What You Need to Know About Baseboard Repair in Dallas, TX
When was the last time you gave any thought to your baseboards in Dallas? Unless you're a design aficionado or recently renovated, probably not that often. For most homeowners, this kind of trim is something that often gets overlooked—unless you need baseboard repairs because you happen to run the vacuum into the wall or stub your toe while moving furniture.
From solid wood to vinyl, there are many different styles and materials available for Dallas baseboards. Even though this small detail may not seem that important—especially compared to other structural components like drywall and flooring—Dallas baseboards are an important part of your house's overall appearance and structure.
In fact, baseboards go beyond making your rooms look more polished. They actually play an important role in protecting your walls, as we'll dive into. Thus, while your Dallas baseboards may not often cross your mind, it's still important to know a thing or two about them. That way, should you need to replace, repair or renovate the trim lining your wall's base, you'll already be at an advantage.
At Mr. Handyman of Dallas, our expert Dallas handyman pros are passionate about empowering homeowners and helping them learn as much as possible about the various structural components of their homes. Knowledge is power, after all. While you may not be keen to take on DIY baseboard repair, and instead prefer to call your local repair experts at Mr. Handyman, it still helps to be aware of what that repair may or may not involve. To that end, we've addressed some commonly asked questions and added a few helpful pointers when it comes to Dallas baseboard repair.
What Are Baseboards?
They are primarily installed for aesthetic reasons–similarly to other kinds of trim like crown molding. They hide the area where the floor connects to the base of your walls. Otherwise, this gap might look unsightly and give the impression that your home isn't properly finished. However, they also serve an important defensive function. They protect drywall and plaster walls from getting kicked, dented or cracked—particularly from vacuums. Those cleaning machines can really do a number on soft drywall—especially without the added protection of durable Dallas baseboards.
What Type of Baseboard is Best?
There are many different baseboard styles for you to choose from if you're renovating. They each have specific pros and cons when it comes to both aesthetic appeal and completing repairs. If you're wondering exactly what’s available, or you’re just curious about what variety is already in your home, we've listed some of the most common types in Dallas:
Three-Inch Rounded or Stepped Baseboard
Rounded or stepped trim is the most common type that you'll encounter. It's often found in new Dallas homes, so if you just moved into a new-build, and didn't pick a specific style of trim, then you likely have rounded trim in your home. Essentially, the piece is roughly three inches high and has a gently rounded or stepped shape, which allows it to taper gently to the wall.
Flat Baseboard Molding
Unlike stepped molding, this kind of trim is completely flat on the front. It comes in a wider range of heights, but usually sits at around three-and-a-half inches. The back of the piece is grooved, which enables it to be more flexible and makes installation easier.
Sculpted Mid-Height Trim
Unlike the varieties above, this style is much less simple and evokes a traditional aesthetic. It typically ranges from four-and-a-half to five-inches in height. The trim's top portion is decoratively shaped, usually involving scallops or steps that taper toward the wall. However, there are many other different designs available. For this reason, sculpted mid-height styles tend to have a higher price point and evoke a more formal aesthetic.
Sculpted Taller Molding
If you like to make a statement with your interior design, then taller baseboard molding is for you. It provides the most visual appeal and height. This type of trim can range from about five-and-a-half to seven-inches or more. Similar to sculpted mid-height trim, this variety also has decorative elements lining its top. It will often be carved with scalloped or step details, providing visual interest and helping it join to the wall. This is usually the most costly type of floor molding you can purchase. Costs will vary depending on the height, shape and material.
What Are Dallas Baseboards Made Of?
Most types of trim are traditionally made of hardwood. However, today there are many materials used to create floor molding. Whether you're renovating or interested in learning more, continue reading to increase your knowledge of common floor molding materials in Dallas. That way, you'll be better informed when it comes time to repair, replace, or renovate this design element.
Medium-density fiberboard is a commonly used baseboard material because it’s inexpensive. However, MDF has trouble holding up well in humid places. If your Dallas home is exposed to a lot of humidity, it might not be for you. MDF tends to soak up water like a sponge, which makes it expand. When this happens, MDF sheds paint—making for an unpleasant appearance. While MDF has become popular in recent years, it's best not to use this material in areas exposed to a lot of moisture, like the bathroom or porch. Otherwise, you might find yourself needing frequent repairs.
Solid wood is the industry standard for trim and crown molding. Typically, Dallas homeowners can choose from paint-grade pine or a variety of hardwoods including ash, oak and walnut. Solid wood can be a greater financial investment depending on the type of wood that is used, especially since it's the most traditional material to use. Also, it’s generally quite easy to repair this type of trim.
Engineered hardwood is made out of layers of hardwood and plywood—as opposed to solid wood that is a piece of hardwood with no additional layers. Engineered wood is also treated to protect against termites and rot, which is a huge benefit that helps reduce the need for future repairs. While engineered wood gives the appearance of authentic wood, it's also coated with a special overlay that protects it against moisture. Engineered wood otherwise acts and looks like its natural counterpart, and can even be painted and stained.
