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How to Cut Trim Angles Without Cutting Corners In Two Steps

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How do you cut baseboards perfectly?

The best method is to position the baseboard on the saw in the same direction as it will sit on the wall. And NEVER cut "cross-handed"—by trying to operate the saw with your "good" hand while reaching across the saw to hold the baseboard with your other hand.

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Begin With the Top Casing

  • Trim a window using the same techniques as we showed for a door. However, cut and tack the top casing first. Then fit the sides and finish with the bottom.

Mark the Second Side Casing

  • Cut the second side casing about 1 inch overlong.
  • Hold the casing backward and parallel to the door jamb.
  • Make a mark where the edge of the side casing intersects the upper edge of the top casing.
  • Cut the side casing about 1/32 inch overlong.
  • Slide the casing into place.
  • Check your fit, and then trim it to its final length.
  • Once the miter fits, nail the casing in place.
    • Pro tip: You may have to slip a small shim behind one of the casings to align them. 

7. Cut Second Middle Edge

Measure over from the short end of the 45-degree cut the distance of the recorded length for the middle door trim piece and mark the short end of the miter cut angle. Place the trim piece in the box saw with the new mark aligned with the 45-degree outside cut slot and cut a clean edge by pulling and pushing the saw blade gently across the face of the trim until the teeth have passed through the entire thickness of the trim.

Final verdict

Based on the above information, it is possible to make an angular trim without necessarily having a miter saw. DIY tricks like this one are great as they are not only time-saving but also budget-friendly. Such techniques are crucial when you have no alternative, but then they may not be as accurate as those arrived at by the miter saw or miter box.

This technique does not discourage the use of a miter saw but only comes in handy when the need arises. Therefore, if your cordless miter saw has malfunctioned, or if you do not have one, then you may consider this economical method. As long as you stick to the steps provided, you are bound to arrive at the 45 degrees angle. Clearly, you do not have to go through the hassle of obtaining a brand new miter saw to arrive at 45 degrees trim.

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How do you cut an interior angle for trim?

Cut a 45-degree angle in a piece of trim with a miter saw. Turn the angle gauge clockwise until it is oriented to the left hand 45-degree angle setting. Then, position the trim to the right of the saw. Cut all the way through the trim to create the corner angle.

For An Obtuse Angle

Let us assume that you need to cut a baseboard trim angle cut of 120 degrees.

Step 2

Two formulae can be applied. Anyone of them will give the same answer. 

  • 180 degrees – the trim angle = X
    • X/2= angle setting for the miter saw.
    • Therefore, since the trim angle is 120 degrees
    • 180 – 120 = 60
    • 60/2 = 30
    • So the angle setting for the miter saw will be 30 degrees.
  • Trim Angle / 2 = X
    • 90 – X = angle setting for miter saw.
    • Therefore, since the trim angle is 120 degrees,
    • 120/2 = 60
    • 90- 60 = 30
    • So the angle setting for the miter saw will be 30 degrees.
    • Set the miter saw to 60 degrees. Fix the baseboard in position on the miter saw, using the adjustable jig.

Step 3

Turn on the miter saw. Cut the baseboard at the fixed 30 degrees. Turn off the miter saw. Readjust the saw to zero degrees. Adjust and fix the baseboard to the marked spot so one side of the trim angle can be cut using the jig. Turn on the miter saw and cut the baseboard. Repeat the process one more time so that you have two pieces of baseboard with a 30-degree miter cut. Turn off the miter saw. Remove the baseboard pieces. Using the filer or sander, smoothen the cut angles if required.

We now have a trim cut with an angle of 120 degrees. Check it with the corner. Use a wood filler to fill in minor inaccuracies if necessary.

Can You Use Tile Cutter To Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring?

A tile cutter may be a tool that you have around y

A tile cutter may be a tool that you have around your shop that you may consider using as a tool to cut your vinyl plank flooring.

