Skirting Board Profiles Explained + Skirting Board Ideas

Skirting Board Profiles Explained + Skirting Board Ideas

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Why Use Skirting Boards?

A skirting board is an essential part of any room's interior design, but it is sometimes challenging to choose the right fit for your needs or room style.

They can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, MDF, plastic, and even metal and are an important but often overlooked element in many people's homes.

In my opinion, the design and style of your room is a key factor for determining the skirting board ideas that you require, hence the need to look for ones which work with the room theme and blend with, or complement your colour scheme.

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Below are some key things that I recommend you bear in mind when deciding on which skirting board to go for:

Skirting Board Material Options


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Wooden and MDF skirting boards are the most common materials used for most skirting boards. They are strong and durable, and can easily be painted or stained to match the decor of any room within your home.

When deciding on a material, you need to remember that the board is placed directly onto the ground, so it is prone to getting damp or being attacked by insects. It is therefore important to ensure the product you choose is treated appropriately.

If you are planning on staying in the property for many years and don't want to change the boards within a few years of them being fitted, I would certainly advise going for a more durable option.

Advice is always available from local specialist skirting board suppliers, so don't be afraid to consult an expert to help you choose.

Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)


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You can find MDF skirting board at a relatively inexpensive price in most hardware stores. MDF skirting board is a popular choice because of its durability and the fact that it doesn't swell or warp easily. Due to this, MDF skirting board is a great option for bathrooms, kitchens and other areas that may be prone to a little moisture.

Buy MDF Skirting Boards on Amazon

Softwood Skirting Boards


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Softwood is another popular choice of skirting board material, especially for contemporary homes, due to its easy installation, flexibility, the variety of heights and profiles available and how easy it is to sand and shape. Additionally, you can varnish, stain and paint softwood skirting boards for both a period or more modern finish.

A downside to softwood, as it is a natural material, is that it will have cracks, knots and other deformities that you will need to contend with whilst fitting.

Buy Softwood Skirting Boards on Amazon

Hardwood Skirting Boards


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As the name suggests, hardwood skirting boards are very hard wearing and can withstand more damage from unforeseen accidents or knocks from furniture etc.

However, due to its rigidness, it is slightly trickier to fit than softwood and MDF alternatives. Maybe one for the professionals to fit for you?

Buy Hardwood Skirting Boards on Amazon

Plastic Skirting Boards


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Plastic skirting boards are a more modern solution and are a cheaper alternative to wood or MDF, but are not as tough and can be more easily damaged and cracked.

UPVC skirting boards are the most convenient, no-hassle, no-maintenance, simple-fit option available today. Unlike wood or MDF, it doesn't require any sanding, painting, or mitring. It is also fast and simple to install and easy to customise, making retrofitting quick and efficient.

This option is available in many woodgrain, white and coloured options, or can be custom sprayed should you require a specific colour or shade to match your decor.

Buy Plastic Skirting Boards on Amazon

Metal Skirting Boards


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Modern skirting boards such as these metal skirting boards are the most expensive option I have added to the list but are also the most durable.

This creates a very modern and stylish look, making it the perfect choice for a modern industrial or minimalist look.

Buy Metal Skirting Boards on Amazon

Different Skirting Board Profiles

There is a variety of profiles to choose from, to add the perfect finishing touch to your room. Some of the most popular skirting designs include, but are not limited to:

Bullnose Skirting Board Profile


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Bullnose skirting board, commonly referred to as pencil round skirting, is the perfect fit for contemporary interiors and provides a simple design that creates a clean modern finish.

The bullnose profile is a classic and timeless style that gets its name from the rounded top edge. Due to its simple shape, it is easy to clean and is super safe for pets and overactive children alike, due to its lack of sharp edges.

Bullnose is also easy to clean and paint as there aren't many tiny crevices or corners for dust and dirt to build upon.

Buy Bullnose Skirting Boards on Amazon

Ogee Skirting Board Profile


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Although a traditional style of profile, Ogee skirting boards can be used in both traditional and modern homes, making this a particularly versatile option for homeowners and builders alike. Probably why it is one of the most popular types and is widely used in the United Kingdom.

The main feature of the Ogee skirting board design is its angled top edge and ornate sweeping curved profile.

Buy Ogee Skirting Boards on Amazon

Square Edge Skirting Board Profile


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The square edge profile has, as the name suggests, a square top and edge and can also be grooved. It is a plain and simple design that would fit into any modern design of the home and has the benefit of being super easy to fit.

It is also another of our skirting board options that is easy to maintain and clean due to its simple and unfussy shape.

