Some frequent questions about Skirting Board

How to choose the thickness for the skirting boards

There are various thickness in skirting boards. Generally speaking, people go for certain sizes of thickness either to match with what they already have in the house, or for a particular reason. Skirting boards can go as thin as 12mm, however for that thickness, there are only very limited few profiles can be used on 12mm skirting boards, like square edge,  pencil round, edge 2 and some other profiles with less pattern or curves. Then the next thickness is 15mm, most of the popular profiles like Ogee, Torus, Lambs Tongue, Chamfered, Ovolo and so on can fit on 15mm skirting boards. The most commonly used thickness for skirting boards is 18mm, majority of the profiles can go on 18mm. Save a few very full profiles like 1914, Worcester, 2305, Highgrove and other profiles that with big proud curves and patterns can only go on 25mm.

If you want more than 25mm thickness skirting boards, you can choose 28mm, 32mm or thicker, however, by this level, your choices are quite limited in terms of material choices. Most MDF products are between 15mm – 25mm, so above 25mm, you have to choose wood, mostly pine skirting boards as they are the cheapest wood skirting boards compare with Oak, walnut, cherry, ash, maple, beech and so on so forth.

Most of the thick skirting boards are used in large country houses, period homes, or other large space with high ceilings etc. Or in some cases, the walls are simply not straight; thick skirting boards are cut and used as a feature to create straighter walls.


Cheapest skirting boards

The cheapest skirting boards one can buy are normally moisture resistant MDF with the simplest design like Torus, Ogee, Chamfered and round, lambs tongue and so on, because those profiles are most commonly used by large building projects, so that those profiles always have been manufactured in a large scale. Their sizes varies between 44mm, 58mm, 68mm, 94mm, 119mm, 144mm, 168mm, 194mm, 219mm, however not all profiles are available for all sizes. There is a reason why those skirting boards are so popular, because 1) they are cost effective; 2) they last longer being moisture resistant; 3) they require less prep time because they come as double primed and sanded, so they only require to be fitted and final coat of paint or gloss; 4) longer lengths, normally 5.4m or 4.4m length so less waste.

Profile sizes

Profiles sizes are the sizes for the actual profile itself, not to be mistaken by the height of the boards. Some of the profiles are very small like edge 2, pencil round, or Torus , so if you put a small profile on a larger board, it will leave a large amount of flat board, although it is nothing wrong with the look of such boards or if they are the look you are going for, it is good to be aware such thing if you don’t want such looks, then you can either choose a smaller overall height or a larger profile to balance out the profile and flat board ratio.

Where else I can use my leftover skirting boards?

It is always better to allow some sort of wastage when you buy your skirting boards just in case the measurement wasn’t accurate or someone took a wrong cut into the skirting boards result in you needing more. Or if you have a 3.6 metres or 5 metres wall and don’t want to have any joint, so you have to buy 4.2 meter length for your 3.6 metre wall and 5.4 meter length for your 5 metres wall. The bottom line is that you have some left over skirting boards.

There are many ways that you can utilise your leftover skirting boards. Firstly, you can use them to build book shelves. The profile of your skirting boards will create a very unique patterns for each shelves compare to the standard flat shelves; Secondly you can use them to build a custom picture frame, again the profiles create the pattern for the outer rim of the frame, and you can decide whatever size of frame you want. Thirdly, cut them to smaller pieces like the our skirting samples and use them as coasters. Fourthly, build a small bird house, in fact, that’s what I did with my son, who wanted a bird house. We went to a few garden centres and found out that any reasonable quality ones are ranged between £50 -£200. So we decided to use the leftover skirting boards to build one, in fact, we built two with what we had. We didn’t waste a thing and we had so much fun out of it. Fifthly, with what we left after the cut for the bird houses, my son had enough small skirting boards as his building blocks. Finally, you can do whatever you want, at the end of the day, they are wood products with beautiful profiles, be creative and you can get so much use of them.

Veneered skirting boards

Veneered skirting boards are the new products that didn’t exist many years ago. It is more environment-friendly, more cost-effective, more stable than real wood and still maintain the wood finish most clients want.

Veneered skirting boards have moisture resistant MDF underneath, with one or more layers of real wood on top. With the MR MDF skirting boards underneath, it makes the products more stable so it is unlikely to bend, cup, or shake like most real wood products do. And also you wouldn’t have dead knots like a lot of real wood skirting boards.


We offer double fleece veneered skirting boards, which means they put one layer in one direction and another layer on top in a different direction, so when you cut the skirting boards, you wouldn’t end up with a rough or split top as most of the single fleece veneered skirting boards would. Also with two layers of wood, not only you get the beautiful grain from the wood but also the skirting boards can take oil, lacquering products very well.
Commonly, there are two main veneered skirting boards types, the oak veneered  and the walnut veneered because oak and walnut are the most popular wood for floorings, furniture, doors etc. A layman normally wouldn’t tell the difference between the veneered skirting boards and the solid oak or walnut skirting boards, because they have the same wood finish but just with a less of a price tag. A lot of high-end showrooms use veneered products to achieve their desired designs.

The easiest skirting boards for cleaning

The easiest skirting boards for cleaning are the ones that with simple profiles, like round, square edge,  edge 2, ogee, torus, chamfered etc, basically most of the profiles with less curves, cuts, and rebates. Particularly square edge, edge 2 and round are architects and designers new favorite, because they are simple, clean, modern ( as supposed to the traditional designs) and easy to maintain. Next time, when you go to a hotel, modern restaurant or  modern apartment complex you will probably see that the skirting boards they use are those simple profiles.