A tile cutter can be used, but it depends on the type of tile cutter that you have. If your tile cutter is a ceramic tile cutter, then you are out of luck. A ceramic tile cutter uses a diamond-edge cutter to score the ceramic tile along your cut line. It does not cut deep into the tile but simply scores the surface.

This is enough to give the ceramic tile a fault-line along which it will crack cleanly and break off without cracking the rest of the tile.

This type of tile cutter does not cut deep enough into the material to work for vinyl plank flooring, and the diamond edge on a ceramic tile cutter is not a suitable cutting edge for the vinyl material.

If you have a laminate and vinyl tile cutter which has a very sharp, guillotine-style blade, then this type of tile cutter is certainly suitable to cut vinyl planks. The guillotine action of this sharp blade will cut completely through the vinyl plank. Sometimes it does not get all the way through the backing, but this can be trimmed through with a utility knife.

How To Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring

The method to cut vinyl planks with a utility knif

The method to cut vinyl planks with a utility knife is quite straightforward and can easily be achieved by following a basic step-by-step process.

Step 1: Measure the cut. Measure and mark the cut line on the decorative side of the plank. Make rue to mark the plank on the waste side of the cut.

Step 2: Use a straight edge. Place a steel straight-edge along the marked cutline. Do not use a plastic straight edge; you could cut into it with a sharp utility knife, and your line won’t be straight.

Step 3: Score the vinyl plank. Use the utility knife to score deeply along the cutline. You need to exert enough pressure on the knife to be able to make your cut go at least more than halfway through the material.

Step 4: Flip and snap the vinyl plank. Flip the plank over so that the decorative side is at the bottom. Hold the piece you want to use firmly on a flat surface with your hand or a block of wood close to the cutline. Bend the waste piece up until it snaps off.

This method should give you a quick and easy way to cut your vinyl planks to length, and it is much quicker than taking it to a power tool.

The cut that the utility knife will be most cumbersome with would be a rip cut along the length of the plank.


Cutting trim angles isn’t the easiest, simplest process but it is definitely something that most homeowners will have to become acquainted with. Although a lot of people don’t think about it, trim can really add a lot of charm to a home and is a nice, little touch that can take your home’s interior to the next level. Cutting it to fit perfectly requires a little work but sometimes the most important jobs with the greatest results do.

3. Measure First Miter Cut

Measure up from the new, clean edge the distance of the recorded measurement for the miter cut and mark the trim along the thinner edge profile. The thinner edge of the trim profile is the inner edge and the shorter of the miter angles.

Square Cuts

Keep in mind that not all trim cuts will be 90 or 135 degree angles. Some will be rather straightforward and simple. These parts of the trim will need you to just make a solid, smooth cut with your saw. Creating a long piece of trim that will be placed and installed next to another.

In fact, this will be the majority of the trim in your house. Most of the house’s bases and ceiling will consist of long tracks of trim that are straight. It is still incredibly important that you keep the trim cuts straight though.

Just because you aren’t doing many corners doesn’t mean you can be sloppy with the saw.

Step I: Identifying the Cut You Need

The first step in cutting trim is going to be identifying the angle you need to cut. The most popular angles for interior trim are 90° and 135° degrees, and each of those angles can be straight on, or with a bullnose.

The video above provides a great cheat sheet that makes it even easier for you to identify exactly what angle you need to cut. Or, if you need a cheat sheet for all the complex angles you’ll (hopefully) never need to worry about, Dewalt offers a more comprehensive sheet.

For the sake of this lesson, let’s say that we’re working on the trim for an interior wall with a 90° angle.

Final Word

Learning how to cut trim angles is a critical skill that every DIYer needs in their toolbox. Quality trim work can make a huge difference in the overall appearance and beauty of your home. After this lesson, you should be feeling a bit more like a seasoned pro when it comes to trim.

For more info on cutting and installing beautiful trim and molding, check out Home Depot’s helpful infographic.

