The types of skirting board

Written by cassie damewood
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The types of skirting board
Fancy Moulded Skirting Board (Image by, courtesy of Cassandra lavalle)

Commonly referred to as baseboards, skirting boards are also known as mopboards, base moulding and floor moulding. Their popularity is based on aesthetics. It seems the gaps between the wall and the floor and the floor and the wall are not normally considered to be visually appealing and are best masked by decorative materials.

Traditional Skirting Boards

For years, skirting boards were only made of wood. The wood was often a simple plank attached to the wall. In older, more ornate homes, it was sometimes made of decorative moulding materials that matched other moulding in the room. Today skirting boards are made of other materials besides wood.

Skirting Board Options

As an attractive alternative to simple wooden planks, some home decorators started using simple rounded mouldings at the bottom of the planks where they met the floor. Plastic skirting boards and panels are also available at home improvement stores and decorating centres. The plastic boards are becoming popular as they are not only environmentally friendly options to wood, they are also impervious to decay and household pests. If an older home is still heated by baseboard radiators, they can be attractively installed either in front of or behind skirting boards.

Pre-finished skirting boards are gaining favour as they require no sanding or painting and can be quickly and easily installed with glue. They come in durable materials in colours and style that match almost any decor The boards can be cut to size by the consumer and will never warp.

The Purpose of Skirting Boards

Aside from adding to the warmth and beauty of a room, skirting boards create an overall continuity to a home. While some skirting boards vary from room to room, some homes continue the skirting board theme throughout the house. On a more practical level, they protect the walls from scuffs caused by tables and chairs. The boards also protect the walls from harsh or harmful cleaning agents used to clean the floors.

Attaching Skirting Boards

Skirting boards are customarily attached to walls using strips of wood called grounds. The grounds are small strips of wood that are attached to the wall to form a base to which the skirting boards are mounted. A continuous strip of thin wood is braced at equally spaced gaps by little pieces of vertical wood called soldiers and these stabilise the skirting boards.

In contemporary homes, masonry nails are pounded into the brick or concrete base at angles to discreetly attaching skirting boards. Some builders use adhesive to attach the boards to the walls. What the skirting boards are made of influences what type of attachment materials are used.

Removable Skirting Boards

The latest innovation in skirting boards is those that are removable. These easily removable appendages make cleaning quick and easy. Their easy removal also facilitates inspection procedures for termites and other destructive insects.

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