Install Baseboard Molding in a Basement
LESLIE: Walter in Florida, you’re on the line. What’s going on at your house?
WALTER: Well, I put – I put a wall up; drywall. And I’ve got cement floors. And I want to fill in the space there between the bottom of the drywall and the cement floor without a baseboard and find out the best material to do that with.
LESLIE: So you don’t want a baseboard.
WALTER: I don’t think so. I think – you know, I’ve seen a lot of houses without a baseboard.
LESLIE: Does your drywall currently go down to the concrete or no?
WALTER: No, there’s a space there.
LESLIE: How much are we talking?
WALTER: Oh, probably three-quarters of an inch.
TOM: Walter, you know, the issue of not having baseboard moulding there is going to cause you a real big wear and tear problem. Because drywall’s pretty soft and, you know, if you get heels and furniture and toes and, you know, people can be kicking that wall in that area, it’s going to really look bad pretty quickly. So, moulding – baseboard moulding has sort of a – sort of a structural/cosmetic protective purpose.
LESLIE: And also, if you go with a baseboard moulding that’s made out of something that’s manufactured almost like a plastic to look like wood, you don’t have to worry about any of the moisture problems from the concrete floor where it might get moisture wicking through.
TOM: Now if you want to spackle it, basically, flush to the floor, that’s something that you can do. And the way to do that is by putting a piece of drywall tape over that gap and actually spackling right over the drywall tape so it’s not flush with the floor itself. And that’s the way to get a very, very clean seal there.
LESLIE: Do you want to use a wider spackle knife at first and then sort of gradually get smaller? Or start smaller and get wider so you don’t get like a strict edge on the drywall?
TOM: It’s not nearly as bad as when you’re, you know, going over an old joint. But basically you sort of tape it flat. I have, for example in my house, an area I have to fix that I was just looking at today where the drywall goes up to the underside of the stair stringer.
TOM: And it’s kind of torn and tattered and uneven there. So I have to tape that flush and clean against the stair stringer. And that’s the way to do it. And we like fiberglass tape because it’s perforated and it’s easy to use.
LESLIE: And it sticks well.
WALTER: I was wondering if the drywall all the way down to the floor would wick up any water?
TOM: Possibly. That’s a good point.
LESLIE: It could.
TOM: It very well could. I really think you should think about a baseboard moulding. It’s there for a lot of good reasons.
Walter, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.