Trim Installation Tips

by Mr. Trim

Trim installation tips for people that can use it. The following is a list of things to look for when installing or inspecting a contractor's job of installing trim.

Inspect all wood before installation and make sure it is trim grade and is free from blemishes or defects. Reject any piece that would make the project look sub-standard. Make sure it is of all the same wood. Even if stained, pine, oak and lauan (commonly called mahogany) will take stains differently and they have different grain patterns. If you can't tell the difference among these three woods readily, get someone who can.

Make sure all the pieces of the moldings are installed in the correct place, including base, base shoe, stops, chair rails and crown moldings. It is not unusual for professionals and do-it-yourselfers to forget a piece.

On hardwood or vinyl floors, install a quarter-round base shoe after the base-board molding has been stained and varnished. Nail it into the floor not the baseboard, half way between floor joists. That way, if the floor sags slightly over time, there will not be a noticeable gap. Make sure all joints are clean-cut and tight-fitting. Pay special attention to miter joints on the outside (convex) corners.

More trim installation tips Make sure all paneling is plumb so the grooves go straight up and down. Make sure shelves are secure and level. Make sure the fireplace mantel is level and secure. All nails should be set below the trim surface and the divot should be puttied over with a quality putty that matches the surface. The trim surface should be free of hammer dents.

Make sure that all stair treads are solid and squeak-free. Hand rails and balusters should feel safe and secure when gripped. Remember, over time, these items will wear slightly on their fasteners. If they don't feel secure when new, they will be dangerous later on. Thanks for reading this page on trim installation tips. More basic carpentry tips from me stay tuned they are coming.

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