Types of Skirting Boards

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Types of Skirting Boards
The skirting board is the ridged wood between the wall and floor. (hotel room image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com)

Skirting boards are decorative baseboards placed in the area where the floor and wall connect. They also protect the walls from everyday damage caused by chairs, tables and floor cleaning products and can create a unifying theme throughout a house. They appear as a kind of trim or moulding against the wall. Materials and designs vary.

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Skirting Board Material

Skirting boards are generally made from wood, plaster or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Popular woods are oak, pine, ash, beech, walnut and maple. However, some homeowners prefer MDF to wood because it is less expensive and more flexible, allowing them to shape the skirting board to the wall shape with greater ease. Plaster is rarer than the other two materials.

Moulded Skirting Boards

Moulded skirting boards are generally found in older houses and are difficult to match with newer products. In order to avoid having to replace skirting boards throughout the entire house, try fitting a moulded architrave to the top of a square-edged board.

Traditional Skirting Boards

Skirting boards used to be made only of wood and were attached to the wall with thin strips of wood and supported at regular intervals by "soldiers," which are small, upright pieces. For years, skirting boards were a simple strip of wood but recently they have become more elaborate.

Pre-Finished Skirting Boards

Pre-finished skirting boards are available in stores. They are more convenient because they do not require sanding or painting. Buyers need only to measure, cut and glue them into place, making it easy to install them. In accordance with more modern aesthetics, designs have a streamlined, contemporary look but traditional versions are popular as well.

Removable Skirting Boards

Removable skirting boards are a recent innovation, permitting access to the inner cavity of the wall and allowing homeowners to check for any hidden termite or pest infestations. The easy removal also allows for quick and simple cleaning.

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