Baseboard and trim is a crucial feature in any house, whether it is stick-built or mobile home. It can be difficult to imagine a property without it.
In this article, we cover everything you need to know about installing new baseboard and trim in your mobile home. We look at everything from choosing new molding to the different steps in the installation process.
Reasons to replace your baseboard and trim:
Baseboard is a length of wood or plastic that you can install at the bottom where the floor and wall of your mobile home meet. You can buy or even make your own using a variety of different materials.
Yes, a crucial role of the board is to add finishing touches to your home’s decor. You typically use it to cover the joints in the wall. It can also hide the boundary of your carpet.
But it isn’t only meant to be pleasing to the eye. The baseboard has practical value too. It’s a great way to protect the bottom of the wall and to help secure the edges of your flooring.
On the other hand, trim is the board that you can install around features like the windows and doors of your mobile home. You can use it on the interior and exterior of the house. Once again, it can add some much-needed curb appeal and decorative touches to the property.
The board can help to protect these areas as well. And in both cases, the molding can prevent dust and debris from getting stuck in the crevices.
Because of their position, it’s perhaps no surprise that it is in the firing line. It will get damaged. The wear and tear can significantly detract from the appearance of any room. That’s why replacing or refinishing the trim and baseboards is a crucial part of any remodeling project.
In the end, it can add value to any property. So you want to redo it any time it begins to look worn out or that you tackle a major renovation.
How to choose a baseboard and trim?
You can replace the pieces with identical or similar ones. But why not go for something new?
If you want to remodel your mobile home, this might be one of the elements you need to complete the look.
As we’ve mentioned, fabricators can manufacture molding from a variety of materials. Remember that the decision isn’t only about appearance, but about its hardiness and quality too. The options differ on features like their material, profile, dimensions, and colors.
To help you make a choice, we will look at some of the most popular options:
Medium-density fiberboard or MDF is undoubtedly one of the most common options. Manufacturers produce the pieces from a combination of wood fibers, resin, and other materials. They can shape into an endless variety of profiles.
Its real standout feature is its price. MDF is inexpensive and therefore, very budget-friendly. You can buy them in a variety of appearances, but you can stain or apply laminate to it.
The material is softer than wood, so it is much easier to cut and work with. However, this means it can get damaged more easily, and you might have trouble securing it with screws and nails.
One of its most significant downsides is that it contains VOC which can release urea-formaldehyde, irritating lungs and eyes.
Never install it where it can frequently get wet because it tends to soak up moisture and swell.
Another inexpensive alternative for molding is this one. It is a softwood, which means that it is relatively easy to cut and work with.
Both of the options will work well if you want to paint your baseboard or trim. However, its natural appearance can help you to add a bit of rustic farmhouse charm to any room.
Are you looking for a more premium or luxury look? If so, hardwood material can be a fantastic choice. It looks gorgeous, and you can buy a species that matches the rest of the molding or furniture in your home.
Again, it is an excellent option if you want to paint or stain it.
Unfortunately, it can be quite costly. And you find that it will probably be more challenging to work with than some of the alternatives. You need to be careful of buying pieces with knots because it can make cutting it neatly more challenging.
Manufacturers might also refer to this as PVC. They make it from synthetic material. Overall, this type of molding is pretty durable. It is resistant to water damage and damage from adverse weather. On top of this, it is inexpensive.
One of the cons is that it can be brittle. Therefore, it can break or crack when you try to secure it with nails or screws, so you have to pre-drill holes.
You should pay attention to how the manufacturers made the specific molding. Some plastics can contain chemicals that are hazardous to your health.
Can I do it myself?
Whether or not you can DIY is always one of the essential questions with any home improvement project. You don’t want to begin a project that you won’t be able to finish.
Luckily, installing new baseboard and trim doesn’t have to be one of those tasks. You should be able to do it all on your own from start to finish. This should be the case as long as you are relatively handy and your floors are level.
Otherwise, you can hire a professional. The most significant barrier to this is usually the costs involved. Carpenters might charge you per foot or hour. An hourly rate will probably be between $50 and $100. On the other hand, per foot, they might ask $1.50 to $2.00.
One of the most challenging parts is cutting the baseboard and trim to the right size and shape. To do this, you will need a miter saw, which isn’t something most people have lying around. If you aren’t used to using one, you will need some practice. So we recommend buying extra lengths of the board in case something goes wrong.
