How to Install a Vinyl Wall Base

One option for baseboard trim is to use vinyl wall base.

Initial Placement and Inside Corners

Vinyl wall base is most commonly seen in office buildings. It comes in a variety of colors and is simpler to install than wood baseboard trim. Vinyl wall base is available in pre-cut lengths as well as rolls at home improvement centers. The wall area must be clean before you being installation because you will use adhesive instead of nails to secure in vinyl wall base in place.

Lay pre-size vinyl wall base sections face-side up on the floor along the walls. This gives the itan opportunity to relax before installation. If you purchase vinyl wall base in a roll, unroll the vinyl completely and allow it to relax for 24 hours.

Place the first piece of wall base at an inside corner of the room. Butt the end of the wall base against the corner and ensure that it is flat against the wall and flush against the floor. Set your divider to 1-inch. Place the stationary end of the divider on the bottom of the corner with the pencil end on the wall base. Pull the divider straight up the corner to scribe a line on the wall base.

Place the wall base flat on a piece of scrap wood and cut the pencil line with a utility knife. Dry fit the wall base against the wall to ensure the corner fits properly. Place the wall base face-down on the floor.

Apply construction adhesive to the back of the wall base with a caulking gun. Run a 1/4-inch bead down the center length of the wall base in an "S" pattern. Spread the adhesive with a putty knife, avoiding spreading adhesive 1/4-inch from the top edge.

Press the wall base against the wall, butting it into the corner. Run a hand roller across the entire length of the base to ensure good contact and remove air bubbles.

Position the end of the next piece 1/2-inch from the end of the previous piece of wall base. Run the stationary end of the divider along the edge of the previous piece with the pencil end scribing a line on the next wall base piece. Cut and install the adjacent pieces of wall base as you did the initial piece.

Place end-of-run piece against the corner and overlap the previously installed piece. Set the divider to the width of the overlap. Move the divider to the corner and scribe a line along the contour of the corner onto the wall base. Cut the wall base at the line and dry fit before applying the adhesive.

Outside Corners

Butt the cut wall base trim against the previous piece. Hold the wall base flat against the wall and trace the corner onto the inside of the wall base with a pencil.

Loosely bend the wall base so that the pencil mark is facing outward. Carve off the pencil line with a utility knife. This allows the vinyl wall base to bend around the corner.

Place the wall base against the previously installed piece and dry wrap the wall base around the corner. This helps ensure you have cut enough of the thickness to bend the wall base.

Apply adhesive as you did on the first piece. Butt the wall base against the previously installed piece, and hand roll it to remove air bubble. Bend the wall base around the corner and hand roll it against the wall.

Things You Will Need

  • Divider
  • Utility knife
  • Construction adhesive
  • Caulking gun
  • Hand roller

Tip

  • Dividers resemble caliper tools with a holder for a pencil.

About the Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.