When doing regular house maintenance, closing gaps between two surfaces may seem very difficult.
This may seem very tedious when you see a gap between the baseboard and floor.
You might be thinking, ”how do I fix the gap between the baseboard and floor?”.
Once the house settles, a gap may form between the baseboard and the floor. That doesn’t mean you should accept it, though. Large gaps between baseboards and floors can be closed with a caulk or a gap repair device. Even simply repositioning and readjusting the baseboards may help.
Some might think it’s just an aesthetic issue, but it’s not. I have prepared this article to tell you why it happens and how to fix it.
So, let’s jump right in!
Should There be a Gap Between Baseboard and Floor?
The first thing you might think is “should there be a gap between the baseboard and floor?”.
The answer is no. There should not be a gap between your baseboard and the floor. Gaps have negative remarks on the appearance of a room.
Apart from that, It can become a source of heat loss. Insects might start living in the narrow gaps.
This could be the result of a badly cut baseboard or an uneven floor. In the worst case, a defective room structure might cause all the hassle.
Bad Gap or Good Gap: How can I tell?
Sometimes gaps can be minimal and it can happen due to minor flaws. But at times it can indicate structural problems. I will tell you how to know if a gap is good or bad.
If a carpet was installed previously, you may see a gap between the floor and baseboard. It will be even all around. Dissimilarities can be minor and you might see marks on the floor on the securing points.
Gaps caused by poor cutting can be noticed easily. The gaps will be uneven and there will be noticeable irregularities.
Gaps can also be the result of a sagging floor. You can examine the floor a few feet away from the gap and check for slopes. You can use a marble to check the rolling motion to determine the reason.
Step by Step Guide to Fixing Gaps Between Baseboard and Floor
Fixing the gaps between your floor and baseboard is important. But you need not call in a professional for this work. It is as easy as fixing gaps between laminate or vinyl floors.
I have made up an easy step-by-step DIY guide just for your ease. You can do this at home without any specialized tools.
Step 1: Check the Gap Using a Leveler
Before jumping into fixing, first, you need to check how large or small the gap is. I will advise you to do this to ease up the next steps.
Take your leveling tool and put it against the wall and baseboard to check if the gap is large or small.
This will enable you to check if the baseboards are installed properly or not. A tilting baseboard can also cause a gap.
Step 2: Pull off Your Baseboard
The next thing you need to do is pull off the baseboard for adjustment. There are some handy tools I can suggest for this task.
It will be best if you can use a pry bar to pull off the baseboard. But if you do not have a pry bar, you can use a bevel-edged chisel tool. You can also use putty knives or pliers for this purpose.
Carefully remove the baseboard and remove the brad nails using a plier.
Step 3: Shimming and Leveling
This part is the most crucial one, the whole adjustment depends on this. After removing the baseboard, use two shims on two sides to balance off the board.
Put the board against the wall and use your leveler to check the balance.
If the board is level, use masking tapes to temporarily fix it with the wall. Now you can clearly understand the gaps on the board.
Step 4: Marking Up
Marking up the board is as important as shimming and leveling the baseboard. Mark-ups are essential for fixing up boards with big gaps. For this, I will suggest you use a ⅛-inch pencil compass.
Align the compass with the flat floor and gently move it across the baseboard. You will notice a straight line forming across the board. You will be able to identify the bent bow part and side parts.
If you are not able to mark up the shims part, don’t worry. You can join the two sides later using a straight line.
Do not hasten while marking. Do it slowly and gently. After making the line, mark up the cut area for a good reference.
Step 5: Cutting and Trimming
Cutting and trimming the board is the most important part of the process. Before cutting the baseboard, fix it with a jig for fixed position and stability.
For cutting bigger bits you can use a wood cutting jigsaw. This is for cutting bulk amounts. For cutting or polishing small areas and trimming, you can use a belt sander.
After cutting and rough cutting, you can use the belt sander to fine trim and polish it.
While using a belt sander, hold it firmly. Make sure you do not cross the marking line while trimming.
When you are done with cutting and trimming, use a leveler to level up the board. Make sure there are no gaps between the board and the floor. If there are any, you need to readjust them.
Step 6: Fitting and Finishing
The last part is fitting the baseboard to the wall. This part is quick and simple. After checking the alignment and gaps, you can fit the board again.
To fit the board, align it with the wall and use a leveler to level it. Then you can use the brad nails to fix it with the wall. You can use 2 to 3 nails per segment of the baseboard.
After fixing the board, you can use putting or sealants for a sealed joint. This step is optional and you can do it for aesthetic purposes.
Tips and Tricks on Maintaining a Good Floor and Baseboard
I am adding up some tips and tricks for maintaining a good floor and baseboard. Hopefully, this will come in handy when necessary.
- If you want a quick instant fix, you can use caulk to close the gap. But remember, this is not a permanent fix. You will need to work on the gap later on.
- Insulation is one of the major things that gets lost due to the gap. After closing the gap, make sure you install insulating material as well. You can use weather strippers for this purpose.
- Always keep an eye on the floor and the board. Your boards may get damaged due to weather or water. Even, your floor might swell up and cause a bow-shaped curvature. This will result in a big gap.
- Keeping your baseboards intact will ensure you good insulation, weather protection, and aesthetics. Keep an eye for gaps now and then
I hope that these will help you with your house maintenance and aesthetics.
What do I fill baseboard gaps with?
You can use spackling compound, wood filler, and drywall joint compounds to fill up baseboard gaps. Use your fingers to work on the gaps using filling material. Allow the material to overfill and bulge out. You can scrape the extras with a razor knife before the compound dries out.
Should I caulk between baseboard and floor?
It is not recommended to do so. By caulking the space between the baseboard and the floor, you can stop water from leaking onto the floor. This will warp and bubble the floorboards. It can also keep the trim from getting damaged in the same way. If water sits on trim or floors for too long, it will cause them to rot.
What Is the difference between caulk and silicone?
Caulk seals your surface off from air and water. Silicone sealants, on the other hand, stay flexible for a long time. This makes them perfect for areas that tend to grow and shrink. Silicone is a strong glue that can be used on almost any surface, both inside and outside.
That will be all regarding gaps between baseboard and floor. Hopefully, you will be able to fix the gap now with ease.
Always make sure you do not leave water on the floor or baseboard for a long time. It may damage the material causing a gap.
See you soon!