Trimming: A tough call on stairs

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Topic by ShawnAllen posted 02-24-2009 05:00 AM 8202 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ShawnAllen's profile


11 posts in 3625 days

02-24-2009 05:00 AM


I need some assistance on a trim project. I have an area on a short run of stairs that go from an entry landing to a first floor landing – about four steps total. I would like some help in figuring out how to trim the dang thing!

I thought what would look best is running the base trim from the upper landing to the lower landing, so that it would be one continuous ribbon, but as the photos might not show so well, the trim piece actually on the stairs changes depth from the upper to lower landing. The wall bows out over the trim piece. Trust me, the pictures will make this (somewhat) clear.

So now what do I do? Also, the trim I have purchased apparently doesn’t quite match the trim I had on hand – about 1-1.5 inch difference between the two. I was thinking since it is the same style/wood, I could just use the one height on the lower landing, and the other on the upper. I don’t know for sure how easy it would be to tell the difference or how cheesy it would be to do this. If it’s a giant, newbie, no-brainer no-no, I suppose I could rip the taller trim down to match the shorter. That 12 footer is gonna be a pain though..

Looking for ideas here. Would consider running a post at the upper landing and running 1/4 round on the stair, but I’ll have the same issue – it’s just the right width at the top and too narrow at the bottom!

Pulling last of the hair now! Thanks for checking this out.

Here’s the problem area:
upper stair area: trim meets stair

and here:
stair where trim won't fit

and finally getting to the bottom of it all:
Lower landing where trim could run to stair

View MRTRIM's profile


743 posts in 3942 days

02-24-2009 04:00 PM

in the first pic , on the right side can you post another pic showing that area and where it goes to ? i might have an idea .

View ShawnAllen's profile


11 posts in 3625 days

02-25-2009 01:49 AM

Absolutely, and thanks!

contextual view

right side of the stair

and also
top landing - pretty much all of it!

The pics are cut off a bit on the LJ site, but if you click on the pics they’ll appear in all their gruesome glory.

Thanks again!

View MRTRIM's profile


743 posts in 3942 days

02-25-2009 03:01 AM

this is one way you could do this . rip just the profile off a piece of base mldg to run down the top edge of your skirtboard . this will require adding a peice on to the birdmouth of the skirtboard . you might cut a couple practice peices to make it come together .if this dosent work for you also you could add to the birdmouth a couple in. higher than the base mldg then cut the point off parallel to the floor at about 1/4 in higher than the baseboard and let the base die into it and not put anything on top of the skirtboard . these are less than ideal ideas i know but the situation is also . thats all i can think of at this time hope it helps . if you have questions feel free . verne


View ShawnAllen's profile


11 posts in 3625 days

02-25-2009 05:19 AM

How do you think it might be if I rip the baseboard so I can run off the top base down the side, then bury it w/o the Add on..?

I guess that might depend on how that plywood cleans up. I think your suggestion makes a lot of sense right now, I’m going to give it a shot and see what happens.


View MRTRIM's profile


743 posts in 3942 days

02-25-2009 05:51 AM

yes you could rip the base down ,but check the backside and it should have a relief cut . if you cut too much off it might mot sit flat against the wall . however if you do it id cut the birdmouth off flush with the floor

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

33 posts in 3784 days

02-25-2009 07:19 AM

Ok.. So why is it called a birdmouth?

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View ShawnAllen's profile


11 posts in 3625 days

02-25-2009 02:41 PM

It’s the shape – like a nestling impatiently waiting for lunch.. breakfast.. snacks.. supper.. etc. :)

Thanks Verne! I’m expecting a flush-cut saw any day now.

View ShonHaus58's profile


2 posts in 933 days

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