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Half Bathroom Renovation: Installing the Baseboard Cap Molding

base cap molding

Yes, it is a large baseboard cap for large baseboard in this small half bath. But it is beautiful!

Installing the Base Cap is not hard, but it is a finicky task.  So make sure you allot yourself enough time so you don’t get frustrated with the pace of installing it.

This is especially important when working in a small, cramped room like this one.

[This is part of Our Molding Makeover series.  See all updates here.]

Blind Corner First

My plan was to cope the base cap in the corners, so I chose the back wall first.  And all I needed for that was this straight cut of base cap, CM-005.

base cap

This is the base cap for BASEBOARD-110.

baseboard cap molding

The first piece of base cap set in place in the back wall blind corner to test the fit.

Glue & Nail

Yes, I even glue the contact surfaces — top and bottom — before nailing the baseboard cap in place with 23 gauge micro pins.

how to install baseboard trim molding

23 gauge micro pins are so easy to fill with spackling!

Warning!  This is a Hard Molding to Cope

When this molding is oriented this way, with the cove on top, it is extremely difficult to cope properly.

I recommend using a 45 degree miter for inside corners when using this molding as a base cap.

best baseboard molding

Cutting the cope for this corner was too hard and the outcome not the best, and I’m pretty good at coping.

Making a Base Cap Return

Use a return where the baseboard terminates on top of the door/vertical stile.

how to terminate a baseboard molding

Cut the base cap to length with the final miters. Make sure you test fit the mating piece of base cap before gluing and nailing in place.

Now cut the opposing outside miter from a piece long enough to sit firmly on your miter saw table.

how to cut baseboard molding

I use a pencil to make a small tic mark to help guide my saw blade.

Cutting small return pieces like this one can end with a chipped piece or one too long or too short.

Returns are important to get right because they are focal points on your installation, the eye is naturally drawn to them.  So make them nice.

how to miter molding

Take your time with returns. I often have to do them over to get them just right.  Often several times.

How to miter molding reutrns

Glue the return in place.

Test the Fit

I test the fit of the two pieces of base cap one last time before installing.

baseboard molding installation

Glue and nail the base cap in place.

large diy baseboard

That’s all there is to it.  Now I’ll finish the rest of the base cap installation.

I usually check comments several times a day, so if you have any questions about this installation sequence you can use the comment section below.

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4 Responses to Half Bathroom Renovation: Installing the Baseboard Cap Molding

  1. Mike December 20, 2012 at 11:42 AM #


    Any suggestions on how to achieve perfect, tight miter cuts? I’ve got a 12″ Hitachi compound saw, but it just seems like most cuts are off. What’s the trick? This probably deserves it’s own writeup, but how do I go from clean cuts that look good while standing at the saw, but once I start to lay 6′ worth of trim on the wall I can clearly see that my angle is off by a slight degree, leaving me with either a tight joint and uneven piece of trim, or the trim where it belongs and a gap in the joint. Shaving down the cut to perfection works sometime, but will often just leave me with a piece that’s too short for the space that needs it… HELP!

  2. Ken December 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM #

    You’re right Mike, this subject really deserves its own post.

    I actually have a very rough draft of one titled “The Most Important Molding Installation Tip of All Time.”

    I should probably write up a quick version of it and post it. Would that be of any help?

  3. Peter December 28, 2012 at 10:15 AM #

    Nice, there’s not a lot of good info going around regarding moulding installation. People still use these types of mouldings in bathrooms as well as hallways, lounges etc. In fact, period mouldings could be coming back into fashion as I’ve come across a few Bathrooms recently that have been renovated with these same mouldings, thanks for the info.

  4. Mike December 28, 2012 at 3:16 PM #

    I’m sure it would. Any info you can provide, even that rough around the edges, might point me in the right direction.

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