Everything You Need to Know About Baseboards

While it may seem like a small detail, a baseboard pattern or border along the seams of the floor and walls can give a whole new look to your room.
The choice of moldings or borders is one of the final things you need to consider when building or renovating your home. However, it can be a bit confusing as there are many moldings to choose from and there are different moldings for different parts of the house.

 Due to moisture, some hardwood or laminate floors can naturally expand and contract throughout the year. This is when baseboards are needed to cover the gaps between the walls and the floors.
Baseboards add character to your room, increase the value of your home and complement other home features such as wainscoting and crown molding. 
In some cases, baseboards are also used to protect drywall. It protects against vacuuming, mopping, and golf balls. The bottom portion of the wall is most susceptible to damage by household objects; drywall isn't very strong.
Due to its material, drywall is also prone to moisture. Without baseboards, spills on the floor can easily penetrate the drywall, causing it to expand upwards and create unsightly damage.

Baseboard Styles and Profiles 

Baseboard comes in a large variety of styles: smooth, beaded, ornate, and many more.
With the amount of options you get, you're sure to choose the profile that gives the chicest look to your home. 
  • Flat Baseboard Molding
This traditional baseboard is the simplest style you can get. Choose a plain baseboard if you'd prefer your room to be on the sleeker, more minimalist side. This baseboard style goes well with any interior design style.
  • Rounded or Stepped Baseboard
Rounded baseboards are the most common baseboard configuration used in houses. The top of the trim has a rounded shape that tapers into the wall. The look of these baseboards is best suited to modern homes because of their relatively short construction and simple design. 
  • Sculpted Mid-Height Baseboard Trim
In this design, the upper part of the baseboard is decorated with scallops or stairs that taper towards the wall. This baseboard is best for those who want an added air of elegance to their home.
  • Sculpted Taller Baseboard Trim
This trim profile adds visual impact to any room. The top portion of the trim is designed similar to the mid-height trim, but taller.  This baseboard design works best in homes that are large, open, airy, or tall.
  • Shoe Molding and Quarter Round
Quarter round, as its name suggests, is 1/4 of a round dowel. There is a 90° angle on the back with a perfect quarter radius on the screen. It works great to fill corners or soften any 90° joints that appear between the trim and moldings.
The quarter round also comes in a variety of sizes, making it even more versatile.
Shoe molding is similar to the quarter round with the same 90-degree angle on the back. However, instead of a perfect quarter radius, its shape is a bit more square. The main use of shoe molding is to run along the intersection of baseboards and floors.
Baseboard Material
Baseboards come in different shapes and materials, and at different prices. Each material has its pros and cons so the right material for you will depend on your preferences and considerations for your home.
  • MDF Baseboard
If you are on a budget plan and want the best bang for your buck, then MDF panels would be a great choice.
They are very affordable, relatively durable for interior use, and can be painted. Furthermore, MDF skirting boards also come in a variety of designs and configurations.
The disadvantage of MDF baseboards is that they are not durable for outside use because they are not moisture resistant and cannot be stained.
  • Pinewood Baseboard
Pine is one of the most affordable options if you want to use a mold made from real wood.
It is suitable for exterior and interior use, can be painted or colored, is smooth, and also has good moisture resistance.
  • Oak Wood Baseboard
Oak is the most popular baseboard material, as it gives a more luxurious look to your home.
It fits any requirement: painted or dyed, smooth or decorative, exterior or interior.
When it comes to durability, oak is unmatched. Unlike pine, which is classified as softwood, oak is hardwood.
  • Vinyl / PVC / Urethane
Though it may not look as appealing as other materials, using a vinyl or urethane trim is still something to consider.
When it comes to durability, PVC baseboards are rock solid, moisture resistant, paintable, and great for rooms with an ongoing construction project.
How To Choose the Right Baseboard Size
Baseboards come in a variety of sizes. It's important to get the correct proportions for the style of your house, the room sizes, and the height of your ceilings. In general, vertical decorations such as doors and windows should be smaller and less heavy than baseboards. Most baseboards are 1/2 to 1 inch thick and 3 to 8 inches high. A standard 8-foot wall typically has a baseboard that's 3 to 5 inches high, while a 10-foot ceiling calls for 5 to 7 inches.