FAQ: Answers About Walpole Baseboard Repair and Installation

A close up of a handyman’s hands as he installs a new section of baseboard trim along the base of a wall.
Without looking, can you describe the baseboards in your home? The majority of homeowners probably can't—and many may not even be able to say whether they even have baseboards or not. They are one of the most overlooked parts of a room when it comes to interior design, and many people rarely give them a second thought. But if you are reading this, you probably do know what your lower trim elements look like—and you might be wondering if they need Walpole baseboard repair or replacement with a brand-new baseboard installation.

Those inconspicuous little strips running around the bottom of the walls in each room have a surprising impact on the look and vibe of a room with the right touches, blending in with pretty much any style from a modern living room or a rustic dining room to a minimalist bedroom or an industrial-chic kitchen and beyond. But when they're in rough shape with problems such as cracks and wood rot, or they're missing altogether and you can see the rough edges where your wall and floor meet, it's all too noticeable in exactly the wrong way.

Don't let damaged or missing trim lower the tone of your home and detract from your design aesthetic when you can get expert baseboard repair and installation service from your local Walpole handyman. The team of service professionals at Mr. Handyman of Central - Eastern Norfolk County & South Shore are experienced with Walpole baseboard repair, baseboard installation and dozens of other reliable handyman services. We can save homeowners and business owners time, money and stress by crossing multiple tasks off your to-do list in a single appointment.

What Are Baseboards?

Much like a crown molding installation at the top of your walls, baseboard trim covers the joint where your floor and wall meet at a 90-degree angle. The joining point between two materials such as drywall and flooring like tile or hardwood is usually kind of rough-looking—builders don't worry too much about that because they know it will be covered up with trim to provide clean lines. Floor-adjacent trim is usually pretty short and is typically made of wood. It comes in a wide variety of styles, from plain and utilitarian to quite elaborate. Find out more about crown molding repair and installation.

Are Baseboards Purely Decorative?

Not exactly. Decoration and concealment are their main purposes, no doubt about that. But they do add a bit of function as well. Unlike crown molding, these trim elements are right down there next to your floor and therefore they are much more likely to be touched, kicked, bumped and scratched—and it's much better that those things happen to your trim instead of your comparatively delicate drywall, so it does provide a bit of extra protection for your walls right at a vulnerable point. Additionally, there is probably a small gap between your drywall and flooring material that is blocked off by a strip of trim. That helps to discourage pest infestations by insects and rodents who would love to find a way to get inside your walls and run amok.

Do I Need Walpole Baseboard Repair or a New Baseboard Installation?

This is a common question, not just for Walpole baseboard repair or installation but for most of the surface components that go into your home or commercial building. The answer is usually pretty similar all the way around: it really depends on how severe and widespread the damage is. If you've noticed a couple of scuffs, scratches or other forms of surface damage, or there's serious damage to one particular segment, your handyman will probably be able to take care of those issues pretty easily with repair services, which may include replacing a damaged section altogether. But if you've got widespread damage that is affecting a large proportion of the material in any given room, a new installation is probably the better option. It'll be less time-consuming and more cost-effective, and it will look a lot better in the long run. Repairing surface damage is often about concealing it, and the more there is to conceal, the less likely it is to be successful.

What Are Common Walpole Baseboard Repair Solutions?

When it comes to typical problems that call for repair service from a qualified handyman, there's often more than one way to go about repairing and/or concealing damage. Not sure what the best strategy is going to be for your particular home? No problem—your local handyman can take a good look at the issue and come up with an experienced recommendation for the best way to tackle it. Here are some common ways of dealing with baseboard repair in Walpole, MA.

Refinish Wood

Baseboards are often made out of strips of solid wood, and why not? It's a beautiful, durable, sustainable, readily available material that is easy to work with. It has another major advantage as well—your handyman can manage Walpole baseboard repair by sanding it down to remove surface imperfections like scratches and gouges, then refinish with fresh paint or wood stain so it looks just as good as it did the day it was installed. The refinishing process can take place numerous times over the years as needed, so with proper care and maintenance, wooden interior trim could last for well over a century. Refinishing is a good strategy when there's a fair amount of surface marks but you don't want to remove the wood for various reasons such as historic value.

Paint Over Surface Damage

Sometimes all you need is a little—or a lot—of paint. Painting interior trim is a good Walpole baseboard repair solution for stubborn stains or problems with the existing paint like peeling, flaking and bubbling. Of course, if you already have paint that is in bad condition, your handyman will need to remove it first to create a smooth, paintable surface. Even if the existing paint isn't peeling and bubbling, it may be a good idea to remove it first. Sometimes in older homes, components such as trim are painted so many times over the years that the build-up of paint can start to interfere with the operation of doors or windows. That likely won't be an issue with baseboards, but all those layers of paint build-up could make it nearly impossible to get a new layer on smoothly so it looks nice and crisp.

