A flush recessed baseboard gives the room an overall finished appearance. Image via John Maniscalco Architecture.
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: 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."