Choosing The Right Skirting Board Type For Your Floors

It doesn’t end at choosing tiles

What is a skirting board?

Skirting boards (Kickboards, Baseboards, Mop boards, or Mouldings) are available in almost every home. They’re very famous and very common for their benefits. They’re often made of HDF, wood, PVC, MDF, Ceramic, Porcelain, and Marble. They can be nailed, glued, screwed or pinned into a wall.

Grey baseboard
Dark Grey Skirting Board

Done with tiles, what’s next?

We have recently discussed how to choose your tiles correctly and according to the properties of materials and your project. But, one thing we haven’t discussed is how to choose skirting boards. Skirting boards are a must use in interior design. Since this is a decision, you need to understand how to analyze the situation and know your options before you decide.

tiled baseboards
Ceramic Skirting Board

Benefits of skirting boards

They’re known for covering the junction between walls and floors. Historically, this was to protect the wall from moving people, mops, pets, and furniture. But it has evolved to become a pillar of flooring in interior design. Another feature is to hide gaps because it’s almost impossible for a contractor to align the floor perfectly with the wall. And that will cause a gap between them. A skirting board here is used to cover that gap up. There are even more benefits for skirting boards, let’s look at them.

Wall Protection

Skirting boards can protect a wall from any external damage and from water. As we all know, water will slowly be absorbed by the wall and cause mould to grow and humidity will wear the paint off. We don’t want that to happen, and our easiest bet is to use a skirting board to keep everything off our wall.

Moving furniture around can also scratch walls. A skirting board will ensure there’s a minimum gap between furniture and the wall, thus ensuring no friction between them and no scratches.

Modern Baseboard Ideas
Modern Skirting Board

Hiding imperfections

As I told you, it’s near impossible to align your floor with your walls and have a perfect perpendicular plane. There will still be an angle that will make the composition look imperfect. You do want to hide that imperfection if you can’t fix it. And the best solution is definitely to use a skirting board.

Extra and decorative wires hiding

A skirting board can come with an internal tube to allow of wires passing through, these wires can be part of your main electricity plan or maybe wires used for decorative lights. Whatever their use is, a skirting board can be adapted as a tunnel for those wires, hiding them and avoiding the chaotic look for multiple wires.

Skirting MDF baseboard to hide wiring cables
Skirting MDF baseboard to hide wiring cables

Wall and floor decoration

The final touch effect that skirting boards give to your floor and wall is an effect of connecting two different, disjoint planes together. A skirting board is often made of the same material and design of the floor. Thus, when used correctly, it can give an effect of natural occurrence between the wall and the floor. You won’t feel like they’re different, they will feel complementing. Plus, the trim color that the skirting board gives makes it look like you’re outlining your walls and doors, making them more noticeable.

Choosing the right skirting board

Types of skirting boards

There are many types of skirting boards that can work for your interior design. It can be created from any material that flooring can be made of. That makes a lot of options, and each material has its own properties as we discussed earlier. Choosing the skirting board is much simpler than choosing your tile flooring. That’s why you won’t have to hassle so much. It would be enough if you read this article to decide on the material and design of your skirting board.

Among the materials that we can use for skirting board, these are the most common:

  1. HDF (Hardboard)
  2. MDF
  3. Ceramic/Porcelain

But how do you choose a suitable material for you?

baseboard dimensions
Skirting board dimensions

Rule of thumb

An easy rule of thumb to follow is to always use a skirting board from the same material as your floor. There’s no need to get a skirting board that is made of a different material than your board. However, in some cases, the flooring material is expensive and you don’t want to spend more on skirting boards. In that case, you can fall back to a cheaper material that is suitable aesthetically for your design.

Sometimes people prefer using MDF skirting boards because they’re already spending too much on HDF flooring and that is a hassle for them. It’s perfectly fine to do that as you don’t need all the properties of HDF onto your skirting board. Keep in mind that the skirting board will receive less pressure and damage compared to your floor. It does have to be strong, but not very strong.

The compromise here is very valid and you will not be risking much in that case. Also, MDF being cheaper than HDF, still doesn’t fall behind much aesthetically and you will find compelling MDF skirting board designs.

HDF with MDF skirting boards, Porcelain with Ceramic skirting boards

The same can be applied to porcelain and ceramic, they’re both very similar in properties. Ceramic is a cheaper counterpart to Porcelain, but when it comes to skirting boards, there’s no need to spend so much on a material that is not going to be tested. In this case, I’d argue that going with a Ceramic skirting board over Porcelain flooring is going to save you a lot of money and there will be no compromise in terms of quality and aesthetics.

In case your floor is marble, you can use a skirting board made of Ceramic with a marble effect to cut costs. But if you’re a perfectionist, I don’t think you’ll like the Ceramic/Marble mix, then, stick to using a Marble skirting board.

vintage bathroom with marble baseboard
Vintage bathroom with Marble Skirting Board

In conclusion, you can always use a cheaper material as your skirting board to cut on your project’s cost without compromising quality since skirting boards are not under the same pressure that your floor is facing. They do not experience the same amount of traffic as your floor. Just don’t go too cheap and use a material like UPVC, which is a very good material for windows, but just isn’t suitable for skirting boards.

What about their designs?

Each material, of course, has its different designs and textures. Wood would definitely have wooden textures that are way more natural compared to Ceramic/Porcelain counterparts. Also, Ceramic/Porcelain skirting boards will be of a rectangular shape with no depth, tunnels, curves or whatever aesthetics you want. In the contrary, wood, and laminate based skirting boards like HDF can have curves and tunnels for wiring. So, if you’re interested deeply in having a skirting board that has a different shape from a basic rectangle then you need to avoid Ceramic/Porcelain.

Bullnose skirting board

 Bullnose baseboard
Bullnose skirting board

Ogee skirting board

Ogee baseboard
Ogee skirting board

Chamfered skirting board

Chamfered baseboard
Chamfered skirting board

Torus skirting board

Torus baseboard
Torus skirting board

Ceramic skirting board

Ceramic baseboard
Ceramic skirting board

Marble skirting board

Marble baseboard
Marble skirting board

MDF skirting board

MDF baseboard
MDF skirting board

Final thoughts

In this post, we showed you the different materials and different designs of skirting boards (baseboards). Now that you know how to leverage each material and its different designs, it’s a trivial task for you to decide on the one that best suits your project aesthetically and financially. If you have any thoughts, share them with us on Facebook!

Dorothy Campbell dreams of a world where everything is as beautiful and organized as can be. Dorothy is a senior interior designer and a freelancer. She has revamped hundreds of office spaces/home/commercial buildings and she is passing down all that knowledge to the InteriorRocks readers.

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