If you don't want baseboards for your home what alternatives do you have?
Although baseboards are a great way to hide unsightly connections between walls and floors, they are not the only solution. Some alternatives to use are tiles, Quarter rounds, Reglet Trim, Flush Base, Reclaimed Wood, Molding, and carpets.
This article lists every alternative that you can use instead of baseboards to hide the spacing between walls and floors and make a house look stylish.
10 Alternatives to Baseboards
Although baseboards offer many advantages, some homeowners still prefer to use options that are either more cost-effective or visually attractive.
|Tiles||Durable, easy to clean||Difficult to install|
|Quarter Rounds||Available in several sizes||Less formal and polished|
|Peel and Stick Decals||Countless style options, easy to maintain||Not compatible with all surface types|
|Vinyl Baseboards||Flexible||Attract mildew, contains PVC|
|Reglet Trim||Visually appealing||Not cost-effective|
|Flush Base||Can be painted in various colors||Installation requires more perseverance and expertise|
|Shiplap||Easy to install||Prone to warp and rot|
|Reclaimed Wood||Environment-friendly, unique appearance||Prone to pests|
|Wallpaper||Enhance aesthetics, can be easily replaced||Maintenance and removal difficulties|
|Carpets||Inexpensive, versatile||Periodically replaced, Prone to wear and tear|
Tiles are the ideal choice to use for small rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.
However, this design choice is purely based on the visual appeal of the tile finish and not its cost.
Tiles offer certain advantages that make them a good choice for floor finishing.
They protect the floors from receiving moisture damage due to being waterproof.
This essential characteristic is required in bathrooms to protect them from extended moisture exposure.
In the long run, you will save costs related to moisture damage.
It is to be noted, however, that the cost of using tiles can exceed the cost of using baseboards in a big room.
Moreover, tiles are much easier to clean than wooden boards.
You just have to wipe them once or twice with a mop.
Tiles can also withstand a great degree of wear of tear.
They are often used in areas of low traffic to avoid the risk of developing cracks.
Quarter rounds are rounded wooden pieces that cover the gaps between the floor and the wall.
They are usually more flexible than baseboards and are more visually appealing at a lower cost.
Quarter rounds are quite narrow and do not damage the walls.
Many materials can be used to make quarter rounds, such as wood, metal, or even plastic.
They can also be painted over to give more design and color-matching options.
Peel and Stick Decals
Peel and stick decals are another cost-effective alternative to baseboards.
They are a lot cheaper than wooden panels and also require lesser maintenance.
Additionally, they have very fluid designs, meaning you can choose from several patterns and colors.
They can also be easily removed and replaced with a fresh coat of decals if you wish to make a design change.
It is easy to install them, making them popular in studios and photographic environments.
They can also be very attractive and offer good protection to the wall.
The drawback to using decals is that they're not great at adapting to changes in weather.
With decals, any gaps between the floors and walls that develop due to weather changes remain uncovered.
Vinyl baseboards can be used instead of traditional wooden baseboards to cover the gaps between the wall and the floor.
These boards have a flexible texture and are great for protecting the walls from damage.
It is usually installed in places with high traffic.
They can be fixed to the wall using strong adhesives.
Vinyl baseboards are available in many color schemes to match the design of your house.
Reglet trim is a more recent alternative used to cover the connection between the walls and the floors.
Usually made from vinyl or metal, it gives the impression that the wall is lifted.
It is installed between the wall and the floor making an L shape between them.
While not necessarily more cost-effective, it isclean and has a sleek look.
It falters in terms of wall protection as it does not keep it safe from damage or dirt.
Reglet trims can be used throughout the house and give off a constant look, unlike tiles which do not look great in all rooms.
Paint is often not applied on reglet trims, and it is unnecessary to match the wall color with them.
In the USA, CWallA is a producer of Reglet Trim.
Flush bases are boards made from the same material as the floor or the wall, depending on whichever option you prefer.
This alternative is a mix between the reglet trim style boards and a regular baseboard.
They have a modern look and can be painted over with various colors.
Shiplap walls have become very popular and are trending these days.
They are being used in both the countryside and modern hubs.
These walls can be finished in various ways and do not require baseboards, as the wooden wall goes all the way to the floor.
Shiplap covering itself forms a complete wall and saves the drywall underneath it.
However, shiplap walls are expensive and cannot be used in every room.
