In this country the board commonly placed around the walls of rooms just above the floor is more commonly designated as the "base," although the English term " skirting " is used in some localities. When the base is not more than 8 inches wide it is generally made of a single board with the upper edge moulded, as at a, detail L, Fig. 234. When the height of the skirting, including the moulding, is more than 8 inches it is better construction to have the moulding stuck from a separate piece, as shown at b, Fig. 234, the moulding being rebated to fit over the top of the base. Bases 10 inches wide, however, are often made in one piece, as in Fig. 268. When the skirting is in more than one piece, the wide part is called the "base" and the top member the "base moulding." Quite often the skirting is made 18 or 20 inches wide so as to form a sort of wainscot. In such cases it should be made in three parts, as shown in Fig. 369, the top member or surbase intersecting with or being coped to the
Fi.269, window stool and apron, if they are the same height from the floor. The dado may cither be placed between the grounds, as at A, or outside of the plaster, as at B. For fine hard wood finish the construction shown at B is believed to be the best, the dado being built up with a pine backing keyed on the back side and veneered with the finish wood. It should be attached to the grounds only at the top, so that it may shrink or swell without cracking. It is a dangerous proceeding to fasten a wide board both at the top and bottom. If the finish is to be painted, so that the nail holes may be concealed, the dado may be nailed through the centre to the studding or furring, the mouldings at the top and bottom being depended upon to hold the edges in position.
There are two methods of putting on the base: the first is to put on the base before the upper floor is laid, the bottom of the base being ½ inch below the top of the upper floor, so that if any shrinkage takes place it will not leave an open joint at the angle. Another method is to keep the bottom of the base about \ inch above the top of the upper floor, and put a quarter round or other moulding in the angle, as shown at b, Fig. 269. This moulding, or "carpet strip" as it is called, should be nailed to the floor, and not to the base, so that the base may shrink or the floor settle (owing to shrinkage in the floor timbers) without raising the moulding or splitting the base. When there is only a single floor it is necessary to use the "carpet strip," as the flooring cannot well be laid against the base. Where there is a double floor the former method is probably the best, although the carpet strip is often used, especially in the West.
A still better method of construction is that shown in Fig. 268, where a sub-base is used. The advantage of this method is that the sub-base can be put down perfectly straight and thus form a guide for the base. To avoid splitting if the wood shrinks, the base should be nailed only at the top.
Every room and closet, unless wainscoted, should have a base of some sort.