Working With Trim/Edging

The only major consideration you need to take when working with trim and edging is that you need to leave space between the laminate and the wall. Many DIY homeowners cut their flooring to fit the exact amount of space in the room but forget that there needs to be an area for the trim to be installed. Measure your trim and leave that amount plus an additional one-half inch so you have space for your materials. Afterwards, fill in remaining gaps.

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How to Cut Laminate Tile

Like board flooring, tile should be shaped in straight lines using the proper safety equipment.

  1. Wear goggles, a dust mask, and gloves.
  2. Use a pencil or chalk to mark where the line you want to separate the board.
  3. Place the tile on a stand or hold it steady with clamps.
  4. Use a utility knife to make long incisions instead of a saw.

Dealing with Common Problems and Imperfections

In a perfect world, every wall is straight, every corner is a perfect 90-degrees, and every floor is level. The reality of construction means there are always minor imperfections in new and older homes.

Here are a few tips and fixes to give you professional results for those little challenges you’ll find when you install baseboard floor molding.

Out of Square Corners

When corners aren’t square, the baseboard molding will magnify the problem by showing a misaligned seam or a big opening due to tilting. To avoid these issues, check the corner with a square to see if it is indeed 90-degrees.

If you have an out-of-square situation, you’ll need to do a bit of trial and error. First, use some scrap baseboard to check the corners to see how they fit. If they are not square, use the scrap pieces to adjust your miter saw. Cut two ten-inch pieces and use an educated guess to adjust your miter saw at an angle higher or lower than 45-degrees depending on the corner. Fit them together and make new cuts until you achieve the right angle on the saw. Chances are, the adjustment will be a half degree one way or the other. Now you can cut and install the pieces.

For a baseboard that tilts at a corner, you can drive a drywall screw at the bottom of the wall at the corner. Using a test piece of molding, adjust the screw in or out, so the molding rests against it flush with the wall and the other piece of molding.

Tilted Baseboard Molding

Tilted Baseboard Molding

Typically, installers will leave a gap between the floor and the bottom of the drywall. If you try and attach the baseboard by nailing at the base, the nails won’t hit anything or will draw the bottom of the baseboard, leaving a gap at the top.

To remedy this situation cut spacers the height of the gap. Usually, scrap ½ in. plywood or other material will work. Place pieces in the gap to act as a support for the bottom of the baseboard. You don’t have to attach them, but they will prevent the baseboard from sliding inward as you nail.

Protruding Seams

To avoid protruding seams, test for fit before nailing them. Also, as mentioned earlier, use a scarf joint positioned at stud so you can fasten it securely. This will help keep them from popping out later.

Improper Measurements

The only cure for improper measuring is money because you’ll need to buy more material. Always cut a little long so you can sand or use a coping saw to make an exact fit. The adage, “measure twice, cut once,” holds true for any home improvement project, including floor molding.

Gaps and Crooked Walls

Sometimes a wall is crooked due to a misaligned stud, settling, or poor drywall installation. It’s rare that every baseboard will fit snug against a wall or in the corners. If you’ve tried some of the techniques above and still have gaps, your last remedy is to fill them with caulk or a wood filler. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and clean up. You can paint it the color of the baseboard or the wall for a professional look.

this was done last night. still needs some work – wood filler in the small gaps and stuff. since my house is old, many of the walls are crooked so some of the “boards” are not perfectly aligned! but i can make them so they’re not noticeable 🙂

— reaux (@reauxpudu) April 11, 2018

Final Thought

Cutting trim angles can be difficult if you do not know how to use a miter saw, or how to calculate the angle setting for an accurate trim. It is essential to note the difference in calculating the angle of the trim cut as the formulae change depending on if it an acute angle or an obtuse angle. Remember that any angle above 90 degrees is an obtuse angle and any angle which is 90 degrees or below is an acute angle. We hope that this article has given you enough knowledge to overcome that hurdle.