You never realize how important things like doors and windows can be until you have your own home. When renting, your main concern is that there are doors and windows (and that are completely intact). As an owner, though, you can’t help but care about the details. That’s why it is important to know the difference between base and case mouldings. They may seem interchangeable, but there are differences you should be aware of.
You may not be very familiar with the term “base moulding,” but you most likely know what a baseboard is. That is the more common name. Baseboards help to beautify your home by concealing the intersection point of the wall and the floor. They are not very big and probably aren’t even noticed by the average person, but they definitely add to the “finished” look of the room and can help to lend it a more elegant feel. If you take a look at the rooms of any expensive home, you’re sure to find beautifully designed base moulding. It is a small detail that makes a big difference.
Baseboards are usually made of small strips of wood, fiberboard or polyurethane, and they stretch around the entire perimeter of the room. The only parts of the floor joint that wouldn’t be covered are the areas immediately surrounding and in front of doorways. (That is where case moulding comes into play. It will be discussed in the next section.) The price of base moulding varies depending on the material used and the intricacy of the design.
Just as base moulding sits at the base of a wall, case moulding encases doors and windows. Also known as “trim,” case mouldings border the outside of doors and windows. They, too, add to the room’s finish by covering the gap between the wall and the window or door. When done in a color that contrasts with the walls, they also help to highlight the windows and doors.
Case moulding can be made from wood, polyurethane, or fiberboard. Wood always lends a classic, timeless feel to the room, but can warp and attract termites. Microfiber and polyurethane are not as classic in look, but are good choices for those who want to paint their moulding. They also do not have termite issues that wood has. Polyurethane has the added bonus of being warp-resistant. The more intricate the moulding design, the more it will cost.
Regardless of what type of base and case mouldings you choose for your home, it is best that they match in color and complement each other in design. This will preserve the beauty of the room and ensure that the look is complete.