Wood, vinyl, composite and rubber are four basic baseboard styles. Subsets within these categories include thermoset vulcanized rubber, thermoplastic rubber and thermoplastic vinyl. Some baseboards have features such as fade resistance, anti-stain materials and chemical resistance, while color patterns vary from homogenous colors to several colors within a board.
Wood baseboards are among the oldest baseboard types, and also among the cheapest and easiest to use. Also known as skirting boards, wood baseboards have a traditional look, and are thus a favorite for older style homes. The installer usually attaches wood baseboards with screws or nails, and the variety of wood types means that the baseboards can match the color and style of other wooden items in a room.
Vinyl baseboards also come in many colors, and attach to the wall by means of base adhesive and a putty knife. Unlike wood, which does not bend well, vinyl baseboards more easily cover and hide gaps. Individuals can add extra stain to wood baseboards, whereas vinyl baseboards must be maintained by cleaning, especially as vinyl baseboards can attract mildew and mold.
Thermoset vulcanized rubber baseboards often contain synthetic rubber, with natural rubber added to the mix at times. Thermoplastic rubber may contain large amounts of vinyl in its composition.