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How Tall Should Plinth Blocks Be?

Originally used as a support for a column or a base, plinths have become architectural details used inside the home. If you want to use plinth blocks on your walls, you've probably wondered how tall these blocks should be. We looked into this question, and here is what we've uncovered.

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Since plinth blocks are now used as decoration, the height depends entirely on the baseboards' height. In most cases, plinth blocks look their best when they are about 1.5 to 2 times the width of the baseboard.

For many designers, the best method is to follow the golden rule, or the height should be 1.6 times the width.

The addition of plinth blocks in your room will add character to your design. In this post, we will talk about the best ways to use plinth blocks. We'll also talk about their popularity in modern interior design and some DIY tips on creating your own plinth blocks. With that said, let's begin!

How Tall Should Plinth Blocks Be?

If you've ever been to a traditionally designed house, you've probably seen these design elements in the house's interiors.

Placed on the ends of the walls, you will typically see these blocks sitting flush right beside the baseboard and the door trim. This is what we call plinth blocks.

Stucco shop, exhibition samples of stucco molding, plinths and cornices

In architecture, plinths' original purpose is to support a structure's column or base.

To make it simple, plinths were load-bearing units to help the columns from crumbling due to their weight. Nowadays, plinths have evolved into decorative elements we use in design.

Typically, plinth blocks are taller than the baseboard of your wall. Ideally, these blocks should also be wider than the baseboard to look more pronounced against the doorway.

This additional height and width will make a difference in how your walls look.

For many designers, plinths look their best if they are about 1.5 to 2 times taller than the baseboard. Sometimes, it is two or three inches taller than the height of the original baseboard.

For best results, designers follow a golden rule which is 1.6 times the width of the baseboard.

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/SIhxq5-lXCM

However, if you're not up to calculating the height of your baseboard, choose a plinth block that is at least 10 mm taller than your baseboard.

The additional height will give your baseboard the extra character your walls need.

If you bought a baseboard from a big box store, you can also generally find plinth blocks being sold that will match them perfectly.

Are Plinth Blocks Still Popular?

Solid oak joinery product. Oak plinth block

Truthfully, most modern homes do not use plinth blocks anymore, as some people do consider them to be a little outdated.

Most modern interiors have flatter walls, so it helps the baseboard sit flush against the wall. This is a typical problem in older homes as the walls are not as flush as they are today.

However, even though plinth blocks look traditional, some designers have integrated this design element into their projects.

To add more linear elements to a room, plinth blocks can be added to doorways and entryways as additional features.

See this straight-edge plinth block on Amazon.

Modern homes with plinth blocks usually use plain, straight-edged blocks instead of the more traditional-looking plinth block designs.

However, you can also find plinth blocks with beveled edges for a softer look.

Check out this beveled plinth block on Amazon.

Some modern homes even use plinth blocks purely for decorative purposes. There are occasions when modern interior designs do not use baseboards on their walls.

However, designers use plinth blocks to add character to the door's casing. It's a great way to add dimension and character to the space.

Can You Make Your Own Plinth Blocks?

Technically, it is very easy to buy ready-made plinth blocks in many big box hardware or home improvement stores.

This is one of the best ways to get plinths, especially if you want them to match the baseboard of your choice.

Decorative plinth blocks that mimic traditional designs are best bought ready-made. They are relatively easy to install, and most will match any baseboards seamlessly.

Get this decorative plinth block on Amazon.

If you are looking for more intricately-designed plinth blocks, you should be able to find ones with floral or Celtic designs. These look great in traditional homes or if you have a specific design theme for your interiors.

Check out this floral decorative plinth block on Amazon.

However, some people might be unable to find the right style of plinth block for their homes. Some people may also want to go with a simpler design.

If you are aiming for this, you can make your own plinth blocks for less. They are easy to do, and you can custom-make the plinth blocks to your desired height or thickness.

This video will show you how to make a simple plinth block to create an added feature to the doorway:

Materials Needed:

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Wood boards
  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Brad nailer
  • Caulk
  • Painter's putty

Instructions:

Corner of the flooring plinth block, How Tall Should Plinth Blocks Be?

1. Measure the baseboard and the casing

Measuring the corner of a wall where the plinth block will be installed

Before making the plinth block, measuring the width and height of the door casing and the baseboard is essential.

Using a tape measure, measure the height of your baseboard and add 2 or 3 inches to your plinth block's measurement. For the casing, measure the width and add 1/2-inch to the plinth block measurement.

Measure your blocks and mark the lines that you need to cut.

2. Cut the boards

Using a miter saw, cut the wood boards to length. After cutting them to length, use the table saw and adjust the bevel to 45 degrees.

Cut the first side of the wood to 45 degrees before repeating it on the other side. Adjust the bevel again and cut the other side of the smaller blocks into a straight edge.

See this miter saw on Amazon.

You can start by cutting the width of the plinth blocks before working on their thickness.

After this step, you'll have three cut wood boards—the front, which is the width of the plinth block, and the sides, which is how thick your plinth block will be.

3. Remove the door casing and the baseboard

After cutting the plinth blocks, it is time to install them. Mark the height of the plinth block on your door casing and baseboard.

Cut out the area using a reciprocating saw and remove the casing and baseboard. Use a small prybar if necessary to cleanly remove them from the wall.

4. Assemble the plinth blocks

Corner of the flooring plinth block

Using a brad nailer, put together the blocks by nailing the beveled edges to each other.

Make sure that the edges are straight so that the plinth block will flush against the casing and the wall's baseboard.

5. Install the plinth blocks

Dry-fit the plinth blocks to the wall. Remove any trim or parts of the doorframe that prevents the plinth block from sitting flush against the wall.

Make sure you can easily open and close the door with the plinth block.

Grab this brad nailer on Amazon.

If the plinth block sits perfectly in the space you've created, nail them in place. If you want it to be more secure, you can use construction adhesive before nailing them to the wall.

Use some painter's putty to hide the nails and put caulk on the gaps between the casing, the baseboard, and the plinth block.

For those looking to add a different look to their DIY plinth blocks, you can also bevel the front edges for a softer feel.

You can use a hand plane to clean up the edges further, so they do not look sharp like these straight-edge plinth blocks.

To Wrap Up

Corner of the flooring plinth block

The best way to dress up a room is to add simple design elements without having to redecorate the entire space. Plinth blocks are great examples of how a simple addition can change the room's look.

Adding plinth blocks will make your walls and doorways look more elegant and polished, whether it's a traditional or a contemporary house.

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