How to Estimate Base Trim for a House

Baseboard is a type of trim that finishes off, or covers the joint between the wall and floor.

Adding a coat of primer and paint makes the base easier to paint after installation.Adding a coat of primer and paint makes the base easier to paint after installation.
It covers the rough edges where flooring materials meet the wall and adds a protective barrier to shield the wall from furniture, kicks, and abrasion. The most common material used for baseboard is wood followed by flexible plastic or rubber. There various styles and widths of baseboard to choose from with some applications using decorative trim pieces to dress up its appearance.

Start with one room and work your way through the rest of the house.

Measure the distance between each wall at floor level and write the measurement down using a pencil and note pad. Do not forget to measure any closets or entries.

Add up the measurements for each room using a calculator. Now add 5 percent to this total for waste during installation. The sum is the amount of linear feet, or board feet needed to complete the project.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Note pad
  • Calculator


  • Subtract areas that fall behind kitchen and bathroom cabinets to save money in material costs.
  • Add a coat of primer and paint before installing to make it easier to paint after installation.


  • Do not store baseboard in damp areas as it can warp or come apart if using finger-jointed base.

About the Author

Robert Ferguson has been a writer since 2000. His published work includes material for major companies in the home improvement, plumbing, HVAC and power tool industry. Ferguson is a self-employed, licensed building contractor in Florida with more than 30 years of hands on experience experience focusing primarily on residential remodeling, repair, renovation and construction.