1x6 Pine for Baseboards

13 Replies

I'm in a middle of my first major rehab and need to replace the baseboards.  I was looking at Home Depot and most of the selection has more ornate design than I want or is MDF which just seems cheap to me.  I was wondering if it was a good option to use 1x6 pine board for the baseboard. I appreciate any advice. 

@Steven Myers

MDF will be more stable and require less work to prepare.  The pine will need to be primed/painted/sealed on all sides or else it will warp or bleed through.

Once installed, they don't look much different when painted.  

Use primed MDF, 1x6 pine is way too expensive and you won't get a dime more when you sell it. Best way is set a spray booth in garage use airless spray uncut baseboard, cut install and chaulk brad nail holes and touch up

@Steven Myers, agree with sentiment above, I use MDF for my flips as it is easier to install (more flexible) and most people can't tell the difference (especially 1st time home buyers if that is your market). Interested in hearing what the other posters pay for their baseboard. I purchase from Menards and the mdf and pine are typically the same price - about $1 per linear ft and both come primed. Again, I buy mdf because it's easier to work with.

Also, paint spray guns are awesome. However, don't purchase the cheap $100 ones for sale at the big box stores. I tried using one of those and ended up returning it because it did not work at all... not even sure why this item was for sale as it just spit the paint out in clumps. The sprayers that work well are very expensive, over $1,000. My painter uses them on my flips. Ironically though, he hand brushed the trim on the most recent flip I did.

I like the 1x6, but it needs to be topped with some type of little trim piece.  It can look a little "heavy" in a smaller room though.

@Steven Myers - what @Chuck W.  said is spot on.  The MDF was always cheaper and easier to work with.

one more for MDF. They install it in 300k houses here in our market.

@Steven Myers  I agree with you: MDF looks cheap. It's also thin, flimsy and doesn't take nails well.  1x6, preferably with base cap (as @Wayne Brooks  mentioned) is a timeless look....for good reason!  

To each their own.  I like using the pre-primed MDF base moulding.  Don't see how it looks "cheaper" than pine base moulding since you can't even tell the difference once it's painted and installed properly.  Plus Home Depot has great prices on their Pro Pack bundles of the stuff.

One word of caution though, be careful about using MDF on any hard surface flooring that is likely to be exposed to water (i.e. bathrooms) or mopped regularly (i.e. kitchens) as they can soak up water and get a little swollen/deformed.  For this reason, in baths and kitchens, I'll usually use the composite plastic base moulding since it's waterproof.

Go to a local molding company @Steven Myers You will get better selection, better prices, and they may even deliver the moldings to your jobsite.

Where I live, I don't know anyone who uses HD or Lowes for much. Unless paying more $$ is what you want to do.

Good luck!!


I use the HD stuff for base when I have to.  The time it takes to install 1x6 and a trim piece in half of the house, I could be done using contractor packs.  Yeah, it sucks as far as quality, but it really isn't awful.  

As far as spraying paint, I have the Magnum X9 (if I recall correctly) from Home Depot.  It cst about $400.  When I have bulk trim to paint, you can't beat a sprayer.  Pass, pass, go have a smoke/sandwich/whatever, pass, pass, done.  It works wonders on louvered doors, too.  Cleanup can be a pain at first, but once you figure out the routine, it's fast.  A garden hose and some acetone is all you need.  And I only use the acetone on the tip.   

If you are installing the trim, I suggest the DeWalt finish nailer.  No compressor and no cartidges (like those Paslodes).  Runs on a 18V drill battery and you can knock out a lot of trim on a single charge.  Shoots 2 1/2" nails with no problem.  I've been doing crown in my house without a hickup.  Re-trimmed a full house, doors, base, windows, crown, without a problem.  

In my area you will pay 2-3 times as much for trim at Home Depot or Lowes. I always pickup trim at my local building supplier.  I use finger jointed primed base board on my rentals as it seems to hold up much better to abuse.  I never never use MDF in the bathrooms.  Good Luck. 

Thank you to everyone for the feedback.  The thing that makes me consider the 1x6 path is I have houses that are almost 100 years old and the baseboards in that house are 1x6.  To this day they look almost perfect and some of my newer houses the baseboards already look more worn.  I just didn't know if I was going to be able to recreate the durability with the products on the market today especially since the plan is to keep this as a long term rental.  

If you are shopping for molding at HD, you are paying too much. I can buy molding at my local lumber yard for half the price. MDF + water = regret. But ultimately the numbers don't lie...

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