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  • Writer's pictureSara Johnson

It’s All About That Base!

Is it time to replace your baseboards? Or do they just need a touch up?

Whether you have original baseboards from the 1950’s, kids that have been kids, or an older parent in an automatic wheelchair, I am sure you will agree that baseboards take a beating from our everyday life. Sometimes we just need to chuck them out and bring a more modern design into the room and other times they just need a little TLC. Whatever reason you have for updating or repairing your baseboards here are few tips.

Beam Me Some Baseboard Please!

When your baseboard is rotted or being held together by tape it is, definitely, time to look for new baseboard.  We do not recommend waiting until your baseboards fall apart before you replace them, but we do understand sometimes it’s just a budget issue. Some big box hardware stores charge well over a $1 per linear foot for your basic run of the mill 4 inch colonial style baseboards. If you’re planning on replacing the baseboard in your whole house that can add up quickly.  This is where doing your home work can help you cut the cost.

You may not want to believe it, but contractors do their homework when it comes to pricing materials. Which means they may know where to get baseboard cheaper than the local Big Box hardware store. That’s right, contractors do their homework too. So, you can always ask your contractor for advice on where to purchase materials. Of course, if you’re looking for convenience your contractor can always just purchase and pick up the materials for you.  After all you will need to make sure you can haul an 8 foot or 16 foot piece of wood or MDF.

When picking out your baseboard remember to take time to think about what you want your room to feel like. As we mentioned in our previous blog (Should we put Crown Moulding on that?) picking out the popular 7 inch baseboard pulls your floors up visually, giving your room a more intimate or elegant feel depending on how you decorate your room. Smaller baseboard will fade more into the back ground giving you more wall space and pushes the floor down visually, creating a more open feeling.  

Are you on a tight budget? Remember the taller the baseboard the more it will cost. As of this writing the big box stores are charging roughly $2.00 per linear foot for the 7 inch basic colonial style MDF baseboard. The 4 inch counterpart is running at $1.25 per linear foot. If you are on a budget you can always opt for the smaller baseboard to save you money and achieve a similar look.


Purchasing Tip Box

TIP 1: At Integrity Woodworking we recommend our clients to purchase 16 ft pieces of moulding. One reason for this suggestion is that unless your walls are less then 8 feet long you will end up with multiple seams. More seams honestly don’t look great, but they can also pull-a-part over time. If they do pull apart, then that of course means more money out of your pocket. This doesn’t mean your contractor did a shoddy job, it’s just basic physics of the wood.

Tip 2: Measure twice cut once. This is the carpenters motto, right? Except this doesn’t always work 100% of the time. Our advice, remember that you need to purchase 10% more material than what you expect to need for your project. If you don’t need it then you can always take it back (Don’t pre-paint all your mouldings.) If you don’t want to take it back you can always keep it to replace damaged pieces in the future.


Need TLC

No we aren’t talk about the music group from the 90’s. We are talking about when baseboards just need a little tender loving care. Survey your room(s) and assess the condition of the baseboard. If there are a few scrapes here and there, you can like buy some paint-able filler from your local hardware store. It really won’t cost you a lot of money and if you keep the lid on tight you can use it in the future. Then add some paint and you’re done.

What if you notice a crack or two? Well, have no fear you can still repair these with some non-shrinkable light weight spackle or paintable caulking. Once you fill the crack with the spackle, wipe off the excess with a wet rag and let it dry. Then when ready you can touch it up with paint.  

We hope you found our blog beneficial. Please subscribe to our blog to get more tips in the future. Also expect to see coupons and giveaways in the future. If you have a question or would like us to come to your home to give you a free estimate, please contact us, we would love to hear from you


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