Guide to replacing baseboard and trim:
Overall, the process is quite similar for replacing baseboard and trim. So we will look at the two together and give you some notes on where the process differs. Make sure you don’t skip these steps.
Before we go into more detail, let’s look at everything you will need to get started.
You need to have the following:
- Miter box saw
- Measuring tape
- Pry bar
- Putty knife
- Stud finder
- Replacement trim or baseboard
- Matching paint or varnish
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Putty or wood filler
- Razor knife
- Coping saw
- Wood glue
Steps to replacing old baseboard and trim:
1 – Loosen the old baseboards and trim
A great place to start is by getting rid of the worn down and damaged molding. This can make it easier to measure and prepare the new baseboard and trim.
Throughout this process, you want to be extremely careful not to damage the walls. Overall, this step is the riskiest.
First, take a razor knife and neatly cut the caulk along the back of the molding. Once you’ve done this, wedge the putty knife in behind the board. If it is taut, you can gently tap it with a hammer. Use it to pull away from the molding until you can fit a pry bar or chisel in behind it.
2 – Remove the pieces
Now take a chisel or pry bar and use it to pry away the baseboard or trim gradually. You want it to come away evenly until the piece is entirely loose. Repeat this section by section until you’ve removed all the molding.
Try to leave the nails inside the pieces. But if some stay behind, you should remove them afterward.
Never push the prying tool towards the wall. Instead, always try to pull it away.
3 – Measure
Following this, you can make the measurements of the wall or around the relevant feature like a window or wall. Write down the dimensions for each section separately.
Complete all the measurements before you move on.
4 – Cut scarf joints
After this, you should have all you need to cut the new baseboard and trim using the miter saw. Measure out how long the different parts need to be and mark it out with a pencil.
It can be a good idea to start with the longest wall, so that you make sure you can use the largest piece of molding.
If the panel is longer than the wall, you only need to measure out the length you need. Then you can cut the ends at a 90-degree angle.
For long sections, you might need to join two pieces of board together. To do this, you have to make a scarf joint. Cut the ends of the two parts at a 45-degree angle. This way, you can fit them together neatly. If possible, measure them out so that you can secure the joint over a stud. This is where the stud finder comes in handy.
5 – Cut a coped joint
The joint for an inside corner is called a coped joint. For this, you have to cut the end of both sections at a 90-degree angle.
You will place the end of one flush against the corner of the wall. Ask someone to hold it in place. Then press the second section with its end overlapping that of the other.
Trace the contour on the second piece. Take it away and then cut it into shape with a coping saw. Technically this is probably one of the most challenging steps.
6 – Cut mitered joints
Now you have to prepare the baseboard and trim for outside corners. These are called mitered joints.
For this, you will need to cut the end of each section at a 45-degree angle. First, place one part against the wall so that it overlaps the corner. And mark out where the second will meet it in the middle.
However, if the corner isn’t almost a perfect 90-degrees, you will need to adjust the angles of the ends.
7 – Attach the new pieces
Finally, you can secure the new baseboard and trim in place. You want to attach it over the studs. There should still be nail holes over them. But if not, or if you’re going to secure it in more places, use the stud finder to locate them.
Ask someone to help you hold the sections in place. Apply glue to the ends at the joints to attach them. Then sink the nails into the molding. If you can, place one near the bottom and one near the top at each stud.
8 – Fill in the gaps
Next, when you have installed everything, you need to fill in all the gaps using caulk. You could also apply it over the tops of the nails. Leave it to dry and then sand over the surface until smooth.
9 – Paint
If necessary, you can now paint over the surface of the molding with matching paint. For a more natural wood appearance, you can stain it. You might need to coat it several times to create the right effect.
Alternative to replacement
Completely replacing the baseboard and trim will probably produce the best results. However, this isn’t always an option. Sometimes you don’t have the time or money. In this case, you could instead try to repair the fittings.
Of course, this won’t always work, but you should be able to brighten up boards with only minor damage or wear.
Unfortunately, you can’t repair all the types of molding, for example, vinyl. The easiest to repair and refinish are wood baseboards and trim.
Frosting on the cake
Beautiful baseboard and trim can be just what you need to add some extra flair to your manufactured house. Installing new molding can be like putting a frame around a picture. Painting it white can create some much-needed contrast on your walls.
For more guides to maintaining your home read the mobile home owner’s guide to repairing skirting and siding problems as well as single wide mobile home remodel ideas: update, upgrade, add space.