As far as house fittings go, skirting boards should be a pretty familiar one. Back in the early days they were more often referred to as ‘mop boards’ because they were used to protect plasterboard from water damage when the floor was being mopped.
Nowadays they’re still as useful and as much of a popular feature as ever but with less focus on mopping.
What are skirting boards?
Generally, skirting boards are vertical wooden, PVC or MDF boards running along the base of an interior wall. The can be screwed, nailed or even glued in place. Depending on your requirements, they are usually between 5 and 15cm high and can be either stained or painted. You also have a choice of whether you go for a carved, more ornate finish, with moulding or flat and clean angles. Most popular skirting boards on the market right now are solid oak skirting, solid walnut skirting, MDF laminate skirting and veneered skirting.
What are skirting boards for?
Concealing ugly – but important – wires
In a modern home, there isn’t much choice when it comes to having a few hundred meters of cables running through the house. But electrical wirings hanging openly from the walls or the ceiling should definitely be avoided at all costs. Hiding wires in the ceiling means potential problems in the future as any small repairs might result in the whole ceiling having to be torn down. A more economical and practical solution is to hide the wiring in the skirting boards. There are plenty of specially designed PVC board for just this instance.
Aligning the floor perfectly with the walls of a house, especially an older house with very few 90° angles, is very difficult. Even for the most highly skilled fitter. There is also the unavoidable gap between the two. Most contractors choose skirting boards to cover unsightly gaps over redoing the whole thing all over again.
Another benefit of skirting boards is the protective barrier they provide between the walls and your furniture. They also stop you from positioning furniture too close to the walls and creating unsightly marks on the wallpaper, ruining the plastering job or scuffing the paint.
A pretty finishing touch
By hiding the gaps between the walls and the floor they give a room much more finished and professional look. You also have a great deal of choice with the finish of your skirting board, with options of detail to match the feel of your room. You can also have a bit of fun with painting them, either to give a unifying colour in keeping with the rest of the room, or an interesting contrast.