intimidating as there’s no going back once you start cutting each piece of baseboard. If you later find that you cut a baseboard too short and measured incorrectly, you’ll have to go back to the drawing board and remeasure, re-determine the correct angle, and find a new baseboard that you can use.

To ensure you cut and trim the baseboards at the right angles and dimensions, you may need the help of a miter box. With this specialty tool, you can make straight, precise, and seamlessly clean cuts across pieces of wood.

“A miter box consists of two components – a handsaw whose teeth are beveled for crosscutting (cutting against the grain) and a ‘box’ preformed with slots on both sides to help the woodworker make accurate angle cuts… A miter joint, the eponym of the tool, is made by joining two 45° cuts to form a right-angle corner.”

Source: How To: Use A Miter Box

After successfully cutting and trimming each of the baseboards, sand the edges of all pieces so they fit together perfectly when forming a corner. This not only allows for a seamless fit but also gives the baseboards a clean, polished look.

Install the Baseboards Around the Stairs

When you first start installing the baseboards around the stairs, align and attach the baseboards first without nailing or gluing them permanently. This allows you to make sure each baseboard fits properly before being permanently nailed in place.

This also avoids having to tear out a baseboard in case it doesn’t fit properly. Similarly, you can also use some type of adhesive such as tape to hold the baseboards in place until you’re ready to nail them in permanently. If all the baseboards are evenly aligned and everything looks perfect, you can start nailing them in.

Oftentimes, there isn’t much for the nails to grip behind the baseboards and walls. In this case, in addition to nails, you can use carpenter’s glue to secure the baseboards properly.

“There is probably nothing to hit with your nails behind the wall, so nail the pieces that you can or know where they will hit studs. A good construction adhesive must be used to secure the other pieces that can’t be nailed.”

Source: Installing Baseboards on Stairs

Once you’ve applied carpenter’s glue or a similar adhesive to the back of the baseboards, apply pressure to each piece until the glue is completely dry.

Be sure that when applying adhesive to the back of the baseboards, you apply it between each of the joints where the baseboards meet.

Clean Up the Workspace

After the glue has dried and the baseboards are fully in place, brush or wipe away any excess sawdust from the baseboards.

If nails are still visible after the baseboards have been permanently attached, you can easily cover them up with any type of filler material.

Make sure that the sealant material you use matches the color of the baseboard. If necessary, you can also mix any colors you used on the baseboards with the filler material to get a color that matches exactly.

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