At every stage of a DIY project, you will find a baffling array of choices when it comes to materials and styles. Just when you think you have made all the decisions that need to be made regarding floor types, wall coverings, door styles, and so on, you come to one last thing. Yes, even the humble skirting board that largely ignored panel that runs around the bottom of your wall is available in a variety of types, sizes, and materials.
While deciding on the shape and size will be down to personal taste, there are some pros and cons to the different materials available from suppliers such as Skirtings R Us. Let’s take a look and at least try to make that part of the decision making the process easier.
By far, the most popular choice for skirting boards, MDF, really ticks all the boxes. It is versatile, easy to work with, comes in a variety of sizes and finishes, and best of all is cheaper than wood. No wonder most people plump for MDF. But even then, the decision is not completely made, as there are still different finishes to choose from.
- The simplest choice is plain white pre-primed MDF skirting. It looks clean and fresh, and you can then go ahead and paint it as you wish.
- Veneered MDF has a thin layer of real wood, typically oak or walnut, bonded to the MDF, giving the appearance of a hardwood skirting board, but at a fraction of the cost and with none of the inconvenience.
- Or how about foil wrapped MDF? Here, it comes wrapped in a protective coating that gives a satin finish and does cleaning and preserving your skirting board a matter of simplicity.
Before MDF appeared on the market, most people had softwood skirting boards. However, this is less the case these days, as MDF is more hard-wearing, less prone to damage, and cheaper, too.
There are some advantages to softwood, in as much as you can do anything to it, such as varnishing it and then sanding it right back and starting again. If you are looking for something bespoke and outside the extensive range of MDF styles available, then softwood could be the answer.
Hardwood skirting board is not something you come across every day. It is certainly resilient, and it looks great, but it is also far more expensive than the other options we have looked at, and it is not easy to work with.
Unsurprisingly, this is usually a bespoke option that is made to order, as the vast majority of people will choose a hardwood style veneer on their MDF instead.
Finally, some people choose a simple uPVC skirting board. This has benefits when it comes to price and looks OK if you have a tiled or linoleum floor so that it can be the right choice in kitchens, living rooms, and bathrooms. It slots together like pieces of LEGO, meaning fitting is quick and easy.