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Baseboard and Shoe Moldings

Installed where the floor and walls meet, baseboards (also called base molding) and shoe moldings hide uneven floor and wall joints and protect walls from damage caused by foot traffic, furniture and cleaning tools. Often, they become so dented or marred that they warrant replacement.

Buying Materials

  • Take a piece of the old materials with you when you shop. You may think you'll remember what it looks like, but there are many standard patterns and sizes.
  • When ordering, specify thickness first, then width and length (both thickness and length are measured at their widest points).
  • Buy a supply of finishing nails (size depends on the thickness of the baseboard and molding).

Replacing Baseboards and Shoe Moldings

  • When removing sections of baseboard and shoe molding, be careful not to damage the wall behind them. For protection, use a wood block behind the prybar as you work and pry only at studs.
  • Insert the thin end of a broad-bladed prybar between the baseboard and shoe molding.
  • Pry outward along the molding to loosen it.
  • Pull the molding carefully away from the baseboard and remove nails.
  • Place the thin end of the prybar between the baseboard and wall (use a wood block to protect the wall) and pry outward to make a gap.
  • Insert wood wedges in the gap as you pry.
  • When the baseboard is loose, pull it free.
  • Remove remaining nails from the baseboard and wall.
  • Measure the replacement basebaord and shoe molding against the damaged pieces.
  • Mark cutting lines with a pencil.
  • Use a miter box and back saw to cut replacement baseboard and shoe molding.
  • Saw the pieces on the waste side of the cutting line.
  • Position the baseboard.
  • Drive nails at each stud.
  • Position the shoe molding and nail into the sole plate at each stud.
  • Sink nails, fill and finish.



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