Baseboard is decorative molding that serves a practical purpose; baseboard covers the space where a wall and a floor come together. In the homes of people with disabilities, baseboard can protect a person using mobility equipment from collision with a wall. Baseboard also protects walls from the impact of furniture, cleaning equipment and shoes. For people with visual disability, baseboards can encourage safety and function by defining the perimeter of a room in colors that contrast with the floor and walls. You may wish to receive wall and baseboard color samples from a local paint store before making a decision. If travel is difficult because of disability, a local store may accommodate your request to deliver samples to your home.
“Measure twice and cut one”, is an old expression that can be applied to the purchase of baseboard. If you want to avoid extra trips to the store, carefully measure. Baseboard is usually sold in pieces that range in length from 8’ to 12’. Traditionally, baseboard is made of wood. However, there is a trend toward using synthetic materials, particularly in exterior molding. Baseboard usually measures 2”-6” from its top to its bottom.
Adequate preparations must be made before your baseboard is painted or otherwise finished. The floor should be covered by a drop-cloth and masking tape applied around the edges of the baseboard that connect it with the floor and walls. Before you begin work on the baseboard’s surface, wipe it clean of dust and dirt.
Baseboard should reflect your home’s architecture. For example, homes built during the Federal period should have baseboard with cavetto, concave semi-circles. Distinctive baseboard can also be found in the following architectural traditions: Early American, Colonial, Arts & Crafts, Georgian, Greek Revival, Tudor, Victorian, and Shaker. When selecting baseboard, note a room’s door trim and window trim. Bathroom baseboard is usually made of the same material as the floor.
Baseboard has a variety of finishes. Baseboard can be finished to show the wood's grain, painted to match a wall or in a contrasting white.Occasionally, you’ll find a dark baseboard and a wall of a lighter color. Painted baseboard is often distinguished from the wall’s matte finish by a sheen.
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