Base Molding

When our current house was built we were given the cheapest molding possible. This is one of the many ways a builder cuts costs and the small base molding has bugged me since Day One. In our plans to redo the first floor, replacing this molding with something larger figures high on the list.

In the Parade of Homes we visited, we noticed that homes in the price range that we would be currently building our home today (due to skyrocketing building costs) and those priced above all came with larger molding!

Here are some photos of how the molding looked (remember to click on the photo to see a close up with the details):

In this molding the ends are aligned with door molding (left) and a block (right). The white molding shows high contrast against the darker wood floors (all the rage) and the medium toned neutral paint. This would become a theme in all the Builder homes we saw on the tour.

base molding 01

Rounded, plastered corners was seen in all the new homes, and with it, came these corner base molding pieces that wrapped them:

base molding 03

rounded corner base molding

This photo caught some of the doorway molding that we also saw — at the right, you can see the open walk-through has molding on the inside of the pass. We saw this in about half of the homes we viewed and I am of two minds about it. I liked the look in squared off throughway’s and did not like it in arched throughway’s.

base molding 02

Inside passthrough molding

I imagine in the long run this saves some damage to plaster as doorways get pretty banged up with moving furniture, kids and people resting hands on the walls. Of course, it did continue the theme of putting molding everywhere! (over windows, doors, under windows, doors, extensive crown molding etc…)

In all of these examples you can see that the base molding was quite substantial in size. Widths were probably about 6″ as compared to our current base molding which is about 3″.  Profiles were kept simple and because of the spare furniture put in builder’s homes, was quite noticeable.

From this next photo, and all the others, you can see that no quarter round was added – something that was placed in our home and which I have hated for years as being just another something to collect dirt and dust when trying to clean floors.

base molding 04

Like all molding, the wider it is, the more expensive. The more ornate the profile, the more expensive. Molding that is meant to be stained has few if any join marks which makes it more expensive as compared to pine or MDF with more joints and is meant to be painted.

We did notice in one home that a very simple 3″ base was added to on the top with a more ornate profile base and since they were next to each other and painted over with the same color, appeared to be one larger piece. I am not sure this would actually save you money. However if you had a base molding you did not want to replace but wanted the bigger look you could add another piece of base and double the size appearance.

Want to see more about base moulding and moulding projects? There’s more on the blog right here