Baseboard help (sizing, affixing, cinderblock walls, etc.)

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Baseboard help (sizing, affixing, cinderblock walls, etc.)

Post by MaxJ » Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:21 pm

Hi Shannon and others:

Hoping for some advice on how I might be able to tackle baseboards in my 1955 Southwest cinderblock home here in NM, US. Pulled off some baseboards in a trial room to see what I was looking at. Looks like the previous baseboards were inset into gaps at the bottom of the drywall/plaster walls (see photo). I can see where the job will require taller baseboards to cover the gap, probably. However, heat registers all across the house are placed at a height that would only really allow me to tack on an extra 1/4” or so. Would this be sufficient to give me a lip to press the baseboard against/caulk securely?

Also, as seen in another picture (hard to spot, as I was nervous to commit to fully ripping out this piece, sorry) the outer wall baseboards appear to be affixed to the cinderblock wall directly. I can see nail holes that were sloppily painted over/don’t appear filled, so I’m assuming these were nailed in to the cinderblock. Because there is a gap along the bottom of the walls here, as well, how might I best get new baseboards adhered (construction adhesive seems like it wouldn’t work well due to the lack of a flush surface).

Thanks so much for helping me out. I have watched all of your videos, and you’ve given me a lot of confidence to start tackling some of these projects, but the oddities and problems of these older houses and dated building materials make me nervous!

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Re: Baseboard help (sizing, affixing, cinderblock walls, etc.)

Post by Shannon » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:10 pm

Would it be a possibility to leave the old baseboards in place and attach new ones to cover them, then us a trim on the top to finish the effect.
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A. Spruce
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Re: Baseboard help (sizing, affixing, cinderblock walls, etc.)

Post by A. Spruce » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:34 pm

I suspect you have what is called button board, which is drywall with holes in it applied to the studs. The holes allow plaster to "key" into the drywall and stay on the wall. This was the norm before drywall was approved as a finished surface. I would recommend pulling the existing base, fill the bare framing in with drywall and tape it to provide a solid fire barrier between rooms. From there you can install your base over the top, nailing into the studs.

In areas where you're working directly over cinder block or concrete walls, a dollop of construction adhesive or caulk ever foot or so along the back of the base will stick it in place sufficiently, follow up with caulking the top edge of the base to the wall and you'll be good to go.
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Re: Baseboard help (sizing, affixing, cinderblock walls, etc.)

Post by Clarence » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:47 am

Your base board was attached to a screed board that was used as a reference for the plaster thickness, than the base board was attached to this screed board. To replace the base board install a new screed board the same thickness as the plaster wall than select a new base board that is about 1 inch wider than the screed board. Note in the photo there are two boards one wider then the other the smaller one is the screed.

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