The Baseboard Basics

Baseboard and its purposes

  • Covers the joint between the flooring and walls that would otherwise be unsightly.
  • Often overlooked design detail that makes the room look polished.
  • Keeps walls from getting damaged from being bumped by shoes, pets, vacuums, etc.
  • Covers gaps in the walls from which insects or mice could enter the home.

What size baseboard should I use?

It depends on the size of the room and the height of the ceiling in your home. Generally new homes in the Las Vegas Valley come with “builder grade” baseboards, which can be extremely small and plain. At a minimum, we recommend going with at least a 3 ½” tall baseboard, but most homes look fantastic with 4 ½” to 5 inch moldings.

The different types of material available

  • MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) is the most commonly used in Las Vegas, as it is less expensive than solid wood, takes paint well, is resistant to warping (unlike solid wood), mold, and mildew.
  • Pine, a softwood that is durable and takes paint well. Costs more than MDF, but less than hardwoods.
  • Hardwood, typically stained or finished with a clear coat to showcase its natural beauty. Some of the most common hardwoods are: maple, cherry, alder, oak, mahogany, poplar, and walnut.

What color should my trim be?

Traditionally most trim work is painted a simple white, giving your home a clean, finished look. Walls painted with a slightly darker color make the baseboard pop out and allow for a great contrast, highlighting the trim.

A stain grade hardwood is a great way to match hardwood floors or continue other architectural highlights in your home. Solid wood baseboards can be stained to match almost any color flooring, furniture piece or color.

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