The next thing is to have some sort of finish for your skirting boards. If you use MDF, add a coat of gloss finish, if you use real wood or veneered product, add some lacquers or oil them. These finishing products not only add different layers of look and texture to your skirting boards, but also give them longer wear and protect them from scratching or bumping. Particularly if you have young children, who push around their toy pushchairs or cars , or you move your furniture around and unavoidably your children or you can bump or bash into some of the skirting boards.  And most importantly, when it comes to cleaning, it far easier to get dust, grease, and other unwanted stuff off your skirting boards.

How to clean skirting boards

A lot of you out there, probably clean your house once a week, but most of you probably don’t clean your skirting boards once a week. Yes, skirting boards and the back your radiator are often the areas got forgotten, then gradually they become your dust trap.


So now, here you are at the annual spring clean trying to figure out how to clean the skirting boards that you haven’t got around to clean. First of all, find out what type of material or wood you have for your skirting boards, this is simply because you don’t want to introduce a lot moisture to your skirting boards then indirectly to your wall which will cause your problem. Some pine or oak skirting boards product can even start to change shape or curl up with a lot of moisture.


Second of all, what finish do you have on your skirting boards. If you have oil, lacquering, paint or gloss then you don’t need to worry as much as say your skirting boards don’t have any finishing products on them, and only have the raw materials. Because raw materials soak up moisture far quicker than if they have some layers of finish on them.


After you determined the type and finish of your skirting boards then you can decide what to use. If you have unfinished materials, then make sure you don’t use any water content cleaning solutions. Simple dusting and dry wiping can get rid of a lot of the dust, or use the vacuum to go over it as well as dusting.


If your skirting boards have some sort of finish on them, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to worry about the moisture, only that you can use a small amount moist if it is necessary. You can start to vacuum majority of the dust first, then use a mix cleaning solution of water and soda powder and slightly damp the cloth, and run the cloth through all the profiling sections of the skirting boards which seems to trap most of the dust. If your skirting boards in the kitchen have grease on them, you can add a drop or two dish soap into the mix solution. If your skirting boards have mould or mildew on them, add a drop of bleach into the mix cleaning solution. However, if the mould or mildew come back within a short space of time, you may need to check whether there leaks or major damp behind the skirting board.


Once you have spring cleaned your skirting boards, just make a habit of giving them a quick vacuum when you vacuum your floor.

How to create your shabby chic skirting board decoration

The term of shabby chic style of decoration was originated in the US in the 80s. This type of style basically creates the appearance of distressed, worn or tear furniture or home decor to achieve antique looking decor style.

This type of style isn’t for everyone, you either love it or hate it. The colours and shapes of the furnitures can be quite similar to the ones that are traditional style, the main difference is the worn colours. Usually the furnitures and decors can have layers of paint, some of them partially or fully worn out. To create that style, there are a few things you can do. Use your skirting board for examples, (real wood skirting boards like oak or pine works the best, because MDF wasn’t invested back in the days.) you can paint or glaze part or all of your skirting board, leave it to dry and settle down sufficiently, then sad or rub part of the top coat paint or gloss. Don’t worry if it is not neat, which is a the point, as natural worn effect can be random and uneven. If you like the partial wood shown, then you can stop there. If you really want to show the age of the board, you can carry on painting more coats on then rub or sad away more layers as you like.

Although real wood is preferable, that is not to say MDF is totally not acceptable. What you need to be careful is that your undercoat sufficiently cover the MDF surface, only leave some layers of worn paint or gloss. There you go, you can achieve your very own unique shabby chic looking skirting boards. You can use this method on any furnitures you wish.

What is the best material to use when painting skirting boards and architrave?

This is an excellent question. One which we have been asked by customers on several occasions. We do get approached by customers looking for new skirting boards or architrave for redecoration projects who often ask us about which material we would recommend if they are going to be painted. We hope this article will help answer that question.

A large number of people tend to assume that pine skirting boards would be the best skirting board or architrave option to paint as it is the traditional style often found in older Victorian or Edwardian properties and are very common within the market. Pine makes an excellent material for skirting board and architrave as it is a budget timber however as a softwood it is prone to being dented and knocked overtime as a result of everyday living after being bashed by the vacuum cleaner and knocked with shoes/furniture. Pine makes a fantastic material for skirting boards and architrave in older properties but looks more the part when unfinished or lacquered.

The better alternative that we would recommend is MDF when painting skirting boards and architrave. There is a common misconception in the marketplace that MDF skirting boards are flimsy and break easily as a result of being cheap however this is simply not true. MDF skirting boards are a more rigid option compared to a softwood like pine, it is true that they are substantially cheaper though but at no compromise making them a more suitable product for interior re-decorating. The only downside with MDF skirting boards and architrave is that they will always have to be painted as they would be the standard green or brown buff colour that people find quite ugly!

MDF skirting boards and architrave are now also typically sold in moisture-resistant (MR) versions making them more suitable for kitchens and bathrooms where timber is usually a complete no-no.

However if you insist on using a timber rather than MDF for skirting boards or architrave we would recommend a paint-grade tulipwood to do so. This is usually a more expensive option but as a hardwood it offers similar properties to the MDF in terms of density. The truth is that once several paint coats are added to the skirting boards or architrave you cannot tell which material is used for your mouldings. If you plan on lightly coating to allow a wooden grain to show through then obviously MDF would be the worst option for your skirting and architrave as it has no visible grain whatsoever!

So if you are looking for new skirting boards or architrave for redecorating your property we would recommend MDF if you are looking for a more robust skirting board or architrave for your home, pine and tulipwood are good alternatives but ultimately the decision lies in what you want to achieve.

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