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Question Up Front

Why are door trims at the floor not cut at 45° like everything else is? Is it a style thing, or is there a functional reason for it?

Details

I have noticed in many houses that the baseboard is mitered and beveled so that the pattern of the baseboard continues seamlessly.

Example

Baseboard with bisecting miters


The bisecting miters and bevels seem to be everywhere except for the bottom parts of doorways. The example below shows a doorway with a different trim than the baseboard, but it doesn't seem to matter whether they're different. The bottom of the trim is always cut at 90°, not 45°.

Example

Trim is not cut at 45 to baseboard


Is there a functional reason for this, or is it just a ubiquitous style?

5

The issue is that normally, moldings around a door are very different from baseboard molding. You can easily bevel two identical moldings together; you can't do the same if the profiles are different.

Of course, this begs the question: why are door moldings different from baseboard moldings? Well, mainly tradition; that's the way it's usually been. Lee Sam's answer that "doors are in the wall and baseboards are on the wall" is probably as good as you'll get.

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Because they are a different profile. They don't match. Wall trim tapers the opposite way of door trim.

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Apples and oranges?

The “base” is mitered around corners, etc. Stair skirting is part of the base.

Door trim (jambs) are not part of the “base”. Elements within the wall (I.e.: doors, windows, etc.) are not mitered into the base.

Historically, doors were very important for the facade. Imagine Caesar walking out to greet his subjects through a plain door. Doors and base are very different. (Apples and oranges.) Doors are in the wall and base is on the wall.

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