March 20, 2023
By: The Finished Space
At Metrie, we specialize in creating high-quality moulding and trim that are affordable, easy to install, and exceed industry standards.
Before we get into the differences between unfinished baseboard trim and prefinished baseboard trim, let’s take a minute to go over the basics.
Baseboard trim is a type of moulding that is installed along the bottom of interior walls. It creates a seamless transition between walls and floors, which is beneficial because it can pull an entire look together. It’s also one of our favorite types of moulding and an absolute must-have element in modern interior design.
That being said, baseboard trim isn’t just a luxurious decorative element, but it’s also a practical one. Baseboards create a barrier at the bottom of your wall that protects it from getting damaged when you move furniture or clean. It’s super easy to install, clean, and maintain, and when installed properly, it can actually increase your property value.
When it comes to baseboard trim, you typically have two options: unfinished or prefinished. Unfinished baseboard trim requires sanding, staining, and painting before installation, while prefinished baseboard trim is ready to install right out of the box. Which one is right for you?
There are a couple of reasons you might choose unfinished baseboard trim, but they pale in comparison to why you shouldn’t.
If you’re planning on finishing the trim yourself, it can be super time-consuming to sand, stain, or paint each piece of trim. This can be especially true if you’re working with a ton of baseboards. If you want to save time, unfinished trim might not be the right product for you.
The same goes for money. While the raw materials might be less expensive than the prefinished alternative, the tools and supplies you’ll need to paint, stain, and finish your own baseboard trim won’t be cheap.
Finishing trim can also be a messy process because sanding, staining, and painting can generate a serious mess. If you decide to take on this massive effort by yourself, you’ll need to take precautions to protect your work area and minimize the mess.
If you’re a professional contractor, you probably have a good idea about how much work it takes to paint, stain, and finish your own baseboards. If you’re relatively new to it, it can be super challenging to achieve that professional look.
Unfinished trim may have some color or grain pattern variations, which might be super noticeable after finishing. For a more uniform look, you should consider using prefinished trim instead.
You get a completely different story when you look at prefinished baseboard trim. While there may be a case to be made for unfinished baseboards, there’s an obvious winner when you put the two products side-by-side.
Prefinished baseboard trim comes already sanded, stained, painted, and sealed, so it’s ready to install right out of the box. This saves a ton of time compared to unfinished trim.
The fact that it comes out of the box ready-to-install also saves a ton of personal effort or work hours if you’ve hired a professional contractor to do the work for you.
Prefinished trim is typically finished in a factory or workshop, which almost guarantees a consistent color and finish across all the pieces. You won’t have to worry about having pieces that don’t match or look like they’re from completely different collections.
Many prefinished baseboards can be more expensive than unfinished trim, and that’s not even considering the extra cost of time, labor, paint, finish, sealants, and the supplies you need to apply them.
Prefinished trim has a longer lifespan than unfinished trim, so you also save money in the long run because you don’t need to replace it as often.
Factory-standard finish is often more durable than an on-site finish, so prefinished trim will be much less likely to scratch, fade, or wear down over time.
Prefinished baseboard trim can add a finished and polished look to a room, as the consistent finish and color can enhance the overall design aesthetic. This can be especially true if you’re using a high-quality prefinished trim that complements the other design elements in your home.
Some of the biggest downsides of unfinished trim are the biggest benefits of prefinished trim, and this applies to all prefinished products. They’re more affordable, durable, and long-lasting than their raw material counterparts. Fortunately, you’ve just discovered a massive catalog of prefinished trim and moulding.