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For an average home renovation project, a bathroom baseboard ensures the room’s longevity. That’s because baseboards in your moisture-filled bathrooms help to defend against dents and prevent moisture seepage.
In fact, drywalls are protected by baseboards in our homes. They rest at the intersection of the floor and the wall, providing a long-lasting barrier against moisture pooling.
This blog will help you explore the importance of having baseboards in the bathroom, and if there are any situations where you could potentially skip installing them.
Read more: The complete bathroom renovation checklist
Why do you put baseboards in bathrooms?
Due to the high moisture level in bathrooms, baseboards are essential in protecting the bathroom walls from mold, mildew, and stains. Keep in mind that your bathroom’s temperature, humidity, and climate have a huge impact on all the construction materials – often a detrimental effect.
Installing a bathroom baseboard is a good way to deal with large amounts of moisture, and keep the walls in good condition.
All your interior walls are made of drywall – a mix of plaster and fibers. While it may be an efficient wall piece, it’s susceptible to damage from external influences such as water.
When you install a baseboard along the edge of the floor and the wall, you provide a reliable finish. This is especially crucial if the floor and the wall do not make a perfect continuous 90º angle. In such a case, there can be gaps between the two surfaces – creating a place for dirt and debris to accumulate. This can lead to warping, discoloration, or expensive water damage to the room.
A bathroom baseboard covers these uneven cracks and leaves no space for dirt and debris.
When can you skip installing a bathroom baseboard?
Since baseboards help create a tight-fitting joint between the bathroom floor and the wall, they are an important construction feature. However, in cases where the room’s construction is almost flawless, and the finishing is extremely well done, you may do without the baseboard.
How do you waterproof bathroom baseboards?
If water pools on your bathroom floor and then comes into contact with the drywall, it can damage not only the wall’s appearance but also its structural integrity. Drywall can handle tiny amounts of water on the surface, but it’s not designed to withstand prolonged moisture exposure. The moisture seeps in and damages the wall.
That’s why it’s important to use waterproof building materials for your baseboard. Moreover, you’ll need tight-fitting baseboards that have been caulked at the top and bottom. It will help keep water from seeping into the walls and subfloors.
You can consider installing a tile baseboard instead of MDF or hardwood. The tile is more water-resistant and durable. Of course, you’ll need to match the floor tile with the baseboard tile to create a flawless floor-wall transition.
You can also choose polyurethane or PVC baseboards over MDF baseboards or solid wood baseboards. These waterproof baseboards are highly suitable for moist areas.
How tall should bathroom baseboards be?
As a rule of thumb, you should follow the 7 percent rule. That is to say, you should have a baseboard that’s 7 percent of the overall height of your room. For instance, you can have a baseboard that’s 5 to 7 inches for a 10-foot ceiling. Although, a few designers insist that taller baseboards create a finished look that’s modern yet elegant.
How much does a bathroom baseboard cost?
The average material cost to install a baseboard runs to $1.56 per linear foot, with a homeowner spending between $1.24 to $1.88. The overall labor and material cost ranges from $5.55 to $8.63 per linear foot. For a 125 linear foot project, you can expect to pay between $693 to $1,078. Keep in mind that the total cost depends on your location, the size of the project, and the type of finish chosen.
The good thing is that traditional baseboards are easier and less expensive to replace than a complete drywall replacement. In case of any damage to the baseboard, all you have to do is refinish the buffer piece rather than fix the entire bathroom wall.
To keep your bathroom baseboard clean, use a damp microfiber cloth and wipe the baseboard down. Then, use a fresh, dry sheet to rub down your baseboards. This step helps create a barrier and helps repel any dust or dirt.
Another DIY way is to mix some liquid dish soap and vinegar in a bucket of warm water and use the solution to scrub off the scuffs and stains with a sponge.
Whether you’re looking to replace the existing bathroom baseboards in your older home or install baseboards in new construction, it’s a wise decision to keep them as an integral component. Apart from hiding the visible seams between your bathroom floor and walls, modern baseboards also help deal with moisture and dust accumulation – keeping the walls protected and the structural integrity intact.