What is Base Molding?

Base molding protects walls where they meet the floor.

Base molding is a protective coating applied to a wall at the point where it meets the floor. Primarily designed to protect the base of a wall from damage when hit by furniture and other objects, the base molding also provides relatively easy access to the area behind the wall when a gap has been left between the bottom edge of the wall and the floor. While a strip of wood about 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) wide is all that is usually needed, decorative additions are added in almost all residential as well as most commercial applications.

When interior walls are erected within a structure, they are usually made of drywall attached to vertical wooden or metal beams called nails. In many cases, the ceiling height is slightly higher than 2.44 meters (8 feet). In this case, the plaster wall leans against the ceiling, already installed, and a gap is left between the wall and the floor. The molding of the base is essential to hide this gap. Also, if future work requires access, it is sometimes possible to simply remove the baseboard instead of drilling a hole in the wall itself.

Although drywall provides structure to the interior space, it is not very strong. It will break easily when hit by a moving piece of furniture or many other objects such as vacuum cleaners being pushed with force. Even if the drywall doesn’t break, a strong blow, such as from a hammer, will crush the drywall’s drywall contents, sometimes breaking the paper’s surface and leaving an unsightly dimple that will need to be repaired. Since the chance of such harmful contact is greatest near the floor because of moving furniture, the base frame is routinely installed, even when there is no gap to hide.

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The walls of homes and some commercial spaces are also often protected by a frame called a chair rail, which is a strip of wood or plastic that measures from 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) wide to 6 inches (12.7 centimeters). wide, installed between 32 inches (81.28 centimeters) and 40 inches (1.016 meters) off the floor, to protect the wall from damage that could be inflicted when the chair back makes contact with the wall. Most residential applications also have moldings installed where the wall meets the ceiling, but this is decorative in nature.

Base moldings in commercial spaces are often not as decorative as those found in homes, and often consist of nothing more than a piece of flexible molded plastic that is attached to the wall via an adhesive. These base frames are extremely strong and durable and withstand the impact of cleaning equipment and furniture being moved around even better than their wooden counterparts.

Installation of the molded base is relatively simple. In most cases, the most important element is a board that measures 0.5 inches (1.25 cm) thick by 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) wide, cut to the length of the wall it will be installed on. If the wall is too long for a single piece of board, two pieces are joined by a simple butt joint. Once the main element has been installed with its lower edge in direct contact with the floor, additional parts are added. In many cases, a single quarter-turn piece will be installed where the bottom edge of the base meets the floor, and another piece – sometimes a quarter-turn, sometimes a warhead and sometimes some other figure, is installed at the top edge. of the base. There’s an almost limitless selection of designs to choose from, and there’s not even any requirement that the main element be a 4 by 0.5 inch (10.16 by 1.25 centimeters) board, as long as the main purpose to protect the joint where the wall meets the floor is reached. Once installed, the molded base is stained or painted.

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