You’re thinking about selling your home. If so, you’re also thinking about projects that will increase value. Did you know that simply updating your trim could help?
Experts note that poorly installed or damaged trim makes a house look cheaper. Fixing it up is both an affordable and easy job, unlike some other value-adding tasks.
Before you hop to, though, you’ll want to think about the different baseboard molding styles out there. Picking the right one can help you update your look and improve your home’s value.
So, what different styles are there? This guide reviews nine of the most common types of baseboard.
1. Three-Inch Rounded Baseboard
Three-inch rounded baseboard is the most common type of baseboard used in homes. It gets its name from its height. The boards stand around three to three-and-a-half inches high.
The “rounded” part comes from the top of the trim. It’s molded so that it tapers into the wall.
Three-inch rounded baseboard comes in a wide variety of colors, and some is more ornate that others. It’s usually fairly simplistic, though.
For that reason, it tends to look best in modern homes. Its simplicity and short profile make it the perfect complement to the clean lines of a modern room.
2. Flat Baseboard
Flat baseboards are just what their name suggests. Unlike rounded baseboards, they are completely flat on the front. They have no decoration, which makes them versatile.
Flat baseboard may be the perfect choice for almost any home. They’re also easy to maintain. A groove on the back makes this type of baseboard easier to install.
Unlike three-inch rounded baseboard, flat baseboards come in a variety of heights. They’re typically no taller than four-and-a-half inches. The extra height gives them more visual weight than three-inch.
Flat baseboard can also serve as the centerpiece of a three-piece baseboard set up. You’d pair it with shoe molding and a sculpted cap mold to create a custom three-piece.
3. Sculpted Mid-Height Baseboard
Next up on the list are sculpted mid-height baseboard styles. These baseboards tend to be even taller than either flat or three-inch rounded baseboard styles.
The extra height accommodates more ornate designs. Depending on the style, there may be scallops or steps that taper toward the wall.
Given the extra architectural weight, this type of baseboard is best in more formal homes. It may look too heavy or baroque for more modern styles.
4. Sculpted Taller Baseboard Molding Styles
If you guessed this type of baseboard was like sculpted mid-height molding, except taller, you’d be right. This type of baseboard molding can be even taller than seven inches, making it the tallest of the bunch.
Like sculpted mid-height, sculpted taller styles use their extra height for ornate designs. They’re very decorative and taper into the wall.
Keep in mind that while sculpted taller styles may be pleasing to the eye, they can quickly overwhelm small spaces. For that reason, they’re best used in large rooms or homes with very traditional styling.
The ornate sculpting can also make them easier to damage and more difficult to keep clean.
5. Shoe Molding
Shoe molding isn’t actually a baseboard itself. Instead, it’s a type of trim that’s often used with baseboards.
What does shoe molding do? It’s usually placed between the baseboard and the floor. It softens 90-degree joints between the trim and moldings.
Shoe molding is similar to quarter-round molding, except it’s a bit squatter. Shoe molding is often used as part of a traditional three-piece molding.
6. Quarter-Round Molding
Quarter-round molding is similar to shoe molding, and it’s often used for the same purposes. You can use it to fill in any 90-degree joints, such as corners or the intersection of the floor and baseboards.
Quarter-round molding is so-called because it is one quarter of a round dowel. It has a 90-degree angle on the back, which makes it easier to install. Quarter-round can be used instead of shoe molding in a three-piece set up.
7. Clamshell Baseboard
Clamshell baseboard is similar to three-inch round, in that it has a curve to it. Generally speaking, though, clamshell baseboard is less ornate. Three-inch round may have scallops or a bead at the top, whereas clamshell almost never will.
The two terms can be used interchangeably. Be sure to clarify what your home center or contractor is using.
8. Ornate Baseboard Styles
Some baseboards are quite ornate, as you saw with the sculpted mid-height and sculpted taller baseboards. Even three-inch rounded can have some intricate features.
You may see baseboards that feature “ripples,” beads, or other features. These can add flair to the room, but they can quickly become fussy or heavy. An ornate baseboard style may work well in a formal home, but it’s less appropriate for a minimalist look.
9. Colonial Baseboard Styles
As you shop for baseboards, you may see some labeled “colonial” styles. The use of this term depends largely on who is making the baseboard.
Colonial is usually a term used for baseboards that are simplistic. They may reflect a wide variety of older American homes. Keep in mind that styles varied across the US.
Most of the time, this style reflects the baseboards used in colonial era homes in New England. If you’re unsure, you can take some pictures of homes that have the style you want and compare.
10. Other Baseboard Styles
Finally, there are many other “styles” out there. As the experts at Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods note, you might see the following terms used:
Names like Victorian refer to the architectural style associated with the baseboard. Victorian baseboard, for example, mimics what you’d see in a Victorian era home. Some style names refer to the features, such as ripples, beads, or beveling.
Spruce up Your Home with More Great Tips
There are a wide variety of baseboard molding styles. Some are simple, some are intricate, and all of them can help spruce up your home.
Getting ready to sell or just want to spruce up your home? Check out more great tips, tricks, and trends in our extensive archives!