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stevearnold
Attaching baseboard to concrete wall

My house, a 1950s rambler, is built out of concrete block. The previous owner used heavy triangular nails to attach his baseboard to the plaster over concrete block interior walls. This method cracked the oak baseboards and left large holes in the plaster behind the baseboard. I'm looking for a method, perhaps drilling a small hole and inserting an anchor in the wall to attach my new oak baseboards. I think that glueing using a PL product would be difficult as I would have to brace the glued baseboards from across the rooms and hallways. Does anyone know of a drill and anchor method? Thanks very much for your advice. Steve Arnold

call_me_al
Re: Attaching baseboard to concrete wall

Steve,

Yes, I've used the method you describe when attaching baseboard to concrete cellar walls; this is especially effective if you don't have a lot of baseboard to "hang"; you will have to use a strong drill with a small masonry bit to get into the concrete approx 3/4" to 1"; then use a stainless steel threaded screw that is SLIGHTLY WIDER in diameter than the hole just drilled; use a heavy glove to protect one hand to hold a thick metal punch (flat on both ends) to hold to the screw, then hit the punch firmly with a hammer to drive the threaded screw thru a drilled hold in the steel backing of the baseboard to seat it to the concrete block wall; if you have chosen the proper diameter stainless screw for this, the hammer impact will drive the screw into the drilled hole, crushing the threads of the screw & thus firmly gripping the baseboard backing to the concrete block wall.

Another fastener to use has expandable lead inserts that expand when they are screwed into the small hole drilled into the concrete block; these are available at all home improvement stores; there are also hardened steel masonry nails with fluted parallel ribs that are driven into a pre-drilled masonry hole; safety glasses must be worn; drilling the pilot hole is much easier if you have a HAMMER DRILL option on your electric drill; this will drill the concrete pilot holes much faster.

If you have a lot of baseboard to hang, siding installers use an impact gun tool that uses a .22 caliber rifle cartridge (without the bullet) to drive hardened stainless steel nails into the concrete wall to attach the baseboard backing; these may be available at rental centers at the home improvement stores, or at siding dealers------these tools are known as "powder actuated tools" (PATs) and require buying or renting a tool that holds the powder charge and a hardened steel "drive pin" that is driven with a hammer blow into the concrete to attach the baseboard; wearing safety glasses is mandatory.

Also Google "concrete and masonry fasteners" to get more ideas on this topic; also Google "You Tube Video Concrete Fasteners" to see short videos of the techniques used to attach items to concrete/masonry.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Attaching baseboard to concrete wall

If it is full thickness 1x base, you can use expanding foam to bond it to the masonry, and it will set in less than an hour, so bracing is minimal. I do this technique a lot in historic restorations where the wooden deadman inserts are long gone. If you have subfloor exposed, use 90* triangle blocking screwed into the floor to keep the baseboards perpendicular. On a finished floor you can use hot glue instead of screws, just tap the blocks off with a mallet to remove.
Drill two 3/8" holes every 2 feet or so to have a place to insert the foam "straw".
Casey

DJH_NYC
Re: Attaching baseboard to concrete wall

Sombreuil_mongrel,

I am interested in your technique, but I don't quite understand. I am a DIYer, not a pro. Can you explain the expanding foam technique in more detail?

Also, regarding the triangular blocking, where does the blocking go, so you don't see it.

thanks,
Dave

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Attaching baseboard to concrete wall

Hi,
The blocks are temporarily installed to hold the base at a 90* angle to the floor. When the foam hardens they are removed.
Casey

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