new victorian home

Hi Ken,

I wanted to thank you for your molding page and share what we are trying to do.

We are in the long process of building a Victorian home in San Jose, CA (10 years in the works now — it’s a long story.

We finally are about to build and I’ve established a few direct contacts of HDPU molding manufacturers in China. However my original architect (who was an expert in Victorian architecture) turned out to be very unreliable and new architect has limited to no experience with molding, so the weight of picking the molding has fallen upon my shoulders and I know nothing about molding.

My primary worry was that I could not find anyone who made baseboards that were more than 8″ tall until I found your page. Since we have 11′ 3″ ceilings in the house, we needed at least 12″ baseboard and crown.

So you cannot know how much of a relief it was to find your site and to realize that the taller baseboards could be made with a mix of shorter ones. I really liked your BASEBOARD-103 (See also How Do I Make this Large Baseboard?).

Does the lower piece have to not taper off so that there’s no bump out between the two? Or do you cover that with a bit of half round or something? One of the problems I’ll have is that I can’t physically see the pieces ’till they get here. So I have to figure it out based on their catalogs.

Thanks so much again.

— Neil

Ken’s Answer

Hi Neil,

I think you are asking if you can install a base shoe molding at the seam between the floor and the bottom of the baseboard. PM-006 is just such a molding.

And if that is what you are asking, then yes, you can install a base shoe there. Here is a picture of a similar baseboard where I used a base shoe at the bottom.

From a design standpoint, base shoes are always an option and are never mandatory. A base shoe’s primary purpose is to cover uneven gaps between the floor and the bottom of the baseboard. But if you don’t like the look of a base shoe but you have uneven floors that you want the baseboard to sit flush against, then you or your finish carpenter will have to scribe the baseboard to the floor, and that is a very time-consuming process.