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Can You Put Baseboard On Uneven Ground? (How To)

When it comes time to install baseboards in any room, we don’t often give it much thought. On occasion, we run into an area of uneven ground or flooring. Can you still install the baseboard?

It is possible to install a baseboard on uneven ground but you have to scribe the baseboard to match the floor. Essentially, you want the top edge to be level and the bottom edge to match the floor properly.

White baseboard on the side of walls

This is something that professionals do frequently and it can really make a nice-looking job if it is done properly. Fortunately, it is also well within reach of any DIY enthusiast who wants to make their baseboards look beautiful as well.

In this article, we will take a look at putting baseboards on uneven ground. We will consider whether it is a good idea to do so and any problems associated with it. It will also cover how to get the job done step-by-step.

Can You Put a Baseboard On Uneven Ground? (How To)

One of the biggest mistakes that many people make when putting down a baseboard is to simply put it over the floor and allow gaps to exist. Some of those gaps are not going to be noticeable, especially if you are dealing with carpet flooring but others are going to be rather glaring.

They may even try to cover up some of the gaps that exist with the uneven ground by using caulking. Can it work? Yes, it can make it look a little better but when you scribe the baseboard as we described below, it is really going to make the job look beautiful.

There is one basic principle to keep in mind when you are installing baseboards on uneven ground. The baseboard does not have to be level, it just needs to appear straight. As long as you can make the baseboard look straight, you will have a nice-looking job in the end.

Should You Put Baseboards On Uneven Ground?

White baseboard on the side of walls

It is not ideal to have an uneven floor and in some cases, you may even want to deal with the floor before you deal with the baseboard. In this section, we will look into the problems that exist when installing baseboards on uneven ground and what can be done to overcome them.

1. Chasing the Cut – One of the biggest problems associated with installing baseboards on uneven ground is inexperience. The way to do it is rather straightforward as described below, but unfortunately, there are many people who just continue to chase the cut.

They may lay out the baseboard and start cutting by eye to get it to fit the floor properly. That is a big mistake because you are going to overcut in some areas and undercut in others.

Essentially, you just need to follow the steps we outline below of using the scribe tool and then cutting with a saber saw. It’s not difficult to do, you just need to do it the right way.

2. Extreme Uneven Floors – Although it is always going to look best if the baseboard appears to be straight, there are times the floor is so uneven that it practically whittles one side of the baseboard down to nothing. This can be a real problem.

When you are dealing with an extremely uneven floor, it is more than just a problem with installing the baseboard properly. It could be a tripping hazard and there are other issues associated with it as well.

You can overcome the problem by working with the floor instead of working with the baseboard. For example, you may have to float the floor, as we described below.

3. Floating the Floor – One other big problem that you may run into is the need to float the floor. This involves using a self-leveling compound and spreading it out over the entire floor to overcome high points and low points.

Essentially, floating the floor will get rid of the problem of having uneven ground where you will install the baseboard. At the same time, however, if it is not done properly it can result in some issues of its own.

What Tools Do You Need To Put Baseboard On Uneven Ground

Confused man standing

You will be happy to know that there are very few tools necessary to install baseboards on uneven ground. That being said, you should still have them available in advance so you can get going and get finished.

1. Rubber mallet – There is no tool quite as handy as the rubber mallet for installing baseboards. Not everybody uses one but if you have one available, you will find it comes in handy more often than not.

2. Level – It is always a good idea to know what you are dealing with when it comes to an uneven floor and a level can put you in the right frame of mind.

3. Straight edge – You need a straight edge for a variety of reasons. This includes marking the ends of the baseboard that will be cut to meet existing conditions.

4. Scribe Tool – There are tools that are made specifically for the purpose of scribing. You can also use a protractor that is closed for this purpose.

5. Saber Saw – A portable saber saw or jigsaw can be used to cut the line that was scribed. You should use the saber saw upside down and leave the line, as it will be removed later.

6. File/Planer – There may be some material that needs to be removed from the baseboard. A file or planer can help to remove any that is left.

What Preparations Do You Need To Install Baseboard On Uneven Ground

White baseboard on the side of walls

Fortunately, there is very little that needs to be done before you install the baseboard on uneven ground. Aside from gathering the tools, which we already discussed, consider the following.

After evaluating the floor or ground to see how uneven it is, you may recognize the need to work with it before you work with the baseboard. In that way, you may need to float the floor to level it.

Floating the floor involves using a self-leveling compound and pouring it on the floor. It will seek its own level and cover any low or high spots in the flooring. If the floor is level, it will reduce the need or perhaps eliminate the need to scribe the baseboard.

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You can also ensure that everything is clean and ready to go. A clean work area is safe and will help you to work effectively to get the job done.

How To Install Baseboard On Uneven Ground

Confused man standing

Now that we have the tools gathered and the area prepared, it’s time to actually install the baseboard. Here are the steps necessary to do it.

1. Cut the Ends – The baseboard is going to be cut longer than necessary. This is to allow you to scribe the end so that you can cut the board and install it properly. Essentially, you want it to fit from side to side perfectly so that you can work on the uneven floor.

2. Cut – Install the board in the area by putting it down on the floor and using a saw to cut the line for the end. You essentially want to get the piece so that it fits perfectly from side to side. At that point, you can put it down flat on the floor and begin using shims.

3. Shim – If there are any areas of the floor that are not quite level, then you will need to put shims under the baseboard. By the time this step is finished, you want the baseboard to be sitting on the floor on both ends and then to be resting on shims at any low points in the ground.

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This can be a difficult problem, especially if you are dealing with a high point in the middle of the floor. You really need to use good judgment as to where to put the shims and how to rest the baseboard on the floor at the same time.

4. Scriber – Use your scribing tool to draw a line that perfectly matches the floor underneath the baseboard. The line may not look as if there is a big difference but if you have a significant gap that is noticeable, it will make all the difference in the world.

It takes a steady hand to use a scriber properly. You may want to practice a little before you actually start doing it and cutting the board.

5. Cut – Use the saber saw upside down to cut the line and remove the waste from the bottom of the baseboard. You do not want to cut the line, because you will be finishing the board after cutting it.

6. Sand – Use a belt sander or a file to finish shaping the bottom edge so that it fits tightly on the floor.

ReadyToDiy is the owner of this article. This post was published on 2022-09-16..

Baseboards can be installed on uneven ground but you have to scribe and cut the baseboard to match. Essentially, you want the baseboard to look straight, even if it isn’t perfectly level.