Baseboards: The Final Touch
When designing a customer’s dream kitchen, the last thing that comes to mind is the baseboards. However, this millwork detail is something that can pull the room together, so it’s nice to present them with options. While some of these tips will only apply to those replacing existing baseboards, most of the content should help all homeowners make a baseboard selection they can be proud of for years to come. While baseboards may not seem important compared to cabinets and countertops, point out that guests will notice baseboards that are chosen intentionally.
Style of Baseboard
The baseboard style selected should be one that, yes, matches with the rest of your home or aligns with it. But that doesn’t have to limit your style selection. For example, if the customer is redoing the main floor and they aren’t ready to tackle the upstairs, they don’t need to sweat it. Instruct them to pick the baseboard style they want for the main floor and come back down the road when they’re ready to replace all the upstairs baseboards. At Riverside, we keep all the previous styles on hand so that if we do something entirely custom for a client, they can always come back and order more. If this is doable for your company, we highly recommend it.
Wondering where to begin? Start by showing these two images to your customer:
They’re leaning towards a modern baseboard style if they want something like A but with a little more detail. If they think B is more visually interesting, they may want to go with a more traditional baseboard style. We always recommend our clients shop through our readily available options on our website to see which style they want to go with or visit one of our social channels such as Pinterest to get more baseboard style inspiration.
Over the last decade, the baseboard height standard has been getting taller and taller. This is fun to see as historically, baseboard was taller before the late 80s, and early 90s arrived, when everyone was choosing baseboard around 4″ in height, and these days we sell more baseboard in the 7″ to 9″ range!
Why taller baseboards? As our homes started to get bigger in square feet or sometimes just bigger in ceiling height, the baseboard height needed to remain aligned. Without having a tall enough baseboard in a home with 12′ ceilings, this could be making the ceiling look lower than it is. So, if the customer has good ceiling heights and wants to make sure it looks even better when replacing the baseboards, we say, go big or go home! If they’re looking for the exact height to go with, you can use the 7% rule – choose a height closest to 7% of the overall height of your room.
So, for a room that is 9′ in ceiling height (108″), you would use a baseboard height of roughly 7.56 inches or taller.
When it comes to baseboard colour, the standard option these days is to paint it white. While white is a timeless choice that works in contrast with any wall and flooring colour, note that the white should match the white of the casing around the doors and windows (if that casing is also white). Typically, most people will choose an eggshell or semi-gloss finish even when the walls are more matte, but again, this is always a homeowner’s choice!
If they’re also considering a trending black interior door and choosing to go with black casing around it, it is essential to note that they can still choose white baseboards. See here a model home by Millstone Homes we worked on that features white baseboards, a black interior door, and black casing. All of these pieces are painted on-site after installation, so it is important to note as a homeowner that you can choose whichever paint colours and finishes you desire.
When it comes to colour, instead of white, there is a whole rainbow of options, but if they’re looking for something they don’t have to change with the seasons, a neutral or wood colour choice is the timeless option. With some of our customers going outside of black and white for door options, we still see white as the most common baseboard colour.
Zoey is a marketer who has been working closely with the construction industry for six years. She has recently joined the fast-growing company of Riverside Millwork Group to help lead the marketing team. She is passionate about getting more women involved in the trades. She volunteers her time with the Women in Industry committee with the West-End Home Builders Association to attract more women to get involved in the thriving construction industry in Canada.