Made out of a rigid foam material that is both inexpensive and easy to work with, one drawback of polystyrene is that it dents easily, which means you may need repairs or replacement more often. While its texture looks like Styrofoam from close-up, a few coats of paint can help cover up that surface texture. Polystyrene is a great material for wonky or crooked walls that are bent out of shape due to the natural process of a home settling. Since it's more flexible than wood or synthetic woods, it can be more easily molded to the walls.
Should Your Dallas Baseboards Match the Other Molding in the Room?
While it doesn't have to be an exact match, it should go with the rest of the molding in the room. The important thing is that whatever style you choose has similar detail and proportions to the room. So, if your room is minimalist and has lower ceilings, don't opt for an ornate, high style. Rather, something more simple would be appropriate. Another benefit of simple molding is that it collects less dust. Not only does this make it easier to clean your Dallas baseboards, but your air quality will also be greatly improved between cleanings.
Another key design consideration is that since baseboards are next to your floors, they need to go with the floors. Make sure the two materials work together in terms of color and texture. For instance, if you have hardwood floors and opt for solid wood flooring trim, then the two should go together nicely. Colors that are too different will not look nice together.
What Color Should Dallas Baseboards Be?
Speaking of color, when it comes to choosing the best option for trim, the world is really your oyster. Traditionally, floor molding (as well as other types of trim, such as window and door casings) were painted white, but that does not have to be the only option. For instance, a more modern trend is painting baseboards the same color as your walls. Or, opting for a stained wood finish. For instance, matching hardwood baseboards to your hardwood floors.
What Are Some Common Baseboard Repairs in Dallas, TX?
Removing and installing new floor trim is a big job. While the pros at Mr. Handyman of Dallas will happily complete this task on your behalf, for small dents and scratches it's much easier to invest in Dallas baseboard repair rather than a replacement service. While some of the following repairs could be completed by experienced DIYers, they're also tasks that our Dallas repair professionals are happy to do on your behalf.
Repairing Damage with Drywall Mud or Wood Putty
Baseboards are prone to a variety of damage, including nail holes, dents, chips, scratches and gaps between sections. One of the easiest ways to repair issues that penetrate deeply into the material is by applying drywall mud or wood putty. This will smooth out damaged textures and hide a multitude of Dallas baseboard sins.
If your trim is stained, you should use a wood putty that closely matches your molding. If your molding is painted, drywall mud is a better repair option as it can be easily painted over. Both materials will easily hold the shape you mold them into and will need to dry for 24 hours before they can be painted or stained over.
Refinish Your Wood Baseboards
If your Dallas baseboards are made out of wood, then you can refinish them to repair scratches and shallow dents. All you have to do for this type of repair is sand down the damaged area to remove the current stain and to smooth out any imperfections. Sanding will also enable your fresh stain to soak in better and provide a more vibrant finish. After cleaning the sanded trim and allowing it to dry, use a stain that matches the rest of your trim or hardwood floors. Rub the stain into the wood using a cloth and wipe away any excess. Allow the stain to set, then apply one to two coats of varnish to protect it.
Paint Over Your Baseboards
While staining your wood baseboards is effective, paint can be useful for hiding minor damage that doesn’t require repairs—including small gaps. Not to mention, paint is a better option for flooring trim that is not made out of solid wood. Even engineered wood, which has a solid wood veneer, can only be sanded down once. Painting your Dallas baseboards can also be a refreshing way to change the look of your space. Glossy and semi-gloss paint are the most common options. However, an eggshell or flat finish may hide more imperfections if your floor trim has most definitely seen better days.
Replace a Section of Flooring Molding
If your molding has rotted, sustained water damage, is cracked, or its dents and flaws are too numerous to be worthwhile to repair, then your best bet is to replace the damaged section. Go to your local hardware store and find the style that best matches what you have in your home. If necessary, you may have to replace the trim in an entire room to ensure the aesthetic is consistent. Measure the area you're going to replace and use a miter saw to cut your baseboards into the correct size. Then, install as necessary.
Book a Dallas Baseboard Service Today!
Our goal is to ensure you feel informed about Dallas baseboards. Maybe you even feel confident enough to tackle a DIY Dallas baseboard repair project, like staining or painting—or, perhaps you're realizing that you need an expert touch to get your Dallas baseboards up to snuff. If that's the case, the experts at Mr. Handyman of Dallas are happy to help. We've assisted numerous homeowners throughout the Dallas area with baseboard installation and repairs, including in Rowlett and Highland Park.
We invite you to call our courteous and professional staff to get started today. We look forward to making your acquaintance and helping you with your Dallas baseboard repair or installation needs.