The Artisan Contracting Blog

How to Select Baseboard Materials for Your Home

how to choose baseboard materials

When choosing baseboard material for your project, you may be surprised to find out that selecting what material you use doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Even though the cost is a big factor, most homeowners find that their choice is dependent on what they want the finished baseboards to look like once installed.

The baseboard trim finish provides a decorative finish for a room and a way to conceal the uneven ends of flooring when it meets a wall. The most common trim materials are made of wood, plastic and vinyl and knowing the different types of trim materials can give you an idea of how they can be used to decorate your home.

Here is a list of the various types of baseboard materials that you can choose from.

1. Paint Grade

You can choose either paint grade or stain baseboard materials. The paint-grade materials are composite materials that are primarily man-made; the most common is medium-density-grade (MDF) fibre board. Compared to hardwoods, these materials are very inexpensive, easy to work with, and can be painted to match any décor.

If you do decide to paint, you can pick a colour for the baseboards that match the dominant colour scheme of the room or add drama by contrasting the baseboards by painting them a different colour. Even with existing wood floors, a contrasting baseboard will serve to enhance the colour motif with a contrasting colour.

2. Natural Wood

Natural wood baseboards are more expensive than paint-grade; however, some of the less expensive softwoods, like pine, may be just the right wood for your project. Alternatively, you can choose among cherry, oak and walnut, which are more costly, but will go a long way toward providing elegance and beauty to your home. These woods can be stained and varnished to suit most decors and provide a look of professionalism to the environment.

Wood is the most common style of trim material and standard for many builders.  The advantage of using wood as a baseboard trim material is that wood can be cut and placed in almost any part of a room that needs a baseboard finish.

3 Vinyl Baseboard

Like wood, vinyl is a baseboard trim material that can provide a similar look and feel. Vinyl is a good choice if your home is subject to water and moisture issues because it can withstand exposure to these conditions much better than wood. Vinyl baseboard trim material can outlast wood baseboards because it is very durable. This material is as easy to work with and install as wood baseboards. The one drawback is that vinyl baseboards cannot be painted since the baseboards are designed in pre-determined colours, but there are plenty of choices to select from anyway.

4. Plastic Baseboard

Like vinyl, plastic baseboards are similar in their composition. They can be styled in the same way as vinyl to imitate wood, thus giving you the same look and feel. Since plastic is cheap to mass produce, it is less costly than vinyl and wood, but it can be painted, though not as easy as wood. Plastic baseboards are easy to install, durable and require little maintenance.

Work With a Professional for Your Baseboard Installation

With so many choices available to the consumer, finding just the perfect look for your project can be quick, easy, inexpensive and fun. If you’re a handy type, most baseboard installation can be done in a weekend; otherwise, hiring a contractor is the next option, but even that is usually reasonable in costs.

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