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The Complete Guide to Skirting Boards

Table of Contents

skirting board guide

In any well-designed space, details are always crucial. And while the skirting board may not be eye-catching, it is a key element that connects the floor to the wall. It not only serves to protect the wall but also adds to the aesthetic of the space. Whether in a residential or commercial setting, the skirting board can significantly enhance the overall decorative effect.

This guide will introduce you to all aspects of the skirting board, from basic definitions to detailed introductions of different types, as well as how to install and maintain them.

What is Skirting Board?

The skirting board, also known as the baseboard, is a decorative strip installed at the junction of walls and floors. It is typically made of materials such as wood, plywood, MDF (medium-density fiberboard), or metal, shaped into long strips and horizontally installed along the edges of the room. The main function of the baseboard is to protect the bottom of the wall from wear and impact, while also concealing imperfect connections or small cracks between the floor and the wall. In addition to its practical function, the baseboard also has a significant aesthetic effect.

From a historical perspective, the use of baseboards can be traced back to ancient architecture, initially appearing as a practical structural element to prevent damage to the bottom of walls. Today, baseboards have evolved into a practical and decorative architectural detail, an indispensable part of modern home design.

Why Do We Need Skirting Boards?

the purpose of skirting board

Skirting boards are not merely decorative elements in room decoration; they serve multiple important functions and purposes in practical use. Below are several main reasons for installing baseboards:

Protecting The Walls

The initial and most basic function of skirting boards is to protect the bottom of walls from damage. In everyday life, cleaning tools like wet mops and vacuum cleaners, as well as furniture such as sofas and chairs, often come into contact with the bottom of walls, leading to scratches or wear. Baseboards effectively prevent such physical damage, extending the lifespan of the walls.

Improved Aesthetics

Skirting boards contribute to achieving the overall visual effect of interior decoration. They elegantly bridge the transition between the floor and the wall, concealing uneven edges or imperfect seams. Additionally, skirting boards come in various styles and materials to choose from, allowing them to match the room’s decorative style and color scheme, enhancing the space’s aesthetics and depth.

Hidden Lines

In modern home design, skirting boards are also commonly used to conceal wires or other types of cables, maintaining interior cleanliness and safety. Specially designed baseboards can embed cables, keeping them from being exposed, thereby avoiding tangled wires on the floor and reducing the risk of tripping.

Increase In Home Value

Correctly selecting and installing skirting boards can enhance the overall appearance and feel of a house, thereby increasing its market value. A well-designed baseboard can serve as a highlight of the interior decoration, especially when buying, selling, or renting a property, as good interior decoration often attracts more potential buyers or tenants.

Different Types of Materials for Skirting

When selecting skirting boards, the choice of material significantly affects the final appearance, durability, and maintenance requirements. Below are some common types of baseboard materials and their characteristics:

Metal Skirting Boards

Metal skirting boards, such as those made of aluminum and stainless steel, are popular for their durability and modern aesthetic appeal. This type of baseboard is well-suited for industrial-style or modern-designed spaces, as they are not only corrosion-resistant but also easy to clean. Metal baseboards are also an ideal choice for public areas or high-traffic areas because they can withstand considerable wear and tear.

Wood Skirting Boards

Wooden skirting board is one of the most traditional choices, offering a natural beauty and warm aesthetic. Wood can be painted, stained, or left with its natural grain, making it easy to match with various interior decoration styles. However, wooden skirting boards may require more maintenance, such as regular painting or cleaning, to prevent water damage and scratches.

MDF Skirting Boards

MDF skirting board is favored for its cost-effectiveness. This material is easy to cut and install, with a smooth surface that is ideal for painting. MDF baseboards are suitable for indoor use, but due to their lower moisture resistance, they are not recommended for use in damp environments.

Laminate Skirting Boards

Laminate skirting boards mimic the appearance of wood or other natural materials while offering increased durability and low maintenance. They are typically a cost-effective option, resistant to wear, scratches, and moisture, making them suitable for both residential and commercial environments.

Vinyl Skirting Boards

Vinyl skirting board is a lightweight, durable, and cost-effective option, particularly suitable for areas that require frequent cleaning. This material is water-resistant and stain-resistant, making it suitable for high-humidity environments such as bathrooms and kitchens.

