Installing Vinyl Cove Molding

This story shows you how to install vinyl cove molding baseboard designed to protect the bottom of a wall.

Intro

Vinyl cove molding is an easy-to-install baseboard designed to protect the bottom of a wall. The material stands up to brooms and wet mops and resists scuffing, so it is a good choice for laundry rooms, utility areas, and bathrooms.

The vinyl molding comes in flexible 4-inch-high strips that are about 1/16 of an inch thick. Two styles are available: One style is flat and packaged in rolls, and the other has a small curve (called a cove) at the bottom. The cove molding creates a cleaner installation because the cove curves out slightly from the wall, covering the expansion gap at the edge of the floor.

Checklist

Time
From 1-2 hours for every 24 linear feet

Tools
Utility knife, caulk gun with a special tip designed for cove molding

Materials
Cove molding, caulk designed for use with cove molding, chalk marker

Step 1

Start in the corner of the room. Using a utility knife, cut the cove molding to the exact length of the wall. Load the caulk gun with a special cove molding tip and the manufacturer-recommended adhesive. Using the caulk gun carefully, apply a thin layer of the adhesive to the back of the molding. Push the molding against the wall and firmly press along the entire surface to secure it to the wall. If you need more than one length, repeat this step, butting two straight-cut ends together.

Step 2

To secure cove molding to the inside corners of a wall, adhere the cut molding to the corner edge. Using a utility knife carve away the cove on the next piece of molding so that it nests against the first piece and then glue the second piece in place. Avoid creating seams at outside corners.

Step 3

To secure cove molding to the outside corners of a wall, stand the molding in place against the wall and mark with chalk where the piece will turn the corner. Bend the piece face-to-face at the mark and trim away about half the thickness of the molding as shown. Test fit the molding to make sure the recess fits the corner. Once you are sure of the fit, apply adhesive with a caulk gun to the back of the molding and press the molding in place.

Easing the Transitions

Carpet edging is an inexpensive transition between carpet and another floor material. T-molding is used as a transition between floors of the same height.

Saddle Threshold

A saddle threshold screws down to protect the exposed edges of the vinyl. Some saddle thresholds can also be used over concrete.

Carpet- or Wood-to-Vinyl Molding

If your vinyl floor meets a wood floor or carpeting, a vinyl molding can provide the transition. Install the vinyl molding during the carpet or wood installation, then lay the tile up to it.


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