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Old 10-25-2018, 01:54 PM   #1
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Base Molding MDF or wood? buy or cut?


I took a few photos of a place I visited. The trim for the floor, door and window was all the same type of board. I wasn't sure if this was MDF board or just plain wood that was cut and painted.

Any idea?

I would like to use this type of style of trim but not sure if I would buy the molding from the big box store or cut it myself.

Thanks
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Old 10-25-2018, 02:42 PM   #2
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Re: Base Molding MDF or wood? buy or cut?


Hard to say without a close inspection but solid wood is better than MDF as it can take more abuse. MDF does paint nicely.
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Old 10-25-2018, 03:04 PM   #3
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Re: Base Molding MDF or wood? buy or cut?


A chipped corner is ugly either way, water damage is swelled up or warped. One costs a lot more. I would buy the pre primed mdf.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:10 PM   #4
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Re: Base Molding MDF or wood? buy or cut?


I am not a fan of mdf baseboard. Have had to fix swelling in a number of places (all upstairs, over carpeting - nowhere near water). They even put mdf baseboard in the bathrooms in this place --- that has pretty much all been changed out by now.
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Old 10-25-2018, 05:07 PM   #5
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Re: Base Molding MDF or wood? buy or cut?


It sounds like either MDF or wood would work. I thought cut wood would be a lot cheaper then MDF, but maybe I was wrong. I saw some MDF for $7 (3.5 inch x 8 feet). That is cheap compared to how much I was quoted to install at $8 per linear foot. I wanted to hire someone but it seems like the base molding is expensive to install.
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Old 10-25-2018, 05:23 PM   #6
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Re: Base Molding MDF or wood? buy or cut?


I am interested in this because I have been putting wood baseboards down in my home and the wood is easy to work with. I am helping a friend do some baseboards and they want to install the cheaper MDF with the same profile as mine. Just bringing her MDF's home was a hazard, the slightest bump caused damage. Any tips on how to handle, cut, and install them that weren't needed for wood.
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Old 10-25-2018, 06:13 PM   #7
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Re: Base Molding MDF or wood? buy or cut?


I haven't see real wood in a new house for 20 years, except for the big castles worth millions.
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Old 10-25-2018, 06:19 PM   #8
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Re: Base Molding MDF or wood? buy or cut?


But mdf in a bathroom is freakin ridiculous. At some point, a shower, tub, or toilet is almost certain to overflow.
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:59 PM   #9
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Re: Base Molding MDF or wood? buy or cut?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Munsters1313 View Post
. . . Just bringing her MDF's home was a hazard, the slightest bump caused damage. Any tips on how to handle, cut, and install them that weren't needed for wood.

They don't call it 'spaghetti wood' for nothing. Any time I buy a load of mdf I have the yard tape them together to give them collective strength. If they are longer than 8', I will either buy or take with me a corresponding length of 2x lumber (I'll use it eventually) and use it as a spine. I've transported bundles of mdf several hours to my daughter's place hanging out the back of my small truck with no problems. Don't let it get wet.


I actually like mdf. It's inexpensive (especially for the larger profiles) and works easily. I've never had a problem with damage or swelling in a bathroom (although we don't have young kids splashing around or steam the joint up). I usually try to prime the back in a bathroom. The last house I had with wood trim was back in the 80s. It was stain grade so I had to carry on with the theme.


I don't like the finger-joint stuff. I don't like the way it finishes and I don't like the vinyl-wrapped stuff. Now that's tacky.
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Old 10-26-2018, 08:23 AM   #10
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Re: Base Molding MDF or wood? buy or cut?


I'm also not a fan of MDF.
What you have is the simplest cheapest trim to install and would be simple to DIY.
I buy all mine had the local lumber yard primed pine in 16' lenghts so there's less seams and waste.
The house I'm living in now was done like yours, I added base cap molding to the baseboards and back band molding to the window and door trim, looks 100 % better and less of a dust catcher on top of the baseboards.
Someone messed up with that outside corner, the boards were cut to short or there was not enough back angle.
Walls tend to bow out at the bottom for several reasons and it's rare to find one a true 90 deg.
I use one of these simple to use gauges to get my angle right the first time.
http://www.starrett.com/metrology/product-detail/505P-7
And make my cut slightly long so I know I can get make the outside tips make 100% contact and use caulking to fill in any tiny gap at the top.
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Last edited by joecaption; 10-26-2018 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:35 PM   #11
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Re: Base Molding MDF or wood? buy or cut?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
I am not a fan of mdf baseboard. Have had to fix swelling in a number of places (all upstairs, over carpeting - nowhere near water). They even put mdf baseboard in the bathrooms in this place --- that has pretty much all been changed out by now.
I was doing a laundry room in the past and thought there was special a baseboard that was for water environments. I don't know if it is was mdf but it was made for wet areas.
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