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Baseboard Return

Instructions For Installing A Baseboard Return

What Is A Baseboard Return?

If you are following the pages on installing baseboard you could potentially run into a situation where the baseboard molding just ends. This usually happens around stair landings and among other places.

One simple and quick way to put a finished end look to this baseboard molding is to just put a 22 and a half back cut on the end. This way of ending base is acceptable and has a simple neat look.

The other way to end this base is to put a return on the end meaning the baseboard molding has a look of ending and turning into the wall keeping only the finished side of the base exposed.

The return type does take a little extra work but does have a nicer finished look and is recommended if you have the time. From here on I may refer to baseboard molding as base so as not to be confusing.

Making A Baseboard Return

  • First I will explain how to make the baseboard return so you have a clear understanding before actually applying this to a piece that goes on the wall. This will take a little practice so grab yourself a couple of scrap pieces of base and get ready to make 3 or 4 returns.

  • First, set one of the pieces of base on your mitersaw with the finished part of the base facing out towards you. The unfinished or back of the base against the fence of the saw. Lets say you are making a return on the right hand side of the piece of base.

  • Change the degrees of the saw from 0 degrees to the right to 45 degrees.

  • Cut the end of the base off on the right side at this angle. Set this piece a side for now.

  • Grab the other scrap of base and set it on the saw as before, finished side out towards you.

  • Move the degrees of the saw back to 0 then on to 45 degrees to the left. Cut the end of this piece of base off on the left side at this angle.

  • Now flip this piece of base upside down so the finished part is against the fence and the back of the base is towards you.

  • Move the degrees of your saw back to 0.

  • Now at the cut there is a natural line that runs verticle down where the cut ends on the back of this piece of base. Simply put your blade slightly to the right of this line and cut down and completely off.

  • Now take the other piece of base and hold it against the wall and fit this little piece into the end. Isn't that cool.

  • Now go back and practice this until you have a good understanding of how to do this for both right hand and left hand returns.

    Installing a Baseboard Return

    Next I will explain how to apply this to your measurement for a piece of base that goes on the wall. Lets say that you need to end the base at a corner.

  • The easiest way to explain this is you want the finished part cut at exactly the length of the corner where you need it to end.

  • another way of explaining this so you understand is to cut the base straight off at the corner then cut the 45 degree angle at the end where you need the return without making the piece of base shorter.

    Basically just cut your piece plenty long and use trial and error to get it where you want going back to the saw and just cutting off a little at a time.

    This return method not only works for base you can apply it to shoe or quarter round or even crown molding.

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