Some Baseboard Basics

 This wall, without a baseboard, speaks volumes about the value of even a most basic baseboard.

This wall, without a baseboard, speaks volumes about the value of even a most basic baseboard.

One of the wood elements in a home which can add appeal is the presence of baseboards. Baseboards cover the joint between the bottom of the walls and the floor, which can range in looks from mildly unsightly to outright ghastly.

In addition to hiding the bottom of the wall, baseboards provide insulation and make it more difficult for insects to invade your home. Another purpose is to protect the base of the wall. Inadvertent bumps from shoes and pets, cleaning implements such as wet mops and vacuums, and other injuries.

A unified look

Baseboard helps rooms in the home achieve a continuity. While it doesn’t have to match the rest of the trim, it should range in the same family. It should also match the size and shape of the room. Also, baseboards should match the design of the home. A fussy baseboard will not match a minimalist home and will require more frequent cleaning.

The color and texture of the floor and wall will also affect the style and color of baseboards. White is traditional, but baseboards can match the floor or even the wall.

Repair instead of replacing

As a result of age, frequent collisions, or moisture, baseboards can sometimes become damaged. The temptation to replace it can be intense. But, it should only be replaced as a last resort. Repair is almost always a better option.

Materials

Wood baseboard is the most common type and can range in a variety of wood types. Wood can’t be stained or painted to match the wall or flooring. An expert can repair it if it becomes damaged.

MDF is short for ‘medium density fiberboard.’ It can’t be stained, only painted since it doesn’t have a grain.

Vinyl is usually used in industrial applications.

Wood baseboard is the best, in our opinion, due to the flexibility of options and its timeless value.

Profile

A baseboard profile is the height and shape of a baseboard. There are a tremendous number of profile options when it comes to choosing baseboard. Generally speaking, the higher the ceiling, the less invasive a tall, ornate baseboard will appear.

 Notice how the baseboard brings a sense of structure and order to this hallway.

Notice how the baseboard brings a sense of structure and order to this hallway.

Baseboards bring the doors, windows, walls, and flooring together. It’s the connection which they all share in some capacity. For example, even if a window trim isn’t the same profile as the baseboard, if they’re of the same basic structure, they work together to form a common theme. Rhw color is another commonality which can bring the various elements of trim together, which is why having the same baseboard color throughout the home will offer a more pleasing statement than one in which the color varies.

Baseboard is much more essential to the decor of a home than people give credit. Consulting an expert about baseboard and other wood elements in a house during remodeling or in the event it becomes damaged or needs refinishing will help determine the best course of action to make a home look terrific.

The Wood Doctor is the leader in wood restoration, refinishing and refacing in the Portland area. Call 503-560-5220 for a project consultation.

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