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Trying to find the right baseboard trim

froemming
December 4, 2018

We recently updated our doors and the surrounding trim as well as window trim to a more Craftsman style (well, that was the hope/goal anyhow). Next we will be updating the floor trim. I like the style shown in the photos, but want to make sure I'm choosing a complementary trim to the windows and doors. I didn't know if this style is too detailed for the more 'squared off' window and door trim? I'm hoping not, since as I mentioned, I really do like the style of this floor trim, but again, don't want it to be conflicting with one another. Thanks for the advice!






Comments (41)
  • millworkman

    What do your doors and casings look like?

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Okay, you are going to a lot of effort here, but not completely understanding proportions. Given the window shown.......I would stick to a very simple 1 x6 ( 5 3/4 ) and not add a thing beyond the board itself. You seem to be a bit top heavy on the window. : )



  • froemming
    Thank you, guys. Sorry. I was trying to also show the doors and casing with that third photo, but I am on my phone now and the photos I posted seem to be cut off or stretched funny. Here are a couple more. The diagram is basically what we followed for the windows and then the door casings. @janmoyer, can you please clarify what you mean by we’re going to a lot of effort? My husband did the window and door trim by hand, but the floor trim would be a primed board that we would purchase as such and then we’d cut and paint and install. Thanks for that graphic; I actually have that one and agree that the most plain, basic one matches up the best. I just wanted to see if I could get away with the more detailed one as I preferred it. Thanks for the help!
  • froemming
    Also, kitchen for reference as well.
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    As to the base? A clean and simple 1 x 6 is just fine. Less goo in crevices too.

  • froemming
    A better shot of the door/trim.
  • froemming
    Thanks, Jan!
  • millworkman

    I agree with Jan on the plan 1 x material but without seeing the room sizing you may want to mock it up with a 1 x 8 due to the size of the pediment head trim. Actually looking more at the pediment it looks too large in comparison to the jamb leg casing. The 1 x 4 tends to look lost under that huge pediment head.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Okay, he said it above. These DIY things online mis guide people. : ( But I agree and only HESITATE as your door trim width seems a bit skimpy for 7 3/4 base.

    Fact is, if using a 1 x 4 as casing/sill on a window? The top needed a rip down, and then the additional trim. An inch kissed goodbye would have helped. A lot. Just reads top heavy. Work?? That's the diy stuff left out. Craftsman is better ripping 6 inch to true four inch and a speck more, and 8 to a 5 plus and then a good proportion with added trim.. They don't tell you that : ) It needs some beef and all a lot of additional work

    You COULD rip eight to six and a half, nice and clean and square.

    froemming thanked JAN MOYER
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    It's always harder than it looks : ) Some is preference, we needn't be slaves......but when it gets out of whack? Your eye will know. Nice below.......




  • froemming

    Thank you, guys. I appreciate the advice. I can't help but have a panicked, sinking feeling, though, as we *just* redid all this trim work and are actually just about to finish up with the trim around the bi-fold closet doors. I know my husband just got done cutting and sanding all of it and is about to paint it all next. (for the bi-fold closets) I should have prefaced more, too...we are trying to update from all golden oak trim of the 90s in a 1994 bi-level. We are starting with the upstairs for all and have not updated anything downstairs yet. So, I know my husband would lose his marbles (understandably so since we are just in the midst of these updates right now) if I had him trim off any of the top trim pieces. Also, because it's a 90s home, it has the typical style windows you see in the pics, which naturally tended to be taller and skinny, it seems. I know it; I've heard go with personal preference on a lot of things, too, but I obviously do not have a good eye for things like this, so I want to make sure it ends up looking right. I am going to try and decide now if I should have him drop down the pediment head on the trim for bi-fold closet doors (so we don't keep going in a wrong direction) at least and then once we head downstairs, reconfigure based on your recommendations for the lower level. Anyhow, I think now choosing the right baseboard trim will hopefully help balance it out a bit...which I think is what you guys are also saying..? I didn't post pics of entire rooms (sorry) as this is all throughout our house.

    Thanks so much.

  • PRO
    Carolina Kitchen & Bath

    I lived in a craftsman-style bungalow for 10 years (built in 1925). It had the flat casing on the doors and windows, but the baseboard was a 1x8 topped with a base cap. This is what you need for the scale you're working on right now:


    It's referred to as a 4 1/4" speed base (because it's got both parts together. You should be able to get it from a big box store or any other building supply. It also comes in other sizes, but the tallest I'd go is about 5 1/4".

  • froemming

    Thanks! I am jealous that you had a (real) Craftsman bungalow. Trying to fake it til we make it in a 90s bi-level is kind of tough for me! haha.

  • froemming

    @Carolina Kitchen & Bath, did you see the sample of what I showed in the pics? Do you think that's similar to what you are showing here? Thanks.

