Choosing a Baseboard Material

a stack of different wood trims

Choosing baseboard material doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. With the many options available in most home goods stores, this task can be quick and easy, inexpensive and fun. Choosing and installing baseboard material can be done in a weekend, with the cost factor well below what it would cost to have a contractor do the work.

Paint Grade Choices

You will need to select either paint grade or staining baseboard materials. From here, the choices multiply and there is a sufficient range to suit almost any home, at almost any price point. Composite materials are primarily man-made. The most common is medium-density-grade (MDF) fiberboard. Compared to hardwoods, these materials are very inexpensive, easy to work with, and can be painted to match any décor.

Painting Baseboards

someone painting a baseboard white

The design options for any room can be expanded by painting baseboards. Choices range from matching the baseboards to the dominant color scheme, to adding drama by contrasting the baseboards by painting them a different color. Even if there are existing wood floors, a contrasting baseboard will serve to enhance the color motif if painted a contrasting color. If the color scheme of a room is somewhat bland, painted baseboards will enhance and brighten up the room. Painting is a great option for dressing up a home and keeping costs down, while still providing an attractive addition to a home’s decor.

Natural Wood Choices

Baseboards made of wood are more expensive than paint grade choices, but inexpensive wood species will provide elegantly-finished baseboards. Most of the less expensive woods include softwoods such as pine or poplar. Although these woods can be stained and varnished to suit most decors, hardwoods such as cherry, oak, and walnut will go a long way toward providing elegance and add that special touch of professionalism to baseboards in a home.

Traditional Baseboards

wiping a rag across wood baseboard

There is no denying that traditional baseboards are usually made of natural woods. The different species of wood with their different grains and hues never fail to add that traditional, old world charm to any room in the home. Natural wood also adds elegance and warmth and is a very versatile material. Depending on the species of wood, it can simultaneously dress up or dress down a room. Although expensive, there is no mistaking the elegance of hardwood baseboards.

Choosing Baseboard Material

Although the bottom line is usually cost, most homeowners find that the choice is really dependent upon what they want the baseboards to look like when they are done with the installation. Painting baseboards and using man-made materials will be much less expensive; however, installing natural woods adds a warmth and elegance which may override the expense. The home may also play a significant part in the choice of baseboard materials in that painting baseboards may not suffice, and a need for the natural warmth and elegance of natural woods is warranted. The final decision comes down to the desired outcome of what the homeowner requires of the baseboard materials.