skirting boards in garden room

How to Choose the Right material for Your Skirting Boards

Skirting boards are an essential element in most homes. They protect the wall space immediately above the floor from bumps and scuffs. Plus, in some cases, they can form part of a set of attractive decorations, helping to complete the room.

Choosing the right material, though, can be an important aesthetic choice. Most people aren’t experts in the most suitable types of wood for this application.

Fortunately, this post is here to help. We show you what you need to consider before making the plunge. There are many factors involved, including the overall style of your rooms, your budget, and the level of damage skirting boards are likely to encounter.

MDF skirting boards


MDF is made from pulverised wood particles mixed with resin. Interestingly, it weighs more than natural wood, giving it a sturdy, robust feel.

You should choose MDF for skirting boards if:

  • You want a budget option that’s cheaper than regular timber
  • You want your skirting boards to have a completely smooth finish
  • You need something strong (perhaps because you have kids or pets)

However, you shouldn’t choose MDF skirting boards if:

  • You want to install them yourself (they can be tricky to fit)
  • You need the skirting board to go around a lot of corners (the edges of MDF are not as strong as the middle)
  • You need something that won’t compress if knocked
  • You need a water-resistant product

For the last point, it is possible to get water-resistant MDF boards, but you will need to specify with your supplier. These feature an exterior coating that prevents water from infiltrating deeper into the product.


Pine is another popular skirting board option because it is cheap and easily accessible. You should choose pine if:

  • You’re on a budget and don’t want to pay for regular timber
  • You want something light and easy to handle
  • You are looking for sustainable wood (many pine suppliers offer sustainable sourcing guarantees)

However, you shouldn’t choose pine if:

  • You don’t like the appearance of natural grain in the wood
  • You need something cheaper, like MDF


Hardwood is s third option, though less common than those described above.

You should choose hardwood if:

  • You want your skirting boards to take centre stage and be a focal point in your rooms
  • You like the natural look of wood
  • You want something that’s hard-wearing and will be around for a long time
  • You need a moisture-resistant option

You should avoid hardwood if:

  • You can’t get the right lengths of timber you need for big rooms
  • You want to renovate your home immediately (timber supplies can be limited)

Get the right skirting boards for you

MDF skirting boards are suitable for most homeowners. That’s because they offer the optimum combination of price, durability and appearance.

At the MDF store, we stock dozens of different skirting boards for practically any interior. We offer traditional and modern skirting board designs, all easily installed. Order yours today.

Learn how to fit your own skirting boards with my other guide.

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