• In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey explains how to replace a baseboard heating cover.


    1 Slide wood shims behind the back plate of the baseboard heater.
    2 Use reciprocating saw to cut nails or screws holding back plate to wall.
    3 Pull the adjustable damper from the hangers, and discard.
    4 Prop up heating element, then use slotted screwdriver to pry the back plate from the hangers.
    5 Slip the back plate out from behind the finned heating element, and discard.
    6 Vacuum the heating element clean of all dust and dirt.
    7 Slide new hangers behind heating element.
    8 Mark the locations of the wall studs.
    9 Slip the new back plate behind the heating element.
    10 Snap hangers into the back plate.
    11 Screw the back plate to wall studs with 1 1/4-inch drywall screws.
    12 Attach the damper to the new back plate.
    13 Slide on the end caps, flip up the flaps.
    14 Snap the front cover onto the hangers; close end-cap flaps.
    See products and services for this episode.
    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
      Removing the old baseboard cover takes a bit of wrangling, but the new cover installs in a snap.

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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • reciprocating saw
        Reciprocating saw,
        used to cut old baseboard cover free from wall
      • Nut screwdriver
        Slotted screwdriver,
        used to pry off the old hangers
      • drill
        used to fasten back plate to wall

      Shopping List

      1. New baseboard,

      including back plate, hangers, damper, end caps and front cover

      2. Wood shims,

      used to hold old baseboard away from wall

      3. 1 1/4-inch drywall screws,

      used to attach back plate to wall