Interior Trim Molding Options

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Forum topic by J123 posted 01-03-2014 04:59 PM 1284 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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363 posts in 3419 days

01-03-2014 04:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: molding

I’m finishing up a basement remodel and I want to put up ceiling and baseboard molding. I want to use wood, and I want to stain it dark. I would prefer to keep cost to a minimum.

Given those assumptions;

1. What is a good choice of wood?
2. How should I finish?

10 replies so far

View J123's profile


363 posts in 3419 days

#1 posted 01-03-2014 08:38 PM

114 views and not one reply? Have I actually found a topic no one is interested in, or even worse, has an opinion on? Am I in forum oblivion? Have I fallen into that bottomless pit, the scientifically unproven albeit mathematically probable black hole of lumberjocks?

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244 posts in 3204 days

#2 posted 01-03-2014 08:41 PM

I just think most people buy premade trip these days.

View J123's profile


363 posts in 3419 days

#3 posted 01-03-2014 09:51 PM

Going on 5 hours, 125 views, and still nothing. Perhaps if I promised to post a picture of me eating a spider?

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1243 posts in 2708 days

#4 posted 01-03-2014 10:47 PM

Unless your basement is different from most, I wouldn’t install wood baseboard. Tom Silva, on This Old House, is a fan of PVC molding. And if it’s good enough for Tommy …

Check this out—

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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Bill White

5350 posts in 5040 days

#5 posted 01-03-2014 11:01 PM

Jeff, no need to get all torqued up. :)
Without a bit more info, we can’t help a lot.
I have used MDF molding with good results. Of course, staining is not an option. Ceiling heights, design style, wall treatment, finishes, will help us help you. Want it to look like furniture? What is your color? Stain, finish before you hang? Just tryin’ to be some help here.

-- [email protected]

View revwarguy's profile


135 posts in 2981 days

#6 posted 01-03-2014 11:06 PM

I have to agree with John, but if you must use wood, go to a good lumberyard – even then you won’t have very many choices for precut trim.

If you are going to buy some other wood than the fir or pine they offer and mill it yourself, to me staining it dark seems like a waste, so you might as well go with the precut stuff, stain it, and apply a cost or two of poly.

Just my humble opinion, of course.

-- "72.6 per cent of all statistics are made up on the spot." - Steven Wright

View OhioJoe's profile


5 posts in 2686 days

#7 posted 01-04-2014 12:16 AM

Hey Jeff, just finishing a glass of wine before retiring to the easy chair so if I blur my words, forgive me. The best staining reasonable wood in my opinion is popular. It mills pretty well, easy to sand and takes about any stain you want, of course if you’re going really dark you may need to put more than one coat of stain. As for finish, an oil base varnish/eruothane usually darkens or richens the wood (as I like to say) and water based products when dry don’t really change the appearance of the wood much, other than sheen. I assume that your basement is dry other wise why finish it, but still there is a bit more humidity that settles in the basement so I would use the oil based products. I like satin finish products. Put your stain on and when you get to the varnish part of it take the time to do all sides front, back, top and bottom. I’ve use wood trim in my basements before and never had a bit of trouble doing it the way I just described. Hope this helps.

-- Joe

View pintodeluxe's profile


6374 posts in 3892 days

#8 posted 01-04-2014 12:20 AM

Hemlock is the usual choice for inexpensive stain grade trim in my area. The grain is somewhere between fir and cherry.
Cherry and oak are nice options too, but come at a higher price point.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 3755 days

#9 posted 01-04-2014 01:42 AM

I’m curious ….. why dark stain? Are your existing doors, jams and trim stained dark? White would be easier to match the carpet and wall colors to. More typical in a basement remodel. Better for resale.

Do you have carpet and a pad? hold it up 3/4” – (verify fit) and tuck carpet under it.

The standard trim choice would be 3 1/4” colonial base or what ever is in the rest of your house. Do you have colonial 2 1/4” casing upstairs? that would be a good choice.

This trim comes in clear pine for stain or primed white on all sides and is finger jointed to eliminate knots, if you want to paint it white. I don’t use MDF on my jobs but I hear they’re using it a lot more lately.

2 3/4 to 3 1/4” colonial crown would be a decent choice for the ceiling, you could certainly go smaller but it tends to look weird if you use small stuff like 3/4” cove….better to have nothing.

Try to avoid that prefinished foam trim. It really sucks.

View Bluepine38's profile


3391 posts in 4164 days

#10 posted 01-04-2014 07:02 AM

Jeff, John has a good point about using pvc molding for baseboards, I used it when I redid my garage door
molding and the molding was touching the concrete floor. You asked what type of wood, do you have a
big shaper and plenty of fancy molding cutters? Then you can choose any wood and make the molding, if
not then you are limited to what you can buy at the big box store or lumberyard, we do not know what
choices you have available, so why should we recommend something if it is not available for you to buy
easily. Most stores have cheap finger jointed pine-to be avoided unless it is to be primed and thoroughly
painted, pvc or hemlock. Pvc has to be painted, so that leaves you with hemlock, no choice. If you are
buying at a lumberyard, most of these places have people that can answer your question very easily, that
is what the phone is for.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

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