how-to

What Type of Wood is Used for Baseboards

Andrew Grill

Each of the common woods for baseboards – Cherry, Maple, Poplar, Red Oak, Walnut. Each wood offers its own look and grain style.

The most common types of wood used for baseboards are:

Hardwoods – Poplar, Cherry, Oak, Maple, Walnut

Softwoods - Pine (Clear, Knotty)

Other types of wood used for baseboards, although not as common, include Mahogany, Hemlock, Basswood, and Cedar.

Common Baseboard Woods and Considerations

Poplar: An inexpensive option. Considered easy to work with due to its lack of density. Poplar is often painted instead of stained.
Cherry: An expensive wood, but known for rich color and being easy to work with. 
Oak: Multiple varieties of Oak provide numerous options for stains. Very durable and holds up well to interior traffic.
Maple: A very dense wood that holds up well to interior traffic. Because of its natural lighter color, has many stain options available that look good.
Walnut: An expensive wood, also very durable. It’s natural dark color limits staining options.
Pine: A less expensive option considered easy to work with. Lighter variations provide more options for stains. Many pine options are ‘jointed,’ where smaller boards are connected to make long pieces. Some homeowners do not like this look.
Softwoods: Works well with stains, but less durable than your common hardwoods listed above.

How to Determine What Wood to use for Baseboards

The popularity of wood for baseboards can depend on the style and design, and where you are located. Different woods have different moisture content and are better suited for different locations. These factors can be used to determine what type of wood is used:

  • If your baseboards will be painted, you do not need an expensive wood.
  • If your baseboards will be stained, try different stains, clear coats, or varnishes with different types of wood to achieve your desired look.
  • Hardwoods typically hold up better to dents and scratches.
  • Painted woods are generally easily to repair (e.g., fill the dent and repaint).
  • Your local home center will most likely carry a selection of woods that is best for your area.

Buying Wood for Baseboards

Generally, wood is more expensive than other medium-density fiberboard (MDF) options but can vary greatly in cost. The cost will depend on the total linear feet of the baseboard being installed.

Some manufacturers offer custom design and manufacturing for wood types. For instance, a selected profile can be manufactured using Cherry or another preferred wood.

If you're looking for more baseboard information, check out our post How Do I Choose Baseboard: A DIY Guide.

Related Posts

3 Options for Painting Baseboards With Carpet
3 Options for Painting Baseboards With Carpet
Options for painting baseboards with carpet, and a suggested process to follow.
Read More
Baseboard Corner Cuts
Baseboard Corner Cuts
A visual review of the miter and bevel settings and the different cuts for inside corners and outside corners.
Read More
How high should baseboards be?
How high should baseboards be?
A summary of different suggested heights and considerations based on flooring types.
Read More
Should You Install Baseboards Before Carpet?
Should You Install Baseboards Before Carpet?
We highlight the thought process behind deciding to do carpet or baseboards first.
Read More
What is the Difference Between Baseboard and Trim?
What is the Difference Between Baseboard and Trim?
We outline some of the popular elements of trim carpentry in comparison to baseboard trim.
Read More
Are Baseboards Necessary?
Are Baseboards Necessary?
We highlight the top reasons for why baseboards are necessary in any home that uses drywall.
Read More


Older Post Newer Post