Who doesn't love a good insider tip? We do, so our ears perked up when Jeff Sherman of Delson or Sherman Architects mentioned his trade secret for the most consistently aligned and beautiful flush recessed baseboard detail. What's a flush recessed baseboard detail, you ask? And why should we want them?
"A flush recessed baseboard is a minimalist and seamlessly beautiful detail and since it provides no surface for dust to collect, it's practical, too," Sherman says. "The trick is to get a perfect alignment between the faces of the wood and sheetrock. With a minimalist detail like this, precision is critical; conventional stud-wall construction leaves too much wiggle room." See the architects' sketch below to see how they spec this detail.
Above: A flush recessed baseboard is like a French seam. Its precision gives the room an overall finished appearance. Image via John Maniscalco Architecture.
Above: In a New York Chelsea loft, Delson or Sherman Architects continue the floor material (Brazilian walnut) up into the baseboard. See Seeking Sunlight in Chelsea for more. Image via Delson or Sherman Architects.
Above: Delson or Sherman Architects' detail sketch illustrating how a continuous plywood backer is attached to both the baseboard and the sheetrock. "We have found that this is the best way to ensure consistent alignment," Sherman says. "To stabilize the backer, we assemble it into a box beam, which then forms a sturdy base for the stud wall that bears on it. The final touch is to scribe the baseboard to the floor, which means cutting the bottom of the baseboard to match the irregularities of the floor for a tight fit."
See some of our best Remodeling Tips in our Catalog of back posts.