Transitioning Baseboard Trim

Two solutions for Transitioning Baseboard Trim from One Room to Another

By Mark J. Donovan

Question: Mark, I’m trying to figure out the best way to finish some baseboard trim from a dining room going into a hallway. I recently laid tile down in the dining room and now the baseboard trim will be higher than the hallway trim. What is the best way to finish this and still have it look good? Drawings would be appreciated. Please let me know if you can help…Thanks! DW

Answer: DW, I had a similar vexing problem a few years ago. I installed a wood floor in my dining room and had the same baseboard trim room transitioning problem that you are currently dealing with.

In the end, I came up with two choices for transitioning the baseboard trim from the dining room into the entranceway of my home.

The first choice was to leave the baseboard trim as is in the dining room. There had previously been carpeting in the dining room. However, the issue I had with this solution was that I would then need to install quarter-round around the bottom edge of the baseboard trim. The quarter-round material would hide the uneven edges of the hardwood floor boards that would butt up against the baseboard.

The second choice, and the solution I decided to go with, was to rip out the old baseboard trim in the dining room and install “ripped” baseboard trim over the new hardwood floors. Simply put, I purchased new baseboard trim stock and removed about 3/4” of material from the bottom edge of the trim using a table saw. The 3/4” dimension was the thickness of the hardwood floor.

Where the new baseboard trim transitioned into the entranceway I created a scarf joint (a joint cut at a 45o angle) to tie the two different sections of baseboard trim together.

Transitioning Baseboard Trim

Note in the pictures that I also had to install one new small section of baseboard trim (full height) in the entrance way so that I could create the opposing scarf cut.

So those are your two choices. If you already installed your tile floor, and left the baseboard trim on, then your best solution is to use the quarter-round solution. If you did not install the baseboard trim yet, then I would recommend my second solution. Good luck! MD

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