I am Italian and I live in USA since a few years. I bought house in Florida. Why in Florida everyone has a white baseboard (that seems made of a cheap material), and in Italy everyone has a wooden one (mostly solid wood)? I find the white baseboard not as stylish at the wood-colored baseboard, but I understand it is personal preference. I am redoing the flooring and I was considering changing the current white baseboards to wood color. Is there a specific reason I should not do that? Literally, every house here has a white baseboard. Never seen a white one in Italy in my life.

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    Go with what you like, maybe you'll start a trend. Be ready to change when you decide to sell the house. I have seen natural baseboards in the USA but it's been a while since I've seen it widespread. It could also be regional. Most homebuilders and sellers will go with "neutral" colors for selling and homebuyers don't necessarily want to change those colors because of the work involved. – Dave D Feb 3 at 15:42
  • Wow is it really an issue for selling the house? Do you guys don't like it wood-colored? – Millemila Feb 3 at 15:51
  • Buyers rarely care. Some will appreciate the wood. Real estate agents are terrified of anything unique, however, so you may have to be firm with your real estate agent. – Ecnerwal Feb 3 at 15:59
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    This summer, go on the local home tour. You'll see plenty of stained wood trim, from the baseboards up to the crown molding. It costs more to do this, so you'll see it primarily in more expensive "custom" homes. – FreeMan Feb 3 at 16:31
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    the premise of your question is faulty ... not everyone has white baseboards in US and not everyone in Italy has wood colored baseboards – jsotola Feb 4 at 3:00

Painted white is cheap. That's really all there is to it, no reason you can't do it differently, and you can find plenty of non-white baseboards in the states - but a preponderance of Florida housing is mass-built developments that are going to run towards cheap and standardized.

Wood is common in older houses, but once some idiot decides to paint it, it becomes a huge job to strip it back to the original, and the paint companies ran successful propaganda campaigns (which had the delightful effect of getting a lot of white lead paint into places it might not have been otherwise) to sell paint in the 30's and 40's

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    While paint is cheap, I think the real reason is that you can use MDF instead of stain grade wood and cheap out on the wood side of things. Couple that with pre-primed (always in white that I've seen) mdf/pine and it saves a bunch on labor as well. – UnhandledExcepSean Feb 3 at 15:55
  • ...and what I said was "painted white is cheap" not "paint is cheap." The fact that the substrate can be (whatever) is part of that. – Ecnerwal Feb 3 at 16:13
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    Yes, most white trim is MDF, very cheap, while it can be painted, most just leave it a neutral white. ...white, cheap hollow core doors, beige carpet, etc. boring, but now I'm ranting and will probably get snipped. – George Anderson Feb 3 at 17:11
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    And white lead was cheap paint. Better paints of the time used titanium dioxide, which is one of the few mineral pigments still allowed (hence cars being mostly black and white these days, carbon black is also legal/safe). – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 3 at 17:55
  • I see the MDF comments but in the midwest MDF trend has passed and the new "cheap/fast/white" way is fiber/pvc. Wood stained trim is actually easier to install and maintain HOWEVER the norm is the cheap oak... The orange plasticky looking trim is hideous and is about 90% of the wood trim that I see. – DMoore Feb 4 at 16:14

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