Chances are you have never thought of baseboards when making considerations about your home design. This is because other types of molding, such as crown molding, door casings, window casings, panel moldings, chair rails, and fireplace mantles, are emphasized by designers while overlooking the role baseboards play in home design.
So, why are baseboards important? Baseboards are important to provide a finished look since unfinished corners can be uneven. They also protect your walls from physical damage, water damage, dirt, debris and hide crooked walls that become visible to the naked eye in homes built with no baseboards.
Eric Lee, the design director, and founder of VictorEric Design+Build, a design and building company for luxury residences in Vancouver, Canada, states that baseboards are necessary to balance your interior space.
In this section, we will look go in-depth about baseboards and everything you need to know about them, before making a final decision about adding them to your house.
What are baseboards?
Baseboards are vinyl or wooden boards that run along the base of an interior wall, hiding the joint between the floor and the wall. They can cover the interior walls while still acting as an extension of your home aesthetics.
Baseboards are also able to protect your plaster walls from careless boot kicks, scratches from pets, washing water and vacuum cleaners that would otherwise interact directly with the walls.
While installing baseboards, there are a number of factors you need to consider, such as color, type of materials used, and textures. This is done to ensure that there is continuity and harmony between your baseboards and the floor for the purpose of aesthetics.
Let us start by looking at some types of materials you can use for your baseboard designs:
- Vinyl baseboards
Vinyl is a water-resistant, termite-resistant material that you can use for your baseboards in utility rooms, basements, and spaces where water spills on the ground. They are durable, hence very appropriate in areas where there is high activity and interaction with the wall. To install a vinyl board, you will need industrial glue.
- Hardwood baseboards
These types of baseboards are made using hardwoods such as oak and maple and are very appropriate for designs looking to use wood materials that can be stained. They are significantly more expensive than other types of baseboards such as jointed pine and medium density fiberboard because of their durability and quality.
- Jointed pine baseboards
These types of baseboards are the least expensive but are of an extremely high quality. They retain their natural wood feel, smell and touch and can be used to improve your home aesthetics.
If you are looking for baseboard designs that will make your room have the authenticity of real wood while still staying within your budget, then you should consider investing in jointed pine baseboards.
- MDF [Medium Density Fiberboard]
This is the most widely used baseboard molding material. It is made of wood products that are fused with wood fibers and resin, making it harder. They are also very flexible, which gives designers the freedom to shape them the way they want, and quickly. They also have a texture that is very easy to cut and are not expensive, hence you can balance between a tight budget and a high-quality baseboard.
What is the purpose of baseboards?
Baseboards have more purpose than just aesthetics. In this section, we are going to look at some other uses and benefits of baseboards and why you should consider having one in your home. Here are just a few of the benefits.
- Baseboards can protect walls from physical damage. Running a vacuum, mopping the floor, or water spilling on the floor can be devastating to the walls. To avoid this, baseboards come in handy and can help you protect your drywall against miscellaneous objects that can damage them.
- Baseboards can also hide crooked walls. Most walls are not straight, and you may need baseboards to conceal areas of your walls that might not be straight.
- Protection against water damage. Installing baseboards can help protect your walls from water and moisture damage. Baseboards installed in places such as the kitchen and bathrooms ensure that the walls are not damaged by the constant water that falls on the floor.
- Protection of hardwood floors. One of the consequences of installing hardwood floors is that they expand and contract. With baseboards, you can be able to protect and conceal the hardwood floors from expansion and contraction by leaving small gaps between them.
Can you have no baseboards?
Baseboards play a key role in aesthetics by helping in transitioning floor materials to wall materials while hiding unsightly lines.
But is it a must for you to use baseboards for your interior decor? The short answer is no. In fact, some of the most striking modern aesthetics have no baseboards, and therefore, it depends on exactly what you are looking for.
When making a choice on whether to have baseboards in your home or not, you should consider that they are not only for aesthetic purposes.
Besides the aesthetics, baseboards can help you hide unsightly flaws on your walls and floors, and in some cases, failing to install baseboards can make your home look cheap and poorly made, depending on your designers.
They also help you hide cracks and shaky lines, which, over time, start reflecting on your walls due to factors such as expansion and contraction of your house. Before deciding to forego baseboards, you need to know that a new home may not have cracks and shaky lines visible, and you can be tempted to believe that your home will never have them. However, years down the road, you may find yourself in a predicament as you scrabble to install baseboards to try and hide unsightly lines reflecting on your walls.
Failing to install baseboards also risks your walls being damaged by moisture and water spills. Drywalls are very porous and easily damaged, and hence many designers recommend baseboards to avoid walls from becoming damaged.