  • mimimomy

    Agree with Carolina K&B. A 1x6 doesn't look like a base trim, and if you use it, would use a cap. It will have a 3/4" reveal, which in my opinion is too large.


    If your ceilings are 8 feet or better, I think the 5 1/4" height will work well.

  • froemming

    Thanks, mimimomy. In the main area of the upper level (kitchen, dining, living room) through the entryway is vaulted at a 8'-plus height.

  • froemming

    Carolina Kitchen & Bath and mimimomy, any thoughts on the comments above regarding the door and window trim? Thanks, all!

  • mimimomy

    So nothing below 5 1/4" for the baseboard :) In my opinion!!

  • PRO
    Carolina Kitchen & Bath

    It's similar but don't get it too tall or too wide. If the ceilings are 8 feet you shouldn't go much over 5". Look at the crown molding, if there is any, and pick it in proportion with that. If there's no crown and you're not going to put any in, stay with the 4 1/4". The baseboard also needs to be a bit shallower than the casing so there's a bit of a reveal. I think you've done a great job on the casing!

    I'm in NC and the biggest moulding distributor in my area is East Coast Moulding Distributor or better known as ECMD. Here's a link to their book of standard moldings. You should be able to find most of this in any area of the country.

    http://images.ecmd.com/ECM/PDF/ECM_Catalog.pdf


  • froemming

    Good to know on the reveal. thanks for that tip. I would love crown molding; not sure the hubs wants to go for it. ha. I also wasn't sure if people put crown in on a vaulted ceiling? Always have been curious on that. Thanks SO MUCH for the advice!

  • froemming

    Thanks, Carolina K&B, on the ECMD recommendation. We had gotten our other trim boards at Menards (which are pine) and were looking for a real wood (not MDF) option that is primed and ready to be cut, painted and installed for the baseboards. (We are in North Dakota).

  • mimimomy

    I think your window trim looks fine :) I do think you can do the 1x6 on the base, but you would need to add a cap to it, otherwise it is in my opinion going to look like a 1x6 and it's going to have too wide of a top ledge.

    On your window trim, you've added additional molding so it looks like the built up molding you see in old homes. Pretty sure a standard 1x6 is actually only 5.5 inches tall, but in any case, it looks fine.

    My biggest concern is you don't want the base trim too skimpy. I had a great builder and when we switched from a 9' ceiling to a 10' ceiling he said, o.k. we are switching baseboard. Wonderful builder, wouldn't let us do anything to detract from the beauty of his home :)

    Carry on! Your house is looking beautiful.

  • froemming

    mimimomy, thank you so much. I appreciate that. Yes, that is my concern as well...that I don't want to go too skimpy on the baseboard (plus, I just like the taller look for a more dramatic effect and to me in looks more in keeping with the older style character homes as well).

  • elunia

    On the plus side, it looks like your husband is doing a lovely job with the woodworking. Next time maybe consider going to a primary source for your craftsman inspiration - even if you aren’t doing an authentic reproduction/renovation. Kind of like the game “telephone” things can get watered down and distorted each time you move further from the source. Friends with a historic craftsman have a simple baseboard with an eased edge similar to the one in this period millwork catalog.






    froemming thanked elunia
  • PRO
    Carolina Kitchen & Bath

    Right, you don't want MDF. Pine cuts more exact and the edges of the cut stay sharper and joints look better. The edges of a piece of cut MDF can tend to soften and/or fray.

  • froemming

    Carolina K&B, plus I've seen the "sticker" peel off of MDF in time. :-( Blech! It is paining my husband to replace perfectly "good" oak trim to update our home, and I never thought I'd see the day. I'm so grateful that he is taking on these projects. We've had to make some adjustments, which is why we ended up with a little bit odd dimensions on the door and window trim at times, to accommodate the layout of our house - some doors and windows are very close together and to keep budget-friendly.


    Elunia, thank you. My husband will very much appreciate your compliment on his work. :-)


    I will try to post more wide angle pics to show the difference of the vaulted area versus not.


    Thanks again, everyone.

  • PRO
    PPF.

    I'll suggest you redo the top part of the trim. I've changed it a bit on the left door, and shown a piece of base to its left.

    No one will notice the base, everyone will notice the out of proportion trim.

    Doing this type of project well often requires tools most homeowners do not have. Standard lumber dimensions do not always work.

    Also, make sure the material you are using is intended for trim and not just standard construction lumber. I needs to be dry so it does not shrink.


    Here is an elevation showing wider trim on the sides.

    What I've done is create a mockup or 3. Tacked in place to give a true idea of how a combination will look.


    froemming thanked PPF.
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    May I add that an ordinary bifold closet door is not historical in any way. Therefore it deserves no more than simple casing. Skip any pediment on these:) Use your 4" casing on three sides. Done.

    A sharp blade is a friend to MDF or anything else, even clear pine. Have extra.

