Finding the right wall base can get overwhelming quickly. For many, just its existence comes as a surprise, even though it is nearly ubiquitous in commercial spaces across the country. But when designing a space, yet another thing to consider—and one that comes with a surprising number of options—is just another headache. 

Content provided by FlexcoIt can be difficult to know where to start, but choosing a wall base comes down to this: How much abuse will the corners of your rooms and hallways take? How many floor buffers and shoes will be banging into it? How many carts will be bumping into it and what will they be carrying?

Once you know what your wall base needs to withstand, then all you need to do is determine the best material, dimensions, style, and packaging to suit your installation and operating needs. In this article, we’ll explore your options and help you determine the best wall base for your space.

What Material Should It Be Made Of?

If there were a single best option for all scenarios, you wouldn’t be here. Let’s break down the different types of wall base and the features and benefits of each.

  1. Vinyl Wall Base

    Vinyl is a popular choice for commercial spaces due to its flexibility, easy installation, and wide range of color and finish options. This type of wall base is highly durable, resistant to dents and scratches and withstands heavy foot traffic. And as a bonus, it’s very easy to clean and maintain. Many are made of PVC, but some manufacturers use TPV (thermoplastic vulcanizate), a longer-lasting, more flexible alternative to thermoplastics like PVC.

  2. Rubber Wall Base

    Rubber is designed to withstand higher wear and tear, particularly in areas with heavy foot traffic and frequent impacts such as hospitals and schools. Rubber is also highly resistant to mold, making it a good choice for areas prone to humidity.

    Rubber wall base can be thermoset or thermoplastic.

    • Thermoset

      Thermoset rubber goes through a vulcanization process that sets its shape and makes it more resistant to heat and scuffing. That added strength comes at the cost of flexibility, as it has no plasticizers to soften it. But that also makes it perfect for large rooms and long stretches of hallway.

    • Thermoplastic

      Ideal for healthcare and educational facilities, thermoplastic rubber is low-maintenance, antimicrobial, and resistant to wear and stains. It’s also ideal for any curved or uneven spaces, thanks to its softening plasticizers. It is lightweight, durable, and flexible, and doesn’t lose any integrity with repeated heating and cooling—which also means it’s recyclable.


What Size Should It Be?

Determining the proper height and thickness of your wall base also comes down to what sort of abuse you need it to take. 

Wall base comes in heights of 2.5", 4", 4.5" and 6" and, in general, height should positively correlate with traffic and abuse. Most commercial buildings use 4", but hospitals and schools are better off with the tallest option.

Thickness generally comes in .080" and .125" (or 1/8”) but can get as thick as .5”. You want your wall base to be thicker where, you guessed it, you will need greater protection against traffic and bumps.

How Should It Look?

You’ve figured out the practical requirements, now comes the fun part—choosing how it will look! Most importantly, you’ll need to know if you need a straight or cove profile.

A straight wall base has a flat or “straight” profile that runs perpendicular to the floor and is installed by adhering it to the wall using a wall base adhesive. It is perfect for carpet where gaps are less likely to be noticed.

Cove profiles, on the other hand, have a toe that sits on the flooring to cover the gap at the floor-wall junction. This design allows for easy cleaning and prevents dirt and debris from collecting in the joint, making it ideal for hospitals, commercial kitchens and other places that need to be cleaned frequently but also need to keep moisture to a minimum.

Wall base comes in a wide variety of colors and designs that can match just about any setting. In addition to colors that range from bold to unassuming, decorative commercial wall base can be made to look like wood moulding, elevating any space while offering the protective benefits of a much more durable material.

How Should It Be Packaged?

When considering installation, think of your building’s layout. Are there long, straight stretches, or are your walls often broken up by any number of variations? Rolls will make quick work of long hallways, but for a lot of room and bends, shorter lengths might be your best option. Chances are, you’ll need a bit of both.

How Can We Help?

It is no one’s top priority and is forgotten as soon as it’s installed. Yet it’s a decision that will have a big impact on the overall feel and functionality of your space. Flexco has seven different varieties of wall base, each with an extensive line of colors and features to match any space. From retail spaces to hotels, Flexco has the perfect wall base to enhance your space.