What Is The Standard Baseboard Height For Homes?

Baseboards can be an attractive and practical addition to any room build or remodel. They can help tie your wall decor in with your carpeting or help provide aesthetic value to the overall room.

The standard for 8-foot walls will have a baseboard height of 3 to 5 inches tall. Comparatively, 10-foot ceilings often use baseboard between 5 to 7 inches tall. This will vary depending on design but acts as a good rule of thumb when picking out baseboards for a home project.

Finding the right height of baseboard for your wall is important, so let’s go over the best ways to determine the right height for yours and take a look at the standard baseboard height used in homes today,

What is a Baseboard?

what is a baseboard

Baseboards are a combination of an aesthetic and decorative element, with a very practical element as well.

Their main purpose is to hide the joint between the wall and floor, and sometimes to hide a small gap left for flooring installation or remodeling. The right baseboard can give your room an entirely different architectural feel depending on the size and style of the baseboard used.

Baseboards are normally made from medium-density fiberboard or MDF. This makes them very lightweight and affordable, while also keeping them durable and attractive.

MDF baseboards can be found in a variety of colors and styles, and according to Bend Tool Company are the most affordable option. 

Additionally, baseboards can be found in true wood options such as pine, oak, and maple. These choices are much more expensive than MDF, however. They can be stained, unlike MDF, which allows you to customize your room to your liking.

Another option for baseboards is vinyl. They’re usually found in rooms of your house where moisture can build up, such as the bathroom or utility room. That is because vinyl is moisture resistant and does not attract mold or mildew, nor does it become a target for termites.

How High Should the Baseboard Be?

how high should the baseboard be

Baseboards can come in a range of different heights and styles. The most commonly found heights in baseboards are 3 inches, 5 inches, 8 inches, and 12 inches, so there seems to be no set standard baseboard height, just a range. The height you choose for your own room can depend on a number of factors.

For example, simple baseboards have no decorative elements and are a plain strip of rectangle material that covers the wall and floor joint. It’s purely functional and does not add anything extra to the decor. These are normally found in 3 or 5-inch measurements.

Larger baseboards, such as those in the 8 or 12-inch heights, are usually more decorative in nature. They may include decorative molding and more ornate shapes to help bring a little bit more of an eye-catching look to your room.

Always keep in mind though that less is more in some cases, and some highly decorative baseboards may look out of place in some rooms of your home.

According to New Hampshire Magazine, most builders or remodelers suggest the baseboard takes up no more than 7% of the total height of your wall. For example, if your wall measures 8 feet from floor to ceiling, the baseboard should be around 7 inches high for the best results.

Should the Baseboard Touch the Floor?

should the baseboard touch the floor

If you are replacing the baseboards without any plans of replacing the flooring, the baseboard can be flush to the floor.

Since the baseboard is secured to the wall and not the floor, you will be able to rest it directly on the floor before nailing it to the wall. This helps provide a clean and crisp edge to your room.

If you have plans of installing new flooring in the future but want to install your baseboards now, you can leave up to a one-half-inch gap above the floor.

This allows room for you or your remodeling contractor to tuck floor tiling or carpeting up under the baseboard without having to remove them in some cases. This in turn saves time and money overall.

How Much Do New Baseboards Cost?

If you are having your baseboards professionally installed, the cost is usually by the linear foot. This includes the actual baseboard itself as well as the installation labor. Most contractors will charge between $5 and $8 per linear foot for the job to be completed. 

Baseboards themselves are quite affordable, so the majority of the cost when hiring a professional contractor is going to be the labor. According to Home Depot, baseboard installation can sometimes be quite involved so the labor cost is usually justified.

Alternatively, you can choose to install the baseboards yourself which can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in labor costs for an entire house. Baseboards can cost anywhere from $0.30 to $3.00 per foot and will depend on the style of molding and material used. MDF and vinyl are much cheaper than natural hardwoods such as oak or maple.

Final Thoughts

Whether you plan on replacing existing baseboards or are adding new baseboards entirely, there is a wide range of factors to consider before you just go out and buy what looks good.

To have the baseboard fit into your home’s aesthetics, always be sure it is the proper height to not overwhelm the decor. Once you have done that, you can thoroughly enjoy the look of your new and properly installed baseboard.

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