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How to mitre cut floor molding

Updated February 21, 2017

You can improve the appearance of any room by adding stylish base and shoe moulding to make an attractive transition between the walls and floors of your home. This will require some simple knowledge of cutting inside and outside mitres where the moulding meets inside and outside corners of the room. With simple instructions and a little prior planning, these cuts can be made by any homeowner.

Take a quick survey of the room and determine the number of inside corner mitres to be cut.

Position one end of base moulding flush in the corner and, with a dark lead pencil, draw a line at 45 degrees from the corner across the top of the moulding to the moulding face (see photo).

Position a second piece of base moulding on the adjacent intersecting wall and draw a line at 45 degrees from the corner across the top of the moulding to the moulding face (see photo).

Using a mitre saw or a back-saw and a mitre box to make 45-degree cuts on the end of each of these two pieces. Use the lines drawn in Steps 2 and 3 to determine the direction of the 45-degree cut.

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for any additional inside mitres required and test the paired intersecting moulding pieces for fit (see photo).

Position base moulding to overlap the outside corner and draw a pencil line, running at a 45-degree angle from the point at which the corner meets the moulding, across the top of the moulding to the moulding face (see photo).

On the intersecting wall, position a second piece base moulding to overlap the outside corner and draw a pencil line running at a 45-degree angle from the point at which the corner meets the moulding across the top of the moulding to the moulding face (see photo).

Using a mitre saw or a back-saw and a mitre box to make 45-degree cuts on the end of each of these two pieces. Use the lines drawn in Steps 1 and 2 above to determine the direction of the 45-degree cut.

Repeat Steps 1 to 3 for any additional outside mitres required and test the paired intersecting moulding pieces for fit. (see photo).

Mark 45-degree cutting direction lines for shoe or quarter-round moulding using the same techniques outlined for base moulding.

Use mitre saw or back-saw and mitre box to cut shoe or quarter-round moulding 45-degree mitres to fit at the intersection of the base moulding and the floor surface.

Complete floor moulding installation by adding shoe or quarter-round moulding at the foot of all base moulding.

Tip

Always test fit mitre cuts in the corner before attempting to nail moulding in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Base moulding
  • Shoe or quarter-round moulding
  • Mitre saw or a back-saw and mitre box
  • Pencil
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About the Author

Josh Weber is a retired industrial engineer. He has called on his engineering experience to write how-to articles for Associated Content, Demand Stuios and a business publication, "The Oyster Pointer." He is a graduate of The Virginia Military Institute and has a B.A. in economics and history.