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Installing baseboard at different height

msill74's picture

Hello All,

I've run into an issue while baseboarding my living room. The fron entrance on my new house is tiled and the hardwood floor past it is lower than the height of the tile. I have to put baseboard along the tiled portion of the wall, over a wooden lap between the tile and wood floor, and then on to the floor. I'm trying to figure out the best way to get this done so it looks nice.



Would a picture of the area help?

(post #83316, reply #1 of 22)

There was a pretty good discussion of this going over the merits of various approaches - adding quarter round, etc. a couple of months ago. You might want to use the search function to check it out.

(post #83316, reply #2 of 22)

Rip the base to fit over the tile keeping the top of the base the same hieght all the way around.

I saw it done on T.V. that way...

I saw it done on T.V. that way...

(post #83316, reply #3 of 22)

I was actually thinking of the ripping thing except I don't have a table saw

(post #83316, reply #4 of 22)

Unless the tile is perfectly level I doubt the Table saw would be the best tool.  I would hold the trim pieces in place so you can scribe a line to follow.  You can cut with many different tools.  Bandsaw, jigsaw (need good blade), skilsaw...


(post #83316, reply #7 of 22)

do most people use some type of scribing tool? I've seen a makeshift one with a small piece of wood and a pencil. What do you use?

(post #83316, reply #8 of 22)

The other issue is how to get it to go perfectly over the lap I just had installed as it has a design to it and it's just flat. I guess maybe I should have had them only install it up to the thickness of the trim I'm using. I'm wondering if I should cut it down so the molding fits behind it.

(post #83316, reply #9 of 22)

I just use a pencil and a block if needed, but there are fancy tools on the market.  I would try and see how it works for you first. 

(post #83316, reply #10 of 22)

Here are some pics of the area I'm talking about and the molding I'm using.

100_0740.jpg26.75 KB
100_0741.jpg31.94 KB
100_0742.jpg31.63 KB
100_0743.jpg68.85 KB

(post #83316, reply #11 of 22)

Pretty standard stuff.  If your trim profile is square at the bottom you could probably use a sharp chiesel to carefully remove the end of the transition to allow the trim to fit.  If you have one of those little japanese saws with a thin kerf you might want to start the cut with that.  If your chiesel is not sharp or you dont use it much, I would scribe the trim as you could damage the transition.  You can always try another piece of trim, but that transition is not easy to replace.  Give it a whirl, you might end up doing it twice, but thats the reality of DIY.


(post #83316, reply #12 of 22)

Thanks Brad, I have just started into basic woodworking so I do have a couple japanese saws and some decent chisels. I never really thought of trying that. I actually have some small extra pieces of trim that I coud mess around on first. Thanks for the tip.

(post #83316, reply #13 of 22)


I finished the project today. I ended up just scribing the baseboard and working it around the transition and it worked fine. Thanks for your help.

(post #83316, reply #5 of 22)

circular saw ...


    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa

    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa

(post #83316, reply #16 of 22)

"except I don't have a table saw"

There's your excuse to get one!

(post #83316, reply #18 of 22)

i totally agree. I just need the space for it. :)

(post #83316, reply #6 of 22)

Rip the base down to fit so the top is at the same height throughout the entire area.


(post #83316, reply #14 of 22)

Temporally tack the base level and equally higher than the existing base material. For the sake of argument, say the base is 5/8 of an inch higher? Select a washer or two and roll the washer along the floor and flat along the base.

Use a sharp round pencil and press lightly toward the bottom of the washer's hole while continuing across the floor.

If the line you created is not 5/8" above the tiles, do it again with a bigger washer . With a saber saw,or coping saw,cut along the correct line and back cut a few degrees.(The sharp edge resulting will insure the base will be a near perfect fit.)

Practice on scrap base till you get 'the hang of it' Steinmetz

Edited 7/24/2008 8:27 pm ET by Steinmetz

Edited 7/24/2008 8:36 pm ET by Steinmetz

(post #83316, reply #19 of 22)

I's only assuming the washer was your makeshift scribe correct? I have a scribing tool so I just used that. I then cut the waste with my jig saw. It came out really well. Thanks for that tip though. Maybe if I don't have my scribe and I have some washers somewhere that maybe useful to me

(post #83316, reply #20 of 22)

Most scribes, (If not held steadily,) will stray from parallism and give you a false layout
They should make them with captured rollers in various sizes Steinmetz

Edited 7/25/2008 8:35 pm ET by Steinmetz

(post #83316, reply #21 of 22)

Pencil Compass/Scriber
Pencil Compass/Scriber by General Tools

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In Stock
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That pair of red scribes by Hafele (yea, Hafele, that's why they're $21.23!!!) does what you want, I use them for 95% of all the scribes that I make. The flat on the back of the one leg really helps keep them parallel through-out the scribe. The Generals above the red ones is what I use for the other 5%.


Hafele Red scribe tool (post #83316, reply #22 of 22)

The link to amazon to buy this tool is broken. Do you know where I can buy one of these? I had one and lost it and I would like another. Do you have one for sale ?

(post #83316, reply #15 of 22)


(post #83316, reply #17 of 22)

I could only have done that if I cut out a bit of the transition o take the block. I decided to go and scribe the shape and cut it worked out well....thanks for the tip though. May come in useful in the future