One of the most difficult tasks in any home renovation is cutting baseboard corners.
The problem with using a miter saw to cut the board at an angle is that it leaves behind a lot of waste, and can be quite tricky to do without damaging other boards nearby.
Here you will find out how to cut these corners without a miter saw by using only basic tools.
Table of Contents
How to Cut Baseboard Corners without Miter Saw
The miter box formula
To make the cut, you will need to use a miter box. To calculate your angle and length of the board, take this formula: (length x height)/(base width). The result is how many boards it may take to reach across one wall at a 90-degree corner.
For example: if you have a baseboard that needs two cuts because it’s too long for one piece then the math would be as follows, 12in*12in/(16in)=0.625 or six-inch pieces are needed in order to complete both sides of the same wall with only two cuts!
For an inside corner where each side meets by the trim on either end find the total measurement between those edges including space between the trim and board.
Divide that number by two to get the measurement for one side of an inside corner baseboard with no space between it and other trim pieces or boards.
This is a rough calculation so you may have to make adjustments once you go to install your new, perfect cut on corners!
Portable Hand cutting tools
Portable Hand cutting tools: a utility knife is the most commonly used tool for all of these projects.
For inside corners, a carpenter’s square can be helpful to make sure that your cuts are perfectly perpendicular and at perfect right angles.
You may also need an electric miter saw if you want to cut baseboard pieces from lumber or have other large boards/layers which cannot fit into your power drill.
Make sure you always wear eye protection when using any blade as it’s important to keep safety in mind!
Baseboard Installed Without Miters
For the baseboard that is installed without miters, you need to start with your cut pieces.
Measure and mark the lengths of three different boards at the length needed for each side of the room (e.g., ceiling height minus two inches).
After marking those measurements, use a straightedge or carpenter’s square as a guide for cutting on either end of one board with your utility knife so that it matches up perfectly to both edges where it will attach to another piece.
This will create an inside corner where there were previously only two flat sides!
Installed Without Miters
If using coping, the process is essentially the same. You measure and mark your lengths of three different boards at the length needed for each side of the room (e.g., ceiling height minus two inches).
If using trim at all four corners of your room, you’ll need to measure for each piece individually (e.g., if cutting two inches off both ends) since there’s no way to use just one board like before without having exposed edges in between boards where it meets another edge or corner of a wall.
Elements of Baseboard Corners
To install a hardwood batten at the top of your baseboard, you’ll need to first ensure that it’s flush with the edge of any walls or trim in the room.
This will allow for an even finished look and give you something to mark against when cutting off corners without miters.
For example: if there is no trim near where your batten meets up with another wall (e.g., just drywall), then use a thin strip of masking tape on the line between two pieces of wood as shown below, which should be enough for an accurate cut when using a hand saw.
If you have a small gap between your baseboards and the wall, use masking tape to mark off where the edge of that batten should be.
You will then cut along those lines with scissors or an Exacto knife. Using this method means it’s less likely for any nails used in construction to show when installing composite materials like vinyl flooring or ceramic tile as they’re not nailed into place at all but instead glued on top.
This same technique can also work for corners made from laminate wood planks if you align them flush against each other before cutting which is just another way of saying “miter” cuts are no longer necessary.
Batten for vinyl flooring should be cut at a 45-degree angle to the baseboard. To do this, measure and mark off where you would like the edge of that batten to be with tape, then use your hand saw in an upward motion on one side of the marked line.
Repeat for another side so each end is flush against the wall and make sure there are no gaps or nails protruding outward from any boards used during installation.
- Cut on the outside of a corner
- Leave adequate space for expansion when cutting
- Take care to not go past the edge or cut off more than needed. Make sure you leave at least ¼” around each board, and use spacers if necessary so they are evenly spaced from one another. This will help avoid any uneven edges that could make it hard to install baseboard trim later on down the line.
- Always wear protective equipment (goggles, gloves) while working with power tools in order to prevent injury! Never walk away from your work without turning off your tool first. And always remember never to touch a blade while it is spinning.
What’s the best way to measure for baseboard?
Measure from where the floor and ceiling meet, up to the desired height of your baseboard. This will be called “A” in a triangle on all sketch layouts.
Measure from there, across at least two studs or joists (wall framing) and over one more stud or joist (wall framing), then back down towards where you started measuring – this is “B.”
The distance between A and B should equal your desired length of trim board.
How do I cut off an edge without a miter saw?
You can use a circular saw with a guard attached to it in order to get a straight line while cutting boards that are longer than 24 inches.
You can also use a saber saw to cut boards that are 24 inches or shorter and obtain the same result as you would with a circular saw, but without all of the damage it could do on your hands if you were cutting for an extended period of time.
What are some ways I could get around not having a miter saw?
You can always buy a trim board at any home improvement store in either 12 inch or 18-inch lengths.
This will allow you to easily butt one end up against another and create 90-degree angles when joining them together using metal corner brackets from the said hardware store.
Another option is to purchase edge molding which comes pre-cut into various widths (two popular choices being ¾-inch and ½-inch) to fit the length of your baseboard.
How To Use Corner Brackets?
After measuring strips for trimming (making sure they will cover at least two baseboards), take care when cutting them by using a miter saw or handsaw to make clean cuts at 90 degrees and ensuring the ends are square if there is any chance of being exposed after installation.
It is not difficult to cut baseboard corners without a miter saw, but it does take some time and patience. It may also require the use of more than one cutting tool if no power tools are available.