One of the final steps in finishing our second floor renovation was installing the baseboards. Our floors were installed and finished, our walls were painted and we were ready to be done with renovations!
Luckily we had experience from installing baseboards on the first floor (see here and here), so we didn’t have as much of a learning curve this time. The only annoying thing was the our baseboards upstairs were actually taller (7½” instead of 5½”) than downstairs, so they were slightly more difficult to work with simply because there’s more wood to cut, cope and move around.
Similar to last time, I calculated the linear feet of each room and determined how many boards we would need. I wanted to make sure that we had full lengths for each wall, so our total length included a bit of waste.
In total, we bought 172 linear feet of baseboards and the same length of shoe moulding. In comparison, we only bought around 100 feet for the first floor. The second floor simply has more walls and required more baseboards.
We tackled the master bedroom first because we desperately wanted to move into our newly renovated bedroom. We then proceeded with the middle and back bedrooms and the hallway.
The master bedroom was by far the most complicated because of the bay window and the number of pieces (12 in total). Not only were the angles tough, but it involved coping both sides of some pieces, which usually involved several attempts to get the right length. As a result, it took an entire weekend just to cut, prime, paint and install the baseboards. I then had to redo the entire room for the shoe moulding (which was much easier, but still annoying).
The shoe moulding was considerably easier to cut and install. I managed to cut, prime and paint all the pieces in one evening.
The middle and back bedrooms were considerably easier. The middle bedroom was the easiest since it only has 4 walls and the back bedroom was only slightly more complicated because of the chimney. It only took 2 days and an evening to cut, prime, paint and install the moulding for both rooms.
The hallway was slightly more complicated for a couple of reasons. First, there are a lot of walls. Including the small closet, there were 9 individual baseboard pieces that had to be cut. Luckily only 4 of those pieces were coped, which helped. The second complication was that we also had to install a piece of baseboard down the stairs and figuring out how to do that wasn’t easy.
We also had a very large gap because of the location of the stringer, so we ended up filling the gap with expandable foam and then caulking over it. It wasn’t easy, but looked fine enough when it was done. It’s not my favourite part of the house, but I can live with it.
Once all the baseboards were installed, I filled the nail holes with wood filler (and re-sanded), touched up the paint and caulked around the tops of the baseboards and shoe moulding. The final step was then to repaint the wall. Because the caulking was pretty thick in some places, I had to wait an entire day for it to dry, so it wasn’t a quick process. Plus, caulking around the entire room took several hours.
Last time, I used painter’s tape and taped the wall when repainting the baseboards. This time I took more time to paint, but just free-handed it. And I ended up with as straight of a line as I would have with painter’s tape without. I don’t think it saved me time, but it was less annoying and wasteful.
The final step was touching up the wall paint. By this point I had enough of these baseboards and was ready to be done. Unfortunately, we still had another two rooms and a hallway to work on.
The second floor baseboards were considerably more expensive than on the first floor for a few reasons. First, there is more wall space on the second floor, so we had to buy more linear feet (172 versus 100). The baseboards are also taller on the second floor, so the price per linear feet is a bit higher ($2.72 for 7½” versus $1.80 for 5½”). The same went for the shoe moulding. We spent a total of $650 on the second floor baseboards and shoe moulding (compared to $300 on the first floor).
The baseboards were really the final major renovation work that needed to be done and we were so happy to finish them! Plus, they looked great!