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How to Choose the Perfect Skirting Board Covers for UK Homes

When it comes to interior design, the smallest details can make the biggest difference. Take skirting boards, for example. Often an afterthought to many, these humble elements play a crucial role in tying your home’s look together. They are, quite literally, the base of your room’s aesthetic appeal. Skirting board covers are a perfect finish to any room and can dramatically enhance the overall feel of your property. If you’re looking to update or install skirting board covers uk home but are baffled by the variety available, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of selecting the perfect skirting board covers to complement your home.

Know Your Baseboard Basics

Before you get started, it’s essential to understand the role skirting boards play. They serve to provide a protective and decorative edge, covering the joint between the wall and the floor. Skirting boards also hide unsightly cables, and as they continue to evolve, many come fitted with a ‘cable management’ system.

In the UK, skirting board styles vary from Victorian to Georgian, with each period home boasting its own distinct design. Generally speaking, skirting boards are available in various materials, such as MDF (medium-density fiberboard), HDF (high-density fiberboard), softwood, and hardwood. The material you choose can significantly impact the look and maintenance of your skirting boards.

Matching Your Skirting to Your Home’s Character

When selecting skirting board covers, it’s crucial to ensure they are in keeping with the style of your home. Profiles and heights should match the era in which your home was built. For instance, if you live in a modern build, consider skirting boards with clean lines and no intricate detailing. Those in period properties can opt for taller skirting with more ornate designs, such as Ogee or Torus profiles.

Sizing It Right

Proportion is key. The size of your skirting boards should be relative to the size of your room. In general, larger rooms can accommodate taller skirting boards, while smaller rooms may appear cramped with anything too imposing. Typically, skirting boards range from 70mm to 220mm in height, but bespoke options are also available if you have specific requirements.

Ensure the depth of the skirting is deep enough to cover the expansion gap between the floor and the wall. This gap is essential to allow the floor to move without causing damage, and it’s a reason why matching the depth of the existing skirting in older homes can be more challenging.

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Material Matters

The material of your skirting boards not only affects the look but also the durability, maintenance, and cost. MDF skirting boards are cost-effective and take paint well, but they can be easily damaged by water and are less robust than wood options. HDF is denser and more durable, making it suitable for areas where there’s a risk of impact and higher footfall.

Softwood skirting boards like pine are excellent if you’re looking to stain or varnish, but they might require more maintenance, such as revarnishing due to sunlight exposure. Hardwood skirting boards like oak are more expensive, but they offer a luxurious finish and require minimal upkeep.

Paint or Varnish?

The finish of your skirting board covers is another consideration. Whether to paint or varnish often depends on the look you’re going for and the material you choose. Painting skirting boards can provide a versatile, clean look that’s easy to maintain, while varnishing can enhance the natural beauty of the woodgrain.

Call in the Professionals

Finally, unless you’re confident with DIY, it’s wise to hire a professional. Skirting boards must be fitted neatly and securely, which can be challenging without the right tools and expertise. A professional can also advise on issues like wall shape and out-of-square rooms, ensuring a perfect fit.

Remember, your skirting boards are a long-term investment. With the right selection, you can enhance the beauty of your home and enjoy the benefits for years to come.


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