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Using lower grade pine boards as baseboards


Monsterdaddy's Avatar
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04-19-08, 06:46 PM   #1  
Using lower grade pine boards as baseboards

I was thinking about using 6x1 pine boards as baseboards (and adding a basecap on top) to save money vs. MDF. (I checked Home Depot, non-select pine 6x1 is about 67 cents vs. 94 cents for the same size pre-primed MDF.)

Of course, non-select pine boards have knots and other defects but I was wondering if I could fill in the defects and then prime over the better looking sides and install them as baseboards. This means I have to spend some time "picking" over a lot of boards to get the best ones, plus filling in and priming over but I figured I still be pretty far ahead in savings.

Plus having all pine moulding vs. MDF is a plus.

Any long term issues with graining or warping I should worry about? Also, should I cut some horizontal grooves into the backsides of the pine boards? Many baseboards seem to have a space/gap on the backsides.

Thanks all.

P.S. One more question. What height should the baseboard be if the ceiling is 10 ft high? Are there guidelines?

 
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04-20-08, 03:36 AM   #2  
You answered your own question. Over time the lower grade pine will have cost you more than the MDF. You will have to fill the knot holes, get ready for others to pop out after the install, and warping will be a problem. Also, you have to consider sap bleeding over time. I like to use 7" speedbase. It cuts, copes and lays down well. Yes, it is a little more expensive, but you also have to figure in the cost of the base cap when using the pine boards, and you don't with speedbase.

 
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04-20-08, 05:19 AM   #3  
If you go with the pine, be sure to use an oil base undercoater for a primer. Knots often bleed thru latex paint.

Most of my painted woodwork is sawmill popular [might be a stick or 2 of pine] that I planed and routed an edge on. A bit of work but it sure beats the cheap moulding that was in my budget I didn't do anything to the back side of my trim and have had no issues after 10-12 yrs.

I've painted a lot of homes with 10' ceilings, the majority had base between 4"-6" Personally I like the look of tall base if it fits the house. I've done a few that used 1x12 plus base cap.

I love the way MDF paints and it makes for a great looking job but have always wondered how well it would wear if subjected to abuse.


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04-20-08, 09:20 AM   #4  
Thanks for the replies.

I was thinking of another option to save money - cutting my own 6 inch or 4 inch MDF strips out of 4x8 MDF boards. I looked at the presawn, preprimed MDF baseboards and I didn't like the fact that the primed face had rounded edges. (And doesn't that look funny when the bottom rounded edge is against the floor?)

Seems to cost half as much and I get square edges.

Hehe, I finally figured out the term I was looking for was fluting. So fluted backsides aren't necessary, good.

 
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04-20-08, 02:10 PM   #5  
"(And doesn't that look funny when the bottom rounded edge is against the floor?)"

Baseboard seldom sets tightly against the floor - that's why they make shoe mould


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04-20-08, 05:14 PM   #6  
Base flexes in the direction of the wall, while shoe molding will flex with the floor making a neat finish. Check your cost factor on the MDF panels and base cap, as they may be as much or more than speedbase. In addition, the MDF panels you buy are going to be 3/4" while normal molding is just a little over 1/2". BUT it's doable!!

 
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04-21-08, 08:08 AM   #7  
Well, the reason I wanted 3/4 inch baseboards was to cover up the expansion gaps without the use of a shoe or quarter round.

We'll probably use 3.5 inch MDF for the rectangular base and use a 2.5 inch casing as the base cap. It's about the same price as 5.25 inch speedbase.

I might go down to 5/8 inch MDF though so where the baseboard meets the door frames I won't have it jut out. Or I suppose I could replace the door frames with some thicker and nicer casing.

 
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04-21-08, 10:26 AM   #8  
Or you can miter the ends of the baseboard so that it is flush with the casing.

 
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