PVC Skirting Boards

PVC skirting board is widely used in commercial and medical facilities due to its high water resistance and chemical resistance. PVC material is lightweight, easy to install, and reasonably priced, making it a very practical choice.

Plaster Skirting Boards

Plaster skirting board offers intricate decorative designs and details, making it highly suitable for traditional or luxurious interior decoration. While aesthetically pleasing, plaster skirting boards are relatively fragile, requiring more careful installation and maintenance with professional expertise.

LED Skirting Boards

LED skirting board is an innovative option featuring built-in LED light strips, providing ambient lighting or navigational light sources for rooms. This type of skirting board is particularly suitable for modern homes or commercial spaces, enhancing both aesthetics and practicality while improving safety. LED skirting boards can be customized with colors and brightness according to needs, making them a flexible and eye-catching decorative choice.

Skirting Board Profiles

Flush Recessed Skirting Boards

flush recessed skirting boards

Flush-mounted skirting board design allows it to be flush with the wall and floor, providing a minimalist appearance. This profile is suitable for modern interior decoration, with its concealed nature making the wall look cleaner. Some designs also incorporate LED light strips to enhance the overall space with a stylish touch.

Flush-mounted skirting boards, due to their higher complexity in installation, require careful planning from the outset. Although the installation process may be more intricate, the final overall effect is crisp and modern, making it particularly suitable for design spaces that emphasize clean lines.

Torus Skirting Board

torus skirting board

Torus skirting board is renowned for its classic semicircular design, featuring rounded edges that add a gentle artistic touch to any room. This traditional curved design makes it a preferred choice for many homes and commercial spaces, as it is both practical and highly decorative.

Inspired by classical architecture, this profile is suitable for pairing with wooden floors and intricate ceiling decorations. Torus skirting board not only enhances the visual appeal of a room but also evokes a sense of history and tradition through its elegant curves.

Ogee Skirting Board

ogee skirting board

Ogee skirting board is favored for its iconic S-shaped profile, a complex design element commonly found in traditional or classical style interior decoration. Its intricate curves add visual depth and a delicate touch to space, creating a sense of refinement and visual layering.

Ogee profiles exemplify a pursuit of detail, serving as exquisite borders in interior design, especially appreciated by those who admire detailed craftsmanship and decorative arts. Additionally, this profile is often used in the restoration of historical buildings’ interior decoration, maintaining their original style and charm.

Chamfered Skirting Board

chamfered skirting board

Chamfered skirting board offers a clean and modern appearance with its beveled edges, making it an ideal choice for contemporary homes and office spaces. The simple design not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also helps reduce the accumulation of dust.

This profile is particularly suitable for spaces that appreciate minimalist style but still desire decorative elements. With its simple yet elegant lines, chamfered skirting board effortlessly blends into various interior designs, adding a touch of refinement and modernity.

Bullnose Skirting Board

bullnose skirting board

Bullnose skirting board is renowned for its smoothly rounded top edge, softening the harshness of interior corners and creating a warmer, more natural space. Its simple curves are suitable for various household environments, especially for families seeking to create safe and hazard-free corners.

This profile is widely welcomed for its versatility and aesthetics. Bullnose skirting board is not only easy to maintain but also child- and pet-friendly, making it a popular choice for households. Its gentle curves also make it a common element in modern design, adding both practicality and aesthetic appeal.

Lambs Tongue Skirting Board

lambs tongue skirting board

Lambs Tongue skirting board is renowned for its complex and elegant curved design, typically used in more traditional interior decorations. The detailed edge of this profile enriches the interior space with a classical and refined feel, making it perfect for pairing with exquisite furniture and traditional woodwork.

Inspired by ancient architectural styles, this profile is suitable for interior designers who wish to incorporate a sense of history or vintage style into modern homes. 

Ovolo Skirting Board

ovolo skirting board

Ovolo skirting board’s distinctive rounded protrusion design brings a soft yet appealing visual effect to interior decoration. This profile is often used in designs that seek to combine traditional aesthetics with modern, clean lines, with its rounded edges bringing harmony and balance to the room.

