Wood or synthetic baseboards?

Old 07-02-03, 11:08 AM
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Wood or synthetic baseboards?

I am replacing the baseboards in a room and went to the hardware store to check out my options. There are baseboards that are made real wood and there are some made of a synthetic material.

The wood baseboards are made of one foot wood planks joined end-to-end to make the baseboard. Most of these at the store were crooked, meaning that it there would be gaps between the floor and the baseboard if your floor was flat.

The synthetic baseboards were straight and they looked just as good as the real wood.

Are there advantages (ie. painting, cutting, long lasting) in using the synthetic baseboard?

Is there an disadvantages?

I have never installed baseboards before so I will appreciate any help and suggestions.

Old 07-02-03, 02:09 PM
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Usually wood baseboard or any molding is finger jointed and the joint is actually stronger than the wood itself. But as you saw, wood does have some disadvantages - it can warp.
I've used the synthetic moldings a couple times and see no major problems with them. They paint up very well.

Old 07-06-03, 08:53 AM
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When you say synthetic, what type of material are you refering to? I've seen polystyrene synthetic with a wood looking sticky paper veneer, and I've seen a composite type pressed board which resembles tightly compacted cardboard.

The polystyrene type melts easy when you cut it with a power saw. The pressed board has a strong tendancy to shrink and swell with the humidity.

Real wood does warp sometimes. I have been to several home improvement stores and lumber yards which have very straight material. Even if there is a small crown in the material, it can be pushed into place when nailing. In my opinion, real wood is the best choice.

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