Fill Gaps With Drywall Mud or Wood Epoxy

Sometimes your baseboards suffer from impact damage caused by moving furniture around, or a pet decides to take out their frustration on your trim and give it a taste of the ol' claws or teeth. If you've got one or a couple of instances of damage where the material has suffered from deeper gouges, chips and holes that can't just be hidden with paint or sanded off, your handyman has another Walpole baseboard repair trick up their sleeve. By filling in holes, gouges or cracks with drywall compound or epoxy wood filler, and then sanding the dried compound or epoxy down, we will create a smooth, even surface that can then be painted over to make the repair completely invisible.

Replace Damaged Sections

When one or two baseboard pieces have suffered serious damage but the rest of it is just fine, the Walpole baseboard repair strategy that makes the most sense is to have your handyman remove the damaged material entirely and replace it with a new scrap piece of baseboard. That's the easiest, simplest and fastest way to get the problem solved—as long as there's a perfectly matching replacement piece available. It may seem like a simple matter to just go purchase more, but it's not always that easy. There's a surprising amount of variation, which is why it's a good idea to save some scraps whenever you have a new baseboard installation put in. If you can't find a perfect match, the entire room's baseboard should be replaced since a non-matching piece will stick out in the wrong way and will not look good.

What Materials Are Available for Baseboard Installation in Walpole, MA?

There are a few different options available when it comes to the type of baseboard you want to have installed in your home or commercial property. Solid wood is likely the most common, but there are other possibilities that may be better suited to your particular room and the needs of your household. Here are the pros and cons of some installation options:

  • Solid Wood: This is the most popular type, and it typically comes in either paint-grade pine or a hardwood such as oak, walnut or ash. It's easy to do Walpole baseboard repair on wood, and with adequate maintenance and occasional refinishing it can last for generations, which certainly cuts down on replacement costs.

  • Engineered Wood: Engineered wood is similar to the real thing. They look pretty much identical because engineered varieties have a veneer or real hardwood on the surface that is bonded to a premium plywood backing. It's more moisture-resistant than regular wood and is treated with chemicals to help deter insect infestations, which makes it a good option for basement remodeling, but it can't be refinished the way solid wood can.

  • MDF: Medium density fiberboard, or MDF, is made from wood particles that have been bonded together under high pressure with resin and wax. It's inexpensive, but can be affected by moisture from humidity and other sources because it's fairly absorbent. That means MDF baseboards are not the best choice for moisture-prone areas like the bathroom, mud room or kitchen.

  • Polystyrene: This is likely going to be the least costly option by quite a bit, but it's not as durable as other varieties and can crumble under pressure. It also has a distinct "styrofoam" texture, but that can be covered with a few layers of paint. It is a great choice for older homes with wavy walls that aren't even and level, because polystyrene is much more flexible than other materials and can be molded to fit exactly into the space available.

Does a Walpole Baseboard Installation Have to Match the Rest of the Trim?

It doesn't necessarily have to be a perfect match—in fact, crown molding, window frames, door jambs, spindles and other types of interior trim usually don't look identical. In most cases, crown molding is the most elaborate and fancy while baseboards tend to be low profile and less noticeable. That being said, they should definitely complement each other and be the same general style. In most cases, they'll also be the same color and texture as each other.

What Size Should a Baseboard Installation Be?

That really depends on the size of the room and the style you're going for. Generally speaking, the higher the ceiling, the higher the trim. A huge baseboard would look out of place in a small room with a low ceiling and would actually make the room feel even smaller, but in a room with extra high ceilings, an extra high baseboard adds visual interest and helps to draw the eye upward.

What's the Best Color for Walpole Baseboard Installation?

White is the traditional color for baseboard installation, but you don't have to feel constrained by tradition. There are dozens of options available, including stained wood. Matching trim to your wall color is a modern trend that is becoming increasingly popular, or you may choose to match it to the color of your hardwood floors so your lower trim blends in smoothly with the floor.

Rely On Your Local Handyman for Expert Walpole Baseboard Repair and Installation Service

It doesn't matter if you live in Walpole, MA or a nearby part of the area such as Norwood, Milton or Quincy. You can still get the same outstanding, high-quality handyman services from the team of professionals at Mr. Handyman of Central - Eastern Norfolk County & South Shore, including Walpole baseboard repair, crown molding installation and much more to enhance your living space.

Want to know more? Pick up the phone and give us a call us today to chat with our knowledgeable customer service staff or to schedule an appointment at a convenient time.