Inspired by decorative details in classical architecture, this profile suits a variety of decorating styles, from traditional to modern. Ovolo skirting board, with its unique shape and elegant lines, is frequently used by designers to enhance the artistic and dimensional aspects of interiors.

Victorian Skirting Board

victorian skirting board

Victorian skirting board is renowned for its height and intricate decorative features, commonly found in interior decorations seeking to recreate the style of the late 19th century. This profile is typically taller with complex decorative elements, bringing a sense of luxury and formality to the space.

This type of skirting board is often used in rooms with classical decorating styles, especially those that aim to highlight historical elements and fine craftsmanship. Victoria skirting board is an ideal choice for designers and homeowners who appreciate exquisite details and historical styles.

Square Edge Skirting Board

square edge skirting board

Square edge skirting board is favored by modern designers for its straightforward and clean-line design. The square edges of this profile bring a clean and contemporary look to interior spaces, making it perfect for minimalist style decoration.

Its simple and clear design makes it easy to pair with various modern materials and colors, making it a common choice in modern homes and commercial spaces. Square-edged skirting board not only looks modern but is also easy to install and maintain, making it an ideal choice for those seeking efficiency and style.

Stepped Skirting Board

stepped skirting board

Stepped skirting board, with its unique multi-layered design, adds depth and dynamism to interior decoration. The layered design of this profile is not only aesthetically pleasing but also guides the eye visually, creating a visually rich effect in the space. Typically used in spaces that require visual focal points or desire to add design depth, step-profile skirting board is favored by designers for its distinctive appearance and strong modern sensibility.

This profile is particularly suitable for modern and minimalist design spaces, especially in galleries, exhibition spaces, and high-end residences. With its clearly defined lines, step-profile skirting board not only enhances the artistic appeal of the walls but also provides an exquisite and detailed decorative style.

Grooved Skirting Board

grooved skirting board

Grooved skirting board is particularly suitable for spaces that seek to incorporate subtle decorative elements into minimalist designs. This profile adds extra texture and visual interest by incorporating one or more grooves on its surface. These grooves not only enhance the aesthetic appeal but also contribute to the overall design of the skirting board.

Grooved skirting board is well-suited for modern and industrial-style interior decorations, with its clean and powerful lines complementing well with modern materials such as concrete, metal, and glass.

How to Install Skirting Boards?

install skirting boards

Preliminary

First, measure the total length of the wall where the skirting board needs to be installed and purchase skirting boards of corresponding lengths. It is usually recommended to buy skirting boards slightly longer than the actual measured length, to account for any unforeseen needs.

Prepare the necessary tools, including a saw (hand saw or electric saw), ruler, pencil, nail gun or screwdriver, nails or screws, angle measurer, etc.

Finally, ensure that the wall and floor where the skirting board is to be installed are flat and clean.

Cutting

According to the actual situation of wall corners and angles, accurately measure the length of each section of skirting board. Simultaneously, use an angle measurer to determine the precise angles of inner and outer corners, and use a saw to cut according to the measurement results. For right-angle corners, a 45-degree miter cut is typically needed.

Installed

Place the cut skirting boards in their designated positions and use a nail gun or screwdriver to secure them to the wall. Ensure that the top edge of the skirting board is snug against the wall. For longer walls, multiple sections of skirting board may need to be joined, in which case, ensure that the joints are smooth and tight. Wood glue can be used to reinforce the stability of the joints.

At corners, align the joints of the skirting boards precisely to make them appear as seamless as possible. Use filler or wood wax in appropriate colors to fill in nail holes and gaps at the joints for a neater appearance.

Caveat

  • Throughout the cutting and installation process, always maintain safety awareness and use appropriate safety gear such as goggles and gloves.
  • For skirting boards made of special materials such as metal or plastic, special tools and installation techniques may be required.

How to Remove Skirting Boards?

Scrape off the paint layer: Use a blade to gently scrape off the paint layer between the skirting board and the wall. This helps reduce damage to the wall when removing the skirting board.

Loosen the skirting board: Insert a pry bar into the seam between the skirting board and the wall. Gently tap the pry bar with a hammer to insert it deeper and begin loosening the skirting board. This step requires careful handling to avoid damaging the wall.

