Introduction Vinyl wall base molding is an easy-to-install substitute for wood baseboard molding. In areas that you have installed a vinyl or carpeted floor, vinyl wall base molding is a very decorative and functional option for surrounding the room perimeter. You have several color choices that can provide a nice accent to the colors and design of the entire room. Because it is pliable and resilient, it is easy to install and resistant to scuffs and scrapes that can occur over time. Ideal applications are bathrooms, kitchens and rec rooms.
Skill Level & Time
• Beginner - 1 to 2 hours
• Intermediate - 45 to 90 minutes
• Advanced - 30 to 60 minutes
Cautions Make sure the room you are working in is well ventilated with fresh, outside air.
Common Mistakes If you removed old base molding, make sure the wall surface is smooth and clean. Touch up any paint on the walls before installing the new base molding.
Helpful Tips For clean up, check the label on the adhesive to determine the best solvent for cleaning tools and hands.
You need access to the entire perimeter of the room you are working on. Move as much furniture as possible to the center of the room so it does not interfere with your project.
Vinyl wall base molding is only about 1/16” thick and usually 4” tall. Generally it comes in 4-foot sections when you purchase the cove style. The cove style has the slight curve at the base. You can also purchase base molding in a roll. The rolled version usually does not have the bottom curve and is primarily used for carpeted areas. Following are basic techniques you will need to install both types of vinyl base molding.
To cut a piece of base molding, place it face down on a scrap piece of wood. Take a small square and line it up with your measurement mark. Press down on the square to flatten the molding. Using a utility knife, make several passes until you have completely cut through the material.
For end-of-runs and joints, you will simply butt the base molding up against a door casing or the next piece of base molding. Make sure that you have cut the material squarely to avoid gaps.
When you get to an inside corner, run the first piece squarely into the adjacent wall. Take the next piece of material and carve away the curved bottom portion so that it joins seamlessly with the first piece.
For outside corners, you need to wrap the base molding around the corner. To make it easier to bend the material, carve away a little of the back of the base molding. Start by positioning the piece of material and marking the point where it will wrap. Use a square to mark the back of the molding.
Take the piece and bend it so the material is face-to-face. Using a utility knife, carefully carve away about half the thickness of the vinyl. The resulting thinner area will bend more easily around the corner.
When gluing the material in place, make sure the room is well ventilated. Apply the adhesive to the back of the base molding. Using a notched trowel spread the adhesive to create thin rows that cover the entire area that will touch the wall. Don’t over-do it. You don’t want the excess adhesive to squeeze out when you install the molding. Press the molding in place and make sure the entire area is pushed firmly against the wall.
With the techniques listed above, you should be able to easily install vinyl base molding in an entire room is just a few hours. Start in one corner of the room and just work your way around.