baseboard n : a molding covering the joint formed by a wall and the floor [syn: mopboard, skirting board]
In architecture, a baseboard (also called skirting board, skirting, or mopboard) is a wooden board, normally two to four inches high, covering the lowest part of an interior wall. Its purpose is to cover the joint between the wall surface(usually plaster or drywall) and the floor. It covers the inevitable uneven edge as flooring meets the wall. As a secondary function, it protects the wall from kicks and abrasion and sometimes prevents furniture from being pushed right against the wall. As a tertiary function, it can serve as a decorative molding.
At its simplest, skirting board consists of a simple plank nailed, screwed or glued to the wall; however particularly in older houses it can be made up of a number of mouldings to provide an elaborate decorative feature. Even today, it is quite common to have a quarter round moulding between the baseboard and floor. Quarter round has the added advantage of covering more of the floor, giving the finished flooring installer a greater margin of error that can be covered up by the quarter round and baseboard. More recent trends in interior design are going back to more elaborate baseboards, which, in conjunction with other decorative moldings help to distinguish a home.
Plastic baseboard is usually available in white or a flexible version in several colors and is generally glued to the wall. Wooden baseboard is available in paint or stain grade versions. Paint grade will not take stain well and is suitable for painting. Paint Grade baseboards can be either "raw finger jointed" or "primed." Stain grade woods such as oak, pine, maple, and others are clearer and are suitable for staining in natural finishes.
Baseboards are sometimes referred to as kick boards, mop boards, cove molding, or floor molding, as well as base molding.
Baseboards can be used for heating.
baseboard in German: Leiste (Bauteil)
baseboard in Modern Greek (1453-): Σοβατεπί
baseboard in Spanish: rodapié
baseboard in Dutch: Plint