Gradually pry open: Along the length of the skirting board, gradually move the pry bar, continuing to gently pry open the skirting board. If the skirting board is fixed with nails, you may need to repeat this process at different points; if it’s glued, you may need to apply force more evenly.

Completely remove the skirting board: Once the skirting board has loosened from the wall, carefully remove it by hand. If the skirting board is long or heavy, it may require assistance from a helper to support it.

Clean the wall: After removing the skirting board, check the wall for any remaining nails or glue residue. Use pliers to remove any remaining nails, and use a scraper or appropriate solvent to clean off any leftover glue.

Repair the wall: If the wall is damaged during the removal process, use appropriate filler material (such as putty) for repairs. Allow it to dry, then sand and paint as needed.

Conclusion

Skirting boards are not only a practical architectural element but also have a significant aesthetic function. They protect walls from damage while providing rooms with a complete and refined appearance. When choosing skirting boards, it’s essential to consider their material, style, and coordination with the existing decor of the home. Whether in new construction or renovating existing spaces, proper planning and installation of skirting boards can bring long-term benefits.

Additionally, if you’re interested in purchasing metal skirting boards or LED skirting boards in bulk, feel free to contact us anytime. We offer a variety of stylish modern skirting board options at competitive prices and fast delivery.

FAQs

Q1: Can I install the skirting board myself or do I need a professional?

The difficulty of installing skirting boards depends on the material and layout of the room. Simple PVC or MDF skirting boards can be installed as a DIY project with basic tools and precise measurements. However, for complex layouts or high-end materials such as solid wood, professional installation may be required to ensure precise and professional results.

Q2: What are the common colors and sizes of skirting boards?

Skirting boards come in a variety of colors and sizes to accommodate different interior design styles. Common colors include white, gray, black, and wood tones. In terms of size, the height typically ranges from 5 centimeters to 15 centimeters, while the length depends on the specific requirements of the room and the standard lengths offered by manufacturers.

Q3: Can I install the skirting board myself or do I need a professional?

The installation difficulty of skirting boards depends on the material and layout of the room. Simple PVC or MDF skirting boards can be installed as a DIY project with basic tools and precise measurements. However, for complex layouts or high-end materials such as solid wood, professional installation may be required to ensure precise and professional results.

Q4: What paint is best for skirting boards?

The best paint for skirting boards depends on durability and the desired finish. High-quality, water-based acrylic paint is often recommended for its quick-drying properties and minimal odor. Gloss or semi-gloss finishes are popular for their ease of cleaning and resistance to scuffs.

Q5: What is the price range for skirting boards?

The price of skirting boards depends on the material, design, and size. For example, basic MDF (medium-density fiberboard) skirting boards are cheaper than solid wood skirting boards, while PVC skirting boards may fall somewhere in between. Prices can range from a few dollars per meter to tens of dollars.

Q6: How to choose the right skirting bosrd material?

When choosing the material for skirting boards, consider durability, room humidity, and budget. For example, metal skirting boards are suitable for areas with higher humidity, while solid wood skirting boards are better suited for users seeking a classic appearance and natural materials. MDF is a cost-effective option suitable for most residential environments.

Q7: What is rebate on skirting board?

A rebate in a skirting board is a cut-out groove along the back edge. This groove allows for the hiding of wires and cables, providing a neat solution for cable management without affecting the overall appearance.

Q8: What are heated skirting boards?

Heated skirting boards are an innovative heating system that replaces traditional radiators. These systems distribute heat more evenly by running along the base of a room’s walls, providing efficient and space-saving heating.

Q9: What are skirting board covers?

Skirting board covers are used to cover existing skirting boards, either to improve their appearance without removing them or to increase their height or depth. They are ideal for renovation projects where you want a new look without the extensive labor of removing old skirting.

Q10: How to remove skirting boards for reuse?

To remove skirting boards for reuse, carefully score the paint along the top of the skirting using a utility knife to prevent wall damage. Use a pry bar and gently lever the board away from the wall, working slowly to avoid breaking it. If nails are used, pull them out from the back of the skirting board to avoid damaging the front face.

Q11: What is skirting in construction?

In construction, skirting refers to the material or structure used to cover the space between the bottom of a mobile home, modular building, or portable building and the ground.

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