    No....... Do NOT crown a vaulted ceiling. I beg you do not.

    froemming thanked JAN MOYER
  • ci_lantro

    You could add a backband to those narrow side casings on the doors to beef up the look. Would have to change the head casings to accommodate the backband wrap. Slightly different look but you would be able to salvage most of the material.


    I'd opt to go that route for the entire second floor and then revert back to a revised Plan A for the main floor.


    Back to original question--I prefer a simple eased edge base molding. Not the routed one/ not with Craftsman style. Upside since this is DIY--less coping on inside corner joints.

  • PRO
    Carolina Kitchen & Bath

    If you use a backband, you'll have to totally change the top of the casing. Backband is intended to go on a mitered door casing and it really doesn't fit a craftsman look. Your husband probably doesn't want to revamp all of the casing on all of these doors. However, when you have two doors right next to each other, the casing dimensions should be the same. They need to match, so don't have one taller than the other.

  • froemming

    Thanks, Carolina K&B. We were discussing everyone's input last night and he agreed that we should have gone shorter on the pediment (and he actually suggested that to me before he got started and I didn't agree to it - obviously I should have). No, he doesn't want to redo any of it, but it is possible for him to do so and reduce the height of the pediment. So, that is what we were discussing and deciding upon.


    I didn't post any pics of the other doors, but we could not go wider than the 1 x 3 on the side pieces due to the spacing of the doors against the wall, etc. I think now it's critical that we get the correct baseboard to balance it all out as much as possible, and to figure out the correct height of it based on the areas where it is vaulted and also where it is not. I will try to post more "general" area and overall photos. Thanks again, everyone.

  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes

    Here's a link to a great reference for Craftsman interior trim:


    https://windsorone.com/products/moldings/classical-craftsman/


    You can download their guide by following the link.


    Best wishes for a successful project.

  • froemming

    Thanks, Charles Ross Homes!

  • froemming

    Pics as promised to show more overall what the upstairs looks like. We have only been in the house for a little over a year, so we have a ways to go yet with more updates; the living room furniture here being one of the next.



    We just had the kitchen cabinets redone as they were the original golden oak with the 'scrolled' or beveled (sorry for my poor terminology) cabinet doors



  • froemming

    More (only is letting me upload four at a time).

    We will be updating the staircase somehow in time. For now we have repainted the front door (blue) and the surrounding side windows, but eventually when we can afford it, I want to replace the whole door insert there.


    This was one of the challenges with the doors that in several places they are placed either very close to one another or very close to a wall. Hence why we did the 1x3's on the sides, however, obviously I know realize I should have listened to my hubby when he suggested we do a smaller pediment on the doors. We wanted to stay consistent for the doors, though, even where there were ones that did have more room.



  • froemming

    Our master bedroom and one of the bedrooms down that hallway.


    The bedroom entry door is another example of where we had little-to-no room to work with on the side.



    Same here with one of the other bedrooms down that hallway.



  • froemming

    Well, the good news is my husband suggested I contact an interior designer to help get us back on track, so I have reached out to one I know in the area and she has experience updating 90s homes. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to comment.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Well! I am glad. Because IF you were my client, I'd have made you rip all the bedroom carpets to hardwood, before you tackled a lick of trim. : ) Realize too, that an attempt to turn a perfectly lovely 1990's contemporary shell INTO a Craftsman......? Can fail you and empty your pockets. You can have " the beef" ......with care , a great result too. A five inch window casing, NO change in size/trim at the top, for just one instance. Simple single panel doors. .....glowing hardwood. Also a lighting plan that is cohesive. ( kitchen )

    If your new "help" is very honest,? She is going to rein you in a bit, slow you down a bit. Resist the urge to fire her, as she will be giving you good advice should that happen. Along with, finish that which you start, and don't peck all over the house.

    Rome isn't built in a day. A designer can help you focus your efforts for most appropriate result and value.......over time. Good luck!

  • froemming
    Jan, yes, I am always torn on carpet. I love the cozy feel of it, but it sure does look hideous compared to wood floors, that’s for sure! Plus, we are in ND and need all the warmth we can get here! Haha. AND it was just replaced all through the house not too long prior to us moving in. But, yes, all a work in progress as we are able to afford the money and time.

    Also I really hate that florescent light in the kitchen! If anyone has any awesome ideas for that, I am all ears! (Something that would still afford a lot of light.)

    Thanks! :-)
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    What I am trying VERY hard to say without saying it is one thing only . Look for brutal honesty in a designer. You don't need a coffee klatch friend. I am sure you have plenty of those. You're spending labor ( yours and DH ) , but materials have a cost. It's a nineties contemporary. It will still BE that, no matter trim. Make the house you have one you can love, but don't force it into what it can't be. And I am VERY familiar with ND, and the Prairie and Craftsman that abound: )



  • froemming
    Thank you, Jan. Yes, I do and will expect honesty from the designer. Thanks for your input!

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