Installing Baseboard Trim | How to Install Baseboard TrimAhhh yes…the fancy pancy trim stage. This is where the real eye-catching efforts of the basement finishing project evolve. Your basement is nothing more than just a big area filled with nothing but finished drywall ceilings and walls before the trim stage…and this is where you get to put your true signature on your masterpiece! The trim stage generally follows right-in after the drywall is finished and also painted. Your now ready to install your doors, window and door casing, base trim, exterior window and door jambs…in that exact order as well. You will also be installing any extra fancier trim like, crown molding, chair-rail, shadow boxes, etc. during the trim stage.


You won’t need an army of tools for your trim project, but there are a few select tools you’ll need. You’ll need a few power tools and a few hand tools to get-er-done professionally.

Here’s a list of the tools that I use to trim all my basements. Although I prefer the specific makes of tools shown below, you can use any manufacturer’s tools that you choose, they all perform basically the exact same function no matter who makes them.

Installing Baseboard Trim | How to Install Baseboard TrimFor cutting trim to the proper length, cutting the correct angles and for bevels-cuts, I prefer to use a power compound miter saw from Dewalt: DWS779 12-Inch Double Bevel Slide Compound Miter Saw. This saw Bevel cuts in 2 directions which eliminates having to re-position your trim a lot during the project.

Cut’s wider trim than 10″ blade models making it extra nice for over-sized trim projects.


Installing Baseboard Trim | How to Install Baseboard TrimMaybe the trickiest of all trim tools to master is the Cope Saw! It’s used to form the proper “shape” on the end-cuts on a variety of trim applications. This is referred to as “coping”  your trim. This is definitely a tool that separates the “men from the boys”…master your coping skills to rise to Ninja Master level trim status! Any cope saw will do the trick!

Installing Baseboard Trim | How to Install Baseboard TrimNow I’m definitely NOT the hand-nailing type of carpenter that our grandfathers were… I like my air-nail guns for sure! I use both a 16 gauge and an 18 gauge trim nail gun which allows me to get all my trim work done perfectly! Quick-smooth and very precise, these are tools that you will want to own. I’m liking the  16 & 18 Gauge trim guns.


Installing Baseboard Trim | How to Install Baseboard TrimYou’ll need a set of reliable levels as well. I recommend having a 2′, 4′ and 6′ Level to get the job done right. I use a variety of manufacturers levels…any middle of the road priced level will do just fine. Avoid buying the “cheapest” levels! Setting doors, installing window and door jambs, and a variety of other trim applications count heavily on the use of decent levels to get these projects done and looking professional.

Installing Baseboard Trim | How to Install Baseboard TrimA good tape measure is very important when installing trim…don’t buy a cheap tape! A $20.00 tape measure has a stiffer “blade” inside the case and usually better more defined increment markings as well. So don’t buy a bargain outlet $4.00 tape measure if you don’t have to. I love the 25′ FAT MAX tape measure made by Stanley Tools…not cheap…but the best there is on the market in my professional opinion.

Well there’s the top 5 trim tools that I’m using. Here are few other trim tools that I use on occasion:

And there are still others, but what I have showed you here in this post are the most popular tools you will need come trim time! Own these specific tools and there is virtually no basement you can’t trim!

The trim stage requires patience and is usually more time consuming since it’s perfection your after during the trim work stage…not how fast you are going. “The trim is what everyone see’s who comes to visit your basement.” They don’t see the framing or the wiring, the plumbing…but they most definitely will gauge your work on the finished product which is mostly all TRIM related!

Good luck with your trim project!


“It’s Time To Put Your Tool Belt On!”


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