Interior Finishes

Trim Work


This refers to the linear wood elements that are used to close gaps at transitions between floors, walls and ceilings, and around doors and windows. Specific names are given to each type. Between floor and wall the trim is called “base” or “baseboard”; around doors and windows the trim is called “casing”; around the ceiling the trim is called “crown molding”. Trim material is typically wood of any kind and can be milled in many shapes and patterns to fit the architecture of the home. All lumber is more vulnerable to shrinkage during the heating season. Maintaining a moderate and stable temperature helps to minimize the effects of shrinkage. Wood will shrink less lengthwise than across the grain, but shrinkage can result in separation at joints of trim pieces. You can usually correct this with caulking and touch-up painting. Shrinkage may also cause a piece of trim to warp or pull away from the wall. If the base (small trim between base molding and the floor) appears to be lifting from the floor, this is probably due to slight shrinkage of the floor joists below.

Maintenance

  • 1 x per year: Inspect for joint separations that may need to be filled and touched up with caulking and matching paint. Most shrinkage of wood trim occurs during the first two years when new, depending on temperature and humidity. If this happens, a simple repair is to drive in another nail close to, but not exactly in, the existing nail hole. Fill the old nail hole with putty and touch up with paint as needed to match.
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