Buy Square Edge Skirting Boards on Amazon

Torus Skirting Board Profile


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A traditional design, the Torus profile is commonly used in period homes. This is why this profile type is often used in renovation projects.

The Torus profile is inspired by classical architecture and features a prominent convex, semi-circular arch.

Buy Torus Skirting Boards on Amazon

Lambs Tongue Skirting Board Profile


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The Lambs Tongue profile is a classic, stylish and elegant design that gets its name from its delicate rounded shape.

This profile shape is particularly used in Victorian-style properties but could be just as suited to a more modern look.

Buy Lambs Tongue Skirting Boards on Amazon

Art Deco Skirting Board


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Art Deco is a very distinct design style that started back in the 1920s and is known for its rectangular and diamond geometric shapes.

As you would expect, the Art Deco profile uses these design elements for its inspiration.

Chamfered and Rounded Skirting Boards


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The chamfered and rounded profile is similar in simplicity and shape to that of the bullnose profile mentioned previously but with a more straight-edged design.

The main element of this profile is the sloping edge, soft chamfer and rounded top. Its simplistic shape and pattern make it an obvious choice for any type of interior finish.

Buy Chamfered Skirting Boards on Amazon

Consider Sizing

The skirting board you buy needs to serve its intended purpose. Remember that the board not only needs to protect your walls and paint finish but also fit in with the style and age of your property.

When deciding on the height of your boards bear in mind the height of the ceilings. For higher ceilings, you should opt for taller skirting boards to make the most of the room dimensions. Adversely, if you have lower ceilings, avoid tall skirting boards as they will have the opposite effect and visually shorten your room.

Price Considerations

Skirting boards vary greatly in quality and design depending on the cost. I suggest before going all-in and ordering a bulk batch, figure out your budget and choose a product that gives you the best quality within it.

Most importantly, shop around. You will most likely find the same product from various suppliers, but the prices can vary greatly.

Skirting Board Colour Ideas and Inspiration


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The colour theme of your room needs to guide the choice of skirting board finish that you decide upon. You do not want your colour choice to negatively impact the overall theme of the room, which will create disharmony in the final look.

You will ultimately have to decide whether you want neutral colours or something more vibrant that is going to complement or contrast with the walls and other decor. Do you go for white to make the walls pop, or paint your boards the same colour as the walls?

If your house is rented, I advise you to use neutral colours for the woodwork, such as opting for white skirting boards (unless you have prior agreement from the landlord) so as not to invalidate any contracts and run the risk of losing any deposits further down the line.

You can visit home improvement range at to learn more about the different options currently available.

Pink and Proud


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If you are going to go all out on painting the walls a baby pink, you may as well paint skirting boards and architraves the same colour! In this restaurant setting it works and adds an impact that you just wouldn't get if they were white.

Nature Inspired Elegance


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Choosing a bold colour, like the red skirting board in this living room is a real interior design statement. The colour has been picked to not only match the reds in the pelican wallpaper but also to compliment the greens in the wallpaper, curtains and chair.

A beautiful contemporary style for any space.

The Blue Room


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Painting the room all one colour, in this case, blue, including the wooden skirting, walls, doors and even ceiling, creates a warm, calming and cosy space and gives the impression of having taller ceilings than it has.

Modern Country Kitchen


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The owners of this beautiful kitchen have flipped the rule book on its head, by using a soft off-white on the walls and a bold olive green for the door, skirting boards and architrave. This has been tied in perfectly with the dining table chairs and creates a stunning coherent design.

Modern and Sleek Art Deco Styling


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A sleek and modern interior that is a take on an Art Deco theme, with the glamorous sparkly light fixture, deep brown flooring and black accents, all set against the contrasting mustard yellow sofa. Adding black skirting boards is the perfect finishing touch that ties the theme together effortlessly.

My Final Thoughts

Every skirting option comes with its features, benefits and price point. So once you have decided on the profile style, height and material that suits your decor and budget, it would be advantageous to compare what is available in different retail stores before choosing the best offer available.

Next, decide whether it is a job that you can complete, or maybe a family member can do on your behalf. If neither is an option, then a professional fitter will be required. Make sure this is figured into the overall budget before commencing any work.

If you are planning to attempt the job yourself and are a novice, here is a great step by step how to fit skirting boards guide.

Author: Matthew Chiappini

Author Bio: Matthew studied art and design at Stamford college, including interior design and colour theory. He still has a great love for art, home decor and interior design and is a keen DIYer, having worked as a carpenter after leaving school. Matthew has been writing home and home decor articles since 2020.

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