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.