Detailing Air-sealable Flush Baseboard w/ Reveal
I’m kind of a sucker for certain details that are easier to draw than build, and that are less forgiving than traditional solutions.
One of these is minimal roof overhangs (see first picture), which I’m using on my current project; this coming winter may prove if I got that right or not. The building is mine; I wouldn’t take the chance designing that for someone else (yet).
The other detail I’ve wanted to pull off for a while is flush baseboard, similar to the example below (not mine). Various one-piece drywall trims are available to do this, but unfortunately, not affordable or easy to come by in the semi-rural area where I live—e.g., over $600 for a box of 50 vinyl trim pieces, with several weeks lead time.
What I’m after is a solution using available and inexpensive L beads. The last few pictures show what I came up yesterday on an 8′ test section. I ran 2×4 blocking on edge at the base of the 2×6 stud bays, and stapled the bottom piece of L beam in place with 1/4″ narrow crown staples. I cut back the edge of the sheet of 5/8″ drywall to remove the taper, rasped the cut edge straight and square, set the sheet in place on top of the L bead, and screwed it to the wall.
I tacked on the top piece of L bead with staples, capping the lower bead. It’s likely I’ll use spray glue or mud for the final assembly. Finally, I’ll caulk the back of the joint where the two pieces of L beam lap, and paint the reveal area before laying the finish floor and installing the baseboard. Finish floor and baseboard are mocked up in the photo with a couple scraps of 3/4″ plywood. Actual base will be fir, cut down from pieces of 4″ wide t&g finish flooring.
While I don’t plan to use the drywall as an air barrier, it seems like this detail would be easy enough to seal with some caulk and/or tape.
It’s more labor than typical baseboard, and reliant on a flat and level subfloor, but I think worth it for the appearance I’m after.
Any suggestions for improvement?
GBA Detail Library
A collection of one thousand construction details organized by climate and house part