Baseboards are also very affordable, making them attractive for home designers to use in their homes. It also means that if you are operating on a tight budget, you can still install baseboards, which in the long run have an impact on the quality of your walls and good aesthetics.
If you decide to forego the installation of baseboards in your home, you should also know that you will be required to have a bigger budget. This is because designs that do not use baseboards require more installation labor and skills, making them more expensive.
The Chart Belows Analyzes Popular Sizes of Baseboards Among Forum Users
|How wide are your baseboards?||Percentage of total results|
|Most users reported having baseboards that are 7 inches or larger.||33.33%|
|The second most common range reported for baseboards was between 5-6 inches.||25.93%|
|Many forum users mentioned having 6–7-inch baseboards.||18.52%|
|4–5-inch baseboards were very popularly chosen between forum users.||14.81%|
|The least popular size for baseboards was 3-4 inches, with a minority of forum users owning them.||7.41%|
Do baseboards increase home value?
When deciding on whether to install baseboards or not, you should also consider future resale value and how baseboards impact the value of your home.
Here is a video that shows how to install baseboards:
However, in homes that have undergone repairs and added or repaired their baseboards, potential clients and have an impact on your home appraisals. This can lead to a significant increase in your home valuations and resale pricing.
Well-designed baseboards are also attractive to customers, especially where online selling of properties is involved. I recommend Orac Design High Impact Baseboards. They are available on Amazon. This is because clients are able to see a home in good condition with crown molding and baseboards, where appearance is everything, which can also result in a jump in resale value.
Updating your baseboards based on potential clients’ requirements can also help in boosting the resale value of your property.
Research by Shawn M. Falcone, University of Nebraska-Lincoln confirms why you should consider improving your interior design, especially if you are looking to sell your home. According to the findings, a simple improvement of your home’s interior design such as the addition of baseboards can lead to an improvement in your home value, especially in single-family homes.
Rooms without baseboards
Chances are you have already decided on the type of design you want for your home. However, you are unsure if your decisions will come back to haunt you, and one of those decisions is whether you want your house to have baseboards.
So, are baseboards necessary in your room? It is true that baseboards add visual benefits and aesthetics to your room, but the decision to install them in your room goes beyond the aesthetics, and it is important to consider all the factors available before making the final decision on whether you want baseboards on your room or not.
For starters, aesthetics is important, and depending on the design of your house or the types of rooms in your home, you may decide to have baseboards installed. This will mostly be dependent on the style you want your house to take, the location of the rooms and the budget you have for aesthetics. For example, you may decide to forego installing baseboards in your kitchen and garage because aesthetics in these rooms and parts of your house is not necessary.
Hiding crooked walls, damaged walls and protecting your walls against physical damage may also be a motivation to use baseboards in your house or some rooms. This is especially true for many homes because most walls in buildings are not straight, and although it does not affect the structural integrity of the house, as a homeowner, you would like to hard some of the unsightly crooked walls in your home. This is where baseboards come in handy and can help you conceal the walls.
However, there are situations where you may decide that baseboards are not good for your rooms or your house. This is especially true when you are looking for a specific modern design that does not require baseboards to complement the interior design. Unsurprisingly, most modern homes have no baseboards, and they still look magnificent.
One disadvantage of not installing baseboards in your home is, your costs for construction go up. This is because it takes more installation labor and skills to build a house with no baseboard moldings.
What type of baseboard should I use?
There are many baseboard trims available to use for your home. Below we are going to look at the four most popular baseboards that you might opt for.
- Flat baseboard molding
This type of molding is completely flat on the front and comes in different heights ranging from 3.5-4.5 inches.
A common feature about the baseboard mold is that it is grooved to allow for flexing and installation. Also, most of these baseboards are ⅝ inch thick but may vary depending on the intended usage of the baseboards.
The baseboard molds can be used for any style in your home and are very convenient for interior designers looking for simplicity.
- Three-inch rounded or stepped baseboard
These are the most common baseboards and are very popular in modern designs. Chances are, if you go to a recently built home with baseboards, you will encounter the stepped baseboards as their preferred molds.
The baseboards are ⅝ to ⅞ inches wide and about three to three and a half inches tall. If you are looking for something modern to complement your interior design, then you should consider the stepped baseboards.
- Sculpted taller baseboard molding
If you are looking for a well-designed baseboard, then you should consider the sculpted taller baseboard molding, which is about five and a half to seven inches tall.
However, it is the most expensive type of baseboard available and is mostly used in homes that are mostly bigger in size. They are also used in homes where the ceilings are high, or rooms are large.
- Sculpted mid-height baseboard
This type of molding ranges from about four inches to five and a half and is very convenient for people looking to pack more of a style punch to their homes.
These types of moldings are very handy in homes that have a formal appearance and are a great way to add personality to your home.