How to Install Vinyl Trim

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Trim, also referred to as casing or molding, is an item that has a variety of interior and exterior applications for homes. One popular type is vinyl trim, which is becoming increasingly popular, because it is not only easier to install than wood base molding but comes in a variety of colors that can fit perfectly with the interior décor of rooms where it is installed. If you have decided to replace your current wall base molding and install vinyl trim, here’s how you go about it.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinyl trim (wall based)
  • Base adhesive (strong)
  • Notched trowel
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Carpenter’s pencil
  • Visit a store dealing in such materials and select the color/s that will match the décor of the rooms where you wish to install them. You may either choose base trim that is available in 4 foot roll lengths or cove style trim which has a slight curve at its base. If your rooms are carpeted, you may use the latter. Vinyl trim is usually 4 inches high and 1/16 of an inch in thickness.

  • Carefully detach each section of your current trim, working your way systematically around each room. Sand or plane, the areas below the earlier base trim to ensure that the new, vinyl trim will hold firmly and evenly to the walls. Fill nails or screw holes, if any, with suitable putty or any suitable filler material.

  • Set a length of vinyl base trim, face down, on a strong, hard and flat piece of wood. Mark each length with a pencil and then align each marking using a square. To flatten the trim length, apply firm pressure on the square and then cut the trim along your measurement marks using a utility knife. Make sure that each trim length is cut at a 90-degree angle, to avoid gaps between each length once installed.

  • Apply adhesive to the reverse side of the vinyl trim base. Spread the adhesive evenly using a notched trowel, making sure that you do not use too much adhesive as it may squeeze out when the trim is being installed. Adhesive must be applied to one length at a time.

  • Start by installing one vinyl trim length from the right or left extremity of the wall. Hold the first length of vinyl trim, that you have just applied adhesive to, and press firmly against the wall. Apply adhesive to the next vinyl trim length and repeat the process ensuring that it is properly aligned to the length installed earlier. This will give you a perfect, seamless looking joint. Repeat the process as you move across the room. For working around inside corners, install one trim length perfectly into one adjacent wall. Then cut out the curved, bottom portion of another length and install it in a manner that provides a seamless looking joint with the first piece. To install trim for outside corners, take one length of trim and place it face down. Then carefully cut through half its thickness using a utility knife. This will provide a thinner area that will bend easily and wrap perfectly around each corner.

Tips & Warnings

  • To create unhindered working space, move furniture and other items to the center of the room or to another.
  • Use a good solvent to clean your hands and tools. The label on the adhesive may advise you on the best one.
  • Do not install vinyl trim in a poorly, ventilated room. Fresh, outside air is a must, as adhesive odors can be nauseating and possibly harmful.
  • Wear safety gloves when preparing the vinyl trim lengths to avoid cuts.

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