Asked on Jul 28, 2014

Baseboard and ceiling height?

Is there a correlation between baseboard and ceiling height? I am doing a farmhouse look and was planning a board and batten look in the kitchen/ laundry area, with a 6 " baseboard and 4" top rail. We have standard 8 ft ceilings, and our contractor thinks I should do 4" baseboards because of that. What does everyone think? Will the 6" look bad?
This is the look I'm going for!
  18 answers
  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Jul 28, 2014
    I think you should put up what you like, you are the one going to look at it not your contractor!
  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Jul 28, 2014
    @Lana Westerfield i agree you do what you want contractors are not always right maybe he has a stash of 4" he wants to use up lol xx
  • Lana Westerfield Lana Westerfield on Jul 28, 2014
    Lol he's really a great guy but I think he is just going the "safe" route! I'm stepping outside the norm maybe... :) I'm going to go for it! Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond!
    • Z Z on Jul 28, 2014
      @Lana, we have eight foot ceilings and our baseboard is 6 & 5/8" tall. What is the height of the rest of the baseboard around your home?
  • I would stay with the base size you have in the rest of the house. Also the larger the trim the smaller the room will look. Put a length down of each size and look at it. Choose the one you like the best and return the other.
    • Lori Jackson Lori Jackson on Aug 02, 2014
      @Woodbridge Environmental I am not sure I agree...we live in a old, old home with super wide baseboards throughout. At the top of our stairs is a small sitting room area with a sloping ceiling. The wide boards were already there...and it did indeed seem to shorten the room. Then we did a faux board and batten, combining a bright white on the board and batten with a light, cheery yellow on the top. The room seemed to grow taller before our eyes. I think board and batten will more than offset any negative impact by the wider boards.
  • Lana Westerfield Lana Westerfield on Jul 28, 2014
    All of the baseboards are being replaced, so there is no issue with mismatched baseboards. All of the concrete was painted... We have removed all the paint and baseboards in the entire house.... We are walking on the slab and in the process of tiling the entire house
    • Anna Anna on Jul 31, 2014
      @Lana Westerfield That sounds like the condition of my house also.
  • Then go with the one you like best. Also remember if your using tile the larger the tile, the larger the base should be as It will appear smaller in size compared to larger tile.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jul 29, 2014
    I had a friend that put in taller base boards and I loved them. But if you increase the size of the baseboards, they look better if you increase the width of the door facings too! Those 3" door facings look strange with 6"+ baseboards. Notice in the photo you posted...the 2 are balanced! Also, keep in mind that even with 8' ceilings, you can make the batten board taller if you wish and even put a small shelf on top! This would be particularly handy in a kitchen/laundry. I was recently at my sisters and she has a drop in stove and at the top where the dials are, there is a 2" a little shelf. She sits spices on that shelf! SOOOO handy. There are many uses for small shelves in that area. Put some grooves in some of the boards as you go in case you want to sit plates on them later on!
    • See 3 previous
    • Heather G Heather G on Aug 02, 2014
      Regarding your almost 5' height, look at your inspiration picture. The top is about half the door height. If you go as high as you say, all your light switches will be within the wainscotting, not above it--unless yours are higher than the norm. You could cut newspaper, as someone suggested, tape it up and use copy paper for the base and top moldings for contrast to get a feel of the 'look.' Just some thoughts...but, it is YOUR house and you have to ultimately live with it, so do what you feel is right for you.
  • Gay E Gay E on Jul 29, 2014
    I have 5 inch baseboards with a 8 foot ceiling and they look great to me. I think it is a matter of taste and what appeals to you. I say go with what looks good to you.
  • Carol Carol on Jul 29, 2014
    I think you will be disappointed if you don't go with what you originally wanted. The taller base will be impressive and give you the vintage farmhouse look you are going for.
  • The base should be taller (wider) than the rest of the trim - personally would not think of doing 4' baseboard unless you are looking for the rustic beach cottage look.
  • Marilee H Marilee H on Jul 29, 2014
    Sometimes a contractor will do what he's always done, rather than what you want, or what's in style now. Do it your way!
  • Sunny Lavallee Sunny Lavallee on Jul 29, 2014
  • Edith Edith on Jul 29, 2014
    cut our some paper (newspaper?) the differnt widths and tape them up in a corner and see for yourself which you prefer, or if you have scrap wood, try that. Until I really "see" it, I'm never really sure.
  • Mary Davin Mary Davin on Jul 29, 2014
    Agree with "do it your way!" It's not the baseboard height that will matter, as much as the right height and width of the wainscotting above the baseboard, and how well it's applied! My landlord insisted on wainscotting the walls of my bathroom. What was once a classy old bathroom now looks like the inside of a barn as he put the wainscotting too low and too wide on the wall, painted the upper wall and wainscotting a pale taupe, and kept the old chestnut wood baseboard below. He did a horrible job of the entire project that took him months to complete! He ruined the plaster walls so that if the wainscotting were to ever be removed, the walls would require extensive spackling to restore.
  • St. Paul Haus St. Paul Haus on Jul 29, 2014
    Absolutely go with the 6" over the 4.
  • Kemberly Boston Kemberly Boston on Oct 11, 2016
    6 definitely
  • I am a residential drafts person/ designer. 6" is not too tall for the baseboard of an 8' tall wall. But, I wouldn't use anything wider than that. The height of the baseboard IS relative to the ceiling heights in good design. I suggest a simple 1x6 for your baseboards. If you are doing wainscoting on the wall, remember the 1/3 rule. Keep the wainscoting no higher than 36" for pleasing balance. Or do a taller wainscoting at 2/3 height of the wall.
    • G Collins G Collins on Apr 08, 2018

      What would you recommend for 11’ ceiling? Baseboard and crown?

  • Brian Cartwright Brian Cartwright on Nov 04, 2016
    Is that not wainscotting?