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What is Cove Base?

By R. Anacan
Updated May 16, 2024
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Cove base is a type of trim that is installed along the base of an interior wall where the wall meets the floor. It is primarily made of vinyl or rubber and is used to protect the base of a wall from damage and to provide a finished and more aesthetically pleasing look where it is installed. Vinyl and rubber molding is often selected over traditional wood baseboards because it is typically less expensive and is generally easier to install.

Extremely versatile, cove base is manufactured in a variety of colors to match most interior color schemes. It is sold in rolls of differing lengths and installation is typically quite simple, requiring only a cutting tool, adhesive and caulk. The length of trim needed is measured and cut, then a special adhesive is applied to the back of it, and it is pressed onto the wall. Once the adhesive has fully dried, caulk can be applied to the small gap between the molding and the wall to seal the joint and improve the aesthetics.

Cove base is relatively easy to maintain once it has been installed, and it can usually be cleaned with just a mild household cleanser. Repairing and/or replacing it is generally simple to do and is another reason why many choose to use it. If the molding pulls away from the wall, it can usually be reinstalled relatively easily by reapplying the adhesive, pressing it against the wall, and re-caulking. If replacement is necessary, the old vinyl or rubber can usually be removed easily with small tools.

Most well known home improvement stores carry this product, and it is also available through specialty retailers on the Internet. Installation guidebooks are sold in stores and free video tutorials can be found on many do-it-yourself websites. It can also be professionally installed by a carpet and flooring contractor. It's important to note that contractors will charge for the materials used and the labor required for the installation process, resulting in higher costs than a "do-it-yourself" project.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By chivebasil — On Jun 03, 2011

Installing wooden base boards is a huge pain in the neck. They are difficult to install, expensive to buy, and very susceptible to scrapes and stains. They used to be standard in most buildings but thankfully we now have vinyl cove base. It is one of those inventions that most people overlook, but when it came along it made everybody's job much easier

By jonrss — On Jun 02, 2011

I work for a contractor doing finishing work and cove base is one of the main things I work with. If you look at the joint between the floor and the wall in most offices, clinics, schools etc. you will see cove base. It is one of those things that nobody really notices or thinks about, but which is in almost every interior space in America

By anon120231 — On Oct 20, 2010

And there was a piece that was white, if it had been stretched across the way. Installing without the tool to make it fit will be critical for the end product.

By anon33566 — On Jun 08, 2009

I found 4' sections of cove base and did not have to buy a full 120' roll. Also bought adhesive tape in 8' sections instead of a whole roll.

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