How to Miter Cove Base
May 23, 2011
The mitering of an outside corner has given way to wrapped outside corners and preformed outside corners due to the speed in which they can be done. While there is not a lot of call for mitered outside corners, there is an occasion where they will be specified on an installation of cove base and it will be necessary for the installer to be aware of how to complete one.
Photo 1 – Establishing the intersection of the toe: Start by placing a piece of masking tape diagonally at the corner. This is for marking the outside edge of the toe of the cove base to serve as an aid for cutting the miter at the toe. Just place the cove base against the wall and mark where the outside edge of the toe is. Place the cove base on both sides of the corner to establish intersecting lines.
Photo 2 – Establishing the angle of the miter: Once the intersecting lines are drawn you can draw the miter. If the corner is a square 90-degree corner you can use the tip of a straight edge. If the corner is not square you can draw a line from the corner to the intersecting lines.
Photo 3 – Preparing the corner for scribing: Place a piece of base against the wall and allow it to extend past the corner and about ½” beyond the intersecting line. When the first piece is positioned, place a second piece behind the piece to be scribed. The object of the second piece is to serve as a gauge for the thickness of the material.
Photo 4 – Scribing the left side of miter: Using an outside corner scribe, scribe the cove base from the top of the radius of the toe to the top of the cove base. The marking and cutting of the toe will be done later.
Photo 5 – Cutting the left side miter: Lay the piece of cove base onto a scrap to prevent cutting the floor. Holding your knife on a 45° angle cut the material on the scribe mark from the top of the cove base to the top of the radius. When your knife reaches the top of the radius, stop. It is easier to cut the miter at the toe with the material in position.
Photo 6 – Cutting the miter at the radius of the toe: Place the material back into position and continue the cut for the miter at the toe. It is easiest if you pull the knife out from the corner towards the marks made in Photo 1. Care must be taken not to cut the flooring material during this process.
Photo 7 – Scribing the right side miter: For the right side miter I will set my piece of material into place, and insert a scrap for the thickness gauge and then I will take the outside corner scribe and mark the cove base from the top of the radius to the top of the cove base. I will also place a small mark on the toe of the cove base where the miter line is.
Photo 8 – Cutting the right side miter: Unlike the left side miter, I will cut the miter at the toe and the vertical cut all at the same time. I will lay the cove base upside down and start my cut at the toe and work to the top of the cove base. Being right-handed, I find this easier. I will start at the mark at the toe, lay my knife over to a 45-degree angle and continue my cut until I get to the top of the cove base.
Photo 9 – Adhering the outside corner: When adhering the outside corner, you want a quick grabbing adhesive. Some installers will use contact adhesive and others will use a double-faced tape made for cove base.
Photo 10 – Contact cementing the mitered edges: In order to keep the corner together long term, it is necessary to bond the miter edges. Bonding the mitered edges together will keep the mitered corner looking good for a long period of time. Most installers will use a contact cement to bond the edges while others have gone to a high quality of Cyanoacrylate (super glue).
Photo 11 – Finished corner after being rolled: The finished mitered corner is an art that not all installers have the ability to perform. Even though it is something that is not used on a regular basis, it is a process that requires a lot of craftsmanship.