Buying Baseboards and Mouldings Online: 9 Things to Consider

October 18, 2021

By: The Finished Space

Online purchasing is the most common method of shopping for nearly all homeowners. These days you can buy just about anything you want online, including building materials like baseboards and moulding.

However, if you’re planning to buy baseboards and moulding online, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:  

1. Material

There are several different types of material to consider for your baseboards and moulding. The most popular options are MDF, wood, and PVC. The best material for you depends on your specific needs. Here’s a brief breakdown of each material:

  • MDF – MDF stands for medium density fiberboard. It’s a cost-effective option that’s available in most styles. This type of moulding usually comes pre-primed (more on that in a bit).  

  • Wood – Wood is the traditional choice for moulding and baseboards, but it requires an understanding about which types of wood are most durable and aesthetically pleasing. There are several different types of wood to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Wood mouldings can be primed or raw, painted or stained, all depending on the exact type of material.

  • PVC – This is one of the best for bathrooms and wet areas because it doesn’t absorb water. It can also be used outdoors because it’s resistant to rot and insects. PVC can be painted and is a low-maintenance moulding option.

When you buy online, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish between the different material types. You also don’t have the opportunity to look at and feel the materials, which can be a big detriment. Keep in mind that trim can look nice and durable online, but be flimsy and unattractive in person, so just be sure to thoroughly research the material before you purchase online. 

2. Placement

Bathroom Bathtub.jpeg

You need to make sure to consider placement as well. This is especially important because it will determine the material, the height, and how much material you need to buy.

For example, if you’re placing the moulding in moisture-prone areas like the bathroom or basement, PVC is a nice option. Wood and MDF can also be used in these areas, as long as it won’t be directly exposed to water, so planning is important.

3. Buy More Than You Think You Will Need

Whether you’re buying in person or online, it’s always best to buy more than you think you’re going to need, because nothing is worse than realizing in the middle of a project that you don’t have enough material.

It’s better to buy more than you need and use it for another project than have to go back to the store or wait for more moulding to be delivered. Returns aren’t as easy online, but it’s still worth the extra hassle to ensure you have enough trim to finish your project.  

4. Consider Pre-Primed or Pre-Painted Products

Baseboard paint can x out.png 

For a simpler and more flawless application process, consider pre-primed or pre-painted products. Pre-primed trim has an undercoat that increases the durability of your paint job, ensures better paint adhesion, and protects the wood. Pre-painted trim requires no painting at all. It’s already completely done for you—you just install, and you’re done!  Pre-painted trim saves so much time and trouble and helps ensure you end up with a beautiful final look.  

Buying pre-painted is usually the way to go, but it can be hard to determine paint colors online. Ask about ordering paint samples before committing. 

5. Match Trim Complexity with Home Style and Furniture

Heather Cochran - Blue Dining Room

Of course, you will want to make sure you buy trim that matches your aesthetic style. In other words, you don’t want to purchase ornate crown moulding for your farmhouse kitchen. It just doesn’t make sense.

(If you aren’t sure which type of trim matches your style, check out option {M}. It’s our online tool that helps you find the right moulding for your aesthetic.) 

6. Buy the Longest Pieces You Can Find 

Most rooms are going to have a wall that’s sixteen feet or longer. However, most people don’t know their exact measurement requirements. That’s why it’s best to purchase the longest pieces you can find and measure it out at home.

Generally, you want to get pieces that are at least sixteen feet long. However, most places online only offer up to eight feet. Look for the longest pieces you can find. 

7. Decide What Height You Want the Baseboards to Be

Tall Modern Farmhouse Baseboard

Generally, you want your baseboards to equal about seven percent of the overall height of your room. For example, if your room is eight feet tall, you’ll want baseboards that are around seven inches. Of course, this is just a guide, and your baseboards can be whatever height you want them to be.

You might be limited on baseboard sizes online, so you might need to manually extend your baseboard height by stacking your moulding to trick the eye, or creating a three-piece baseboard out of different trim pieces. 

8. Match Wall Colors or Make Your Trim Stand Out

Option M - Vintage Industrial - Office - Door - 2022

Choosing the color for your moulding and baseboards is always a fun decision. White or cream is usually a safe bet. You can also play it safe and match your trim color to the color of the room.

However, if you want to make a statement, consider choosing a contrasting or complementary color for your trim instead. There aren’t many color options available online, typically just white or wood colors that can vary by species. Again, be careful when selecting colors online because colors tend to be a little different on the screen than they are in reality. A safer bet may be to purchase pre-primed trim that can be custom painted to your exact preference. 

9. Consider the Costs of Different Materials

Many people choose to shop online due to the decrease in cost. However, be careful because low-cost can sometimes be a red flag for online purchases. In general, your most cost-effective option will be MDF, and wood will be your most expensive option, with PVC falling somewhere in between the two.

A Safer Alternative to Buying Baseboards and Moulding Online

If you’d like help finding the right style of trim for your project, check out Option {M}, the interactive design tool that helps you select the best trim and moulding for your goals. You can also eliminate the risk of buying moulding online by shopping for quality moulding in person at a Metrie dealer near you.