Back to Basics: Types of Baseboard Molding
Baseboard molding is an essential part of any room design. The baseboard is the piece of trim that runs along the bottom of the wall right next to the floor that fills the gap from the edge of the wall to the start of the floor. They are installed at the joint between the wall surface and the floor and provide an attractive aesthetic element. In addition to finishing the install, the baseboard trim can subtly change the look of the entire room.
However, the baseboard trim is an often overlooked detail when entering a flooring remodel or home upgrade. Spending countless hours deliberating over wall paint, floorboards, transition slips, and more to not give the same attention to the baseboards is, well, criminal. Baseboard trim is the detail that ties it all together into one cohesive piece, giving your space a flow while also providing a finishing touch to complete the look.
Like flooring and transitions, there are several types and styles of baseboard molding to choose from; they come in an array of profiles, shapes, and manufacturers make dozens of options for baseboard trim. Baseboard molding is made from a variety of materials that can complement the flooring and wall color. This guide will show you the different types of baseboards that serve cosmetic and functional purposes in any room.
Four Major Baseboard Trim Profiles
As already mentioned, baseboards come in an array of shapes and profiles, color, and designs all orchestrated in order to complement the numerous wall colors and flooring styles available while still providing function. With dozens of options, baseboard trim profiles are not categorized by specific names, but rather by the dimensions of the product. Each of the four profiles are suited to a different style of home.
For many homeowners, this can be confusing and overwhelming when trying to determine the right trim for your project, you can always enlist the help of the experts to guide you to the right solution for your home project. Here is a basic description of four different styles to give you the basic foundation.
- Three-Inch Rounded or Stepped Baseboard
Probably the most common of baseboard trim, this profile is often used in a lot of newer construction. This style is 5/8 inch to 7/8 inch wide and three to three and a half inches tall. The top of the trim has a gently rounded shape or subtly stepped shape, allowing it to taper into the wall.
This style of trim is best suited for a modern home; its shorter profile and rounded, simple shape would be out of place in an older home. On the other hand, the simplicity of its design is a great choice when your goal is to blend the baseboard into the background to accentuate other features of your home.
When it comes to budget, the material of the trim and the quantity will of course vary the pricing.
- Flat Baseboard Molding
Another simple and subtle baseboard choice, this style is completely flat in the front. This profile varies in height, anywhere from three and a half to four inches and is most commonly ⅝ inch thick.
While the front is flat, the back is grooved to allow flexibility for installation. This style of molding is extremely versatile, it can stand alone or be combined with other decorative elements for a more elaborate look. This versatility is one of the main reasons this style can be used in many different types of homes.
The pricing for this type of baseboard molding is similar to the rounded and will vary greatly based on the material.
- Sculpted Mid-Height Baseboard Trim
For more of a style impact, sculpted mid-height baseboard is the choice. Ranging from four to five and a half inches tall and about ⅝ inch thick, the top portion is decoratively shaped, often tapered or rounded for better installation to the wall.
This style is best for homes with a slightly more formal appearance with its sloped and scalloped edge. This style of baseboard adds a lot of character to any room–especially so for a formal living or dining room as it becomes the focal point to complete the look when combined with crown molding and painted or stained a contrasting color from the wall paint.
In terms of budget, this type of baseboard is going to run a bit higher than the previously mentioned profiles. The material will also factor in significantly to the overall pricing of trim.
- Sculpted Taller Baseboard Trim
Lastly, taller baseboard molding is an additional option, when making a statement is the goal. The taller material creates a more visual statement at five and a half to seven inches or taller in height, with a width of about ⅝ inch. This trim is also sculpted with scalloped or step detailing for more visual interest.
This trim is best for large-scale homes, architecture including high ceilings and large rooms are ideal for this type of baseboards. This trim is also great for homes with children and pets as its height helps protect walls and floors from scratches, scuffs, dents, and other damages.
Since this baseboard molding is a style statement on its own, it is advised to skip additional design elements such as crown molding or other trim pieces. Because of its ornate nature, this is the most expensive of the baseboard molding options. Of course the price will vary depending on the height, size, shape, and material chosen.
Baseboard Trim Materials
As mentioned, when it comes to style and budget, the material of the baseboards is going to be critical. Each material offers benefits and disadvantages in their own right, and which is best matched for your project will depend on a variety of factors. The list of commonly used materials below outlines the options for baseboard trim.
- Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)- the economical choice, MDF is an engineered wood product made by combining wood fibers together with a pressure treatment. Consequently, this material has no natural wood grain, so they do not stain well, however it is primed and ready for painting out-of-the-box. It is easily sculpted into different shapes and its texture makes it ideal for cutting.
- Jointed Pine– Another budget-friendly material, pine is an inexpensive soft wood that can be an excellent option for trim. Available either primed or unprimed, it can be both stained or painted to your liking. However, before purchasing this trim, it is important to check for knots, warping, and imperfections. A good pine will be free of blemishes or knots without cracks or splintering.
- Hardwoods– hardwood materials such as maple and oak make great options for trim. This trim offers an elegant, timeless look and is the best choice for staining to match an existing trim. This option of course is on the more expensive end of baseboard material, but worth the price for the look and feel it gives.
- Vinyl– moving into the synthetic materials, vinyl is ideal for spaces where water resistance is required. Vinyl baseboard trim is ideal for bathrooms, entryways, utility rooms, basements, or even exteriors. This material is very durable, and easily installed with industrial strength glue.
Choosing Baseboard Trim
Before embarking on the finishing touches that will be the baseboards, you’ll want to consider a few important factors. First, will you be matching existing trim or replacing it entirely? This may affect your style choice and will also be determined partly by your overall budget for the project.
You’ll also want to consider the needs of the room. Is it a high-traffic area subject to children and pets? Is the room in need of water resistance? Is the space needing more functional trim or is the look and design the primary concern?
Determine the height and thickness of the baseboard you’ll need, and if you’re looking to match the existing baseboards, what material is already in place? Consider the ceiling height, the formality of the room, architectural design, and style of home you have.
Next, you’ll want to consider what style you like. Flat, rounded, sculpted edges–what style best fits the desired aesthetic? Are you looking to achieve a more sleek and modern look, or something ornate, elegant, and historic looking?
Lastly, review your budget. You can save money by choosing a standard in-stock style in a material that is able to be painted, stained, and customized to your desired look.
If you’re still up in the air, you can determine the baseboard trim in your overall flooring planning. An in-store estimate or expert consultation can help guide you to making the right choice for your style and budget. Flowers Flooring can help you secure everything from selecting the flooring planks, the baseboards, installation and more.
About Flowers Flooring
Flowers Flooring is your family flooring specialist with two locations – Cornelius, NC, and Winston-Salem, NC. Both locations service a 100-mile radius from the showroom. Both locations specialize in flooring sales and installation, including carpet, laminate, hardwood, sand & finish, hardwood restoration, vinyl plank, vinyl tile, rubber flooring, tile floors, tile showers, tile backsplash, area rugs, interior painting, and more. To reach the Cornelius, NC location please call (704) 445-7750 and to reach our Winston-Salem location, please call (336) 660-0977. Please be sure to inquire about our current promotion and financing offers.