On average, only a single room may have shiplap walls.
It can be an option for walls that can potentially receive high amounts of damage.
High-traffic rooms like living rooms, dining rooms, and entertainment rooms often have shiplap walls.
Reclaimed wood is an alternative that is very eco-friendly because it is made from wood that has already been cut down.
Thus, it saves used wood from being thrown out by recycling it.
It is also much cheaper than new wood panels or other materials such as plastic or metal.
Reclaimed wood can easily be painted over, making way for the creation of various patterns and color schemes.
The sections of reclaimed wood can be trimmed or cut to enforce more design choices.
By utilizing this alternative, you will not only promote a greener environment but also save money.
If you do not want to add any wooden structures to the wall, there is always the option of installing wallpapers.
A wallpaper can enhance the aesthetics of a room as well as hide imperfections on the walls.
Using wallpapers can be a very cost-effective option depending on the type and quality of your paper.
It can also be easily replaced whenever a homeowner needs to change his house's design.
Furthermore, you do not need to hire a professional to install wallpapers as you can do it yourself.
Another decorative way of hiding the gap between your floors and walls is to use carpets.
Carpets provide a more classic look to a room and hide dirt and debris efficiently.
They can also be cleaned easily using a broom or a vacuum.
Carpet big enough to cover a room does not cost a lot, and the variety of patterns and colors they offer will surely attract homeowners.
However, carpets are usually not raised to the height of baseboards and thus do not protect the walls from receiving any accidental damage.
What are Baseboards?
Baseboards are wooden planks installed over floors to hide the connections between floors and walls.
Moreover, they form a protective layer that saves plaster walls from getting kicked, scratched, or hit by a vacuum.
While it is more visually appealing and cost-conscious to choose alternative ways to finish floors instead of baseboards, one must consider their practicality.
Benefits of Baseboards
The main benefit of installing baseboards is that it protects the walls and floors from physical damage.
Vacuums, mops, bats, shoes, anything, and everything can damage dry walls.
But having baseboards saves them from receiving damage from these miscellaneous objects.
They also protect drywall from receiving moisture damage.
The drywall is susceptible to receiving moisture.
If baseboards are not installed, water can easily penetrate through them.
Baseboards also protect the drywall from dirt and debris.
The dirt collects at the panel of the baseboard attached to the wall.
We can easily vacuum and deal with the dirt in this manner.
A quality installation of baseboards also hides the fact that some walls in a house are not straight.
Baseboards also conceal hardwood floors which may have expanded or contracted due to temperature differences over the year.
The gaps formed on the floors can be hidden away using baseboards.
There are numerous options available in the market as an alternative to baseboards.
Each of these options has some merits and demerits.
However, most of the available options are selected only for their visual appeal and not for their functionality.
Baseboards, on the other hand, are popular not only because of their sleek look but also because they protect drywall.
The joints between walls and floors can be easily hidden with skirting boards, and the walls can be protected from unwanted damage.
Even with these benefits, some homeowners are not too keen on using baseboards due to their high cost.
In such scenarios, they look towards other options like using reclaimed wood, tiles, flushed bases, etc., instead of baseboards.
As opposed to baseboards, wallpapers, decals, carpets, etc., only add beauty to your rooms.
Ultimately, the design choice lies with the owners and how they want their rooms to look.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is it Fine Not to Have Baseboards in a House?
Baseboards are essential for drywall.
In addition to protecting them, they prevent moisture from penetrating through them.
They also cover the gap between the floor and the wall and form a protective covering on the walls that saves them from getting dirty.
With the above benefits in mind, it is clear that baseboards are an important part of a room.
But suppose you do not want to install baseboards.
In that case, there are many alternatives available that can serve the same functions.
What is the Cost of Replacing a House's Baseboards?
The labor and material cost for baseboards costs between $5 to $9 per foot.
However, if you need to remove your previous baseboards, it costs another $50 to $100 labor cost per hour.
The average cost of replacing baseboards for a 144-foot perimeter home is about $1280.
How Often Should Baseboards be Replaced?
Baseboards should be replaced when they are sufficiently damaged and a large amount of dirt has accumulated.
In high-traffic areas, baseboards should be replaced annually to maintain the design integrity of a home.
Baseboards in low-traffic areas like offices and guest rooms can remain functional for up to 5 years.
Replacing baseboards is not cheap, and therefore you should pay attention to their maintenance.
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