Our whole first floor, except for the kitchen and half-bath, was
carpeted, with the carpet installed between the baseboards, as is the
custom. We have replaced that carpet in most rooms by bamboo -- after
removing the 3 1/2" high baseboards. In the areas where we installed the
bamboo a few years ago, we just put the baseboards back over the bamboo
and without base shoe molding. Now we have just laid bamboo in one more
room and are wondering whether it would be better to rip the baseboards
down so that they still extend up the wall by the same amount as before
-- and to redo the baseboards in the other rooms with bamboo flooring as
I personally don't like the cheap look of short baseboards (builders like it
because it is cheap to buy). When our kitchen floor was redone, I glued an
additional 1" to the bottom of the baseboards to give it a little more
height, and they look good. They are painted and the "door stop" that I use
instead of base shoe molding covers any seam that may be visible.
I would not rip a 3 1/2" baseboard any shorter, they are already undersize
in my mind.
At least from the likes of HD, I don't think it's even that cheap to buy
- it's not as though it's particularly good quality material or that
there's really that much of it (given the height and thickness).
I want to re-do all of ours at something like 3/4" thick and 5-6" high -
but every single room in our house has these horrible textured walls
which I'd love to get rid of, and then at that point it makes sense to
replace all the 60 year old wiring too... :-)
It's a matter of personal preference; my baseboards are mostly 7". In my
bathrooms, for example, I made "baseboards" out of cut flooring tile. So
whatever looks good to you. You might browse through an "Architectural
Digest," or similar, magazine and note what's used in good looking rooms.
You can get baseboards of almost any height, but you may have to visit a
millwork's shop. What little 7" baseboards the box stores have is pretty
pricy (i.e., $1.90/ft).
Note: If you have bamboo laminate, ripping it will quickly dull your saw
blade inasmuch as most laminate is coated with aluminum silicate or
similar - very tough stuff.
The baseboards are just pine. The few bamboo boards we've cut don't seem
to have had any adverse effect on the carbide-tipped blades of the miter
saw or table saw..
And I've realized that an alternative would be to extend vertically the
baseboard in the room that still has carpet so that they match the new
height of the baseboard that is now on top of the bamboo flooring.
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