Skirting Boards and Architrave: 3 Things You Need To Know

Skirting Boards and Architrave: 3 Things You Need To Know

Skirting boards and architraves are often the unsung heroes of interior decor. Taken for granted and overlooked. But the purpose they serve is an important one - they protect walls from wear and tear, create a tidy join between floor and wall and help bring a room together.

Here are the 3 things you absolutely need to know about skirting boards and architrave before you start on your project…

1. Skirting Board & Architrave Material

Let’s start with the essential question. What material should you choose for your skirting boards and door architraves? Each option comes with its own pros and cons, so choosing the right material, or more importantly, the wrong material, can drastically affect the final outcome.


Pros: MDF is a cost-effective option if you’re budget-conscious, and its smooth surface makes it ideal for painting. Because of its manufacturing process, MDF is usually of a consistent quality.

Cons: MDF is not moisture-resistant, so it is not the best choice for applications like bathroom door architraves. It's important to note that it can be more susceptible to damage, so be mindful when installing.

The bottom line for MDF is that it’s best for skirting boards and architrave on budget-conscious projects. It’s particularly well suited to interior walls in dry areas.


Pros: Softwoods can bring a natural warmth to the room, they’re easy to work with, and not to mention they’re an affordable alternative to hardwood.

Cons: This wood type can dent and scratch, and requires a little more maintenance than hardwoods.

Softwood is best for traditional styles, and for projects where you plan on staining or varnishing the wood.


Pros: Hardwood is a popular pick if you want a durable, long-lasting material. It offers a luxurious appearance, making it ideal for areas that get a lot of attention.

Cons: Those benefits come with a higher cost, and its sturdy nature requires skilled installation, so it may not be the right fit for a DIY-er or tighter budgets.

Hardwood is best for high-end projects, and areas with high traffic that require a durable material that can withstand the test of time.

2. Skirting Board and Architrave Profiles

Skirting boards and architrave can come in various styles, called profiles. These are the most common:

  • Torus
  • Ogee
  • Chamfered
  • Bullnose

  • The profile you choose for your project impacts the overall aesthetic of a room. For example, many new-build homeowners are looking to add classic accents to their homes to make them feel more traditional - Ogee skirting and architraves can bring a subtle element.

    For others, it’s preferential to use a style that matches the architectural style of a property.

    Overall, it’s a good idea to match your profiles to your skirting boards and architrave for a cohesive finish.

    Fortunately, EO Burton has an in-house machining department that can create or match any pattern you want, so you get the perfect finish without trial and error. To make sure you get the ideal match, we can provide samples if you want to get a visual of different profiles.


    3. Installation Know-How

    Even seasoned pros can come across tricky skirting boards or difficult architrave installation projects. Things like uneven walls, challenging angles or particular customer requests can make the process harder. 

    Here are our top tips for overcoming the hurdles for a smooth installation and professional finish.

    Uneven Walls

    The Problem: Walls are rarely perfectly straight, leading to gaps or misaligned trim.

    The Solution: Use a coping saw to scribe the profile of the skirting board to match the wall's contours, creating a seamless fit. Knowing the correct skirting board sizes or architrave sizes, to begin with, can cut out the fuss, so ensure the skirting or architrave you choose is wide enough to accommodate these possible adjustments.

    Complex Corners

    The Problem: Corners aren't always perfect 90-degree angles, making mitre cuts tricky.

    The Solution: Consider using flexible caulk or filler to disguise minor imperfections in corners. For more significant discrepancies, use a scribe to ensure a tight fit for your skirting boards or architrave. For especially difficult corners, combine the two!

    Warped Wood

    The Problem: Your timber has defects like being cupped, warped or twisted.

    The Solution: This is a common issue for DIY projects and trade jobs alike. The answer is to always use a reputable merchant with reliable supplies. However, for those times when timber quality falls short, your merchant should be able to replace the defective wood.

    Skirting Board and Architrave FAQs

    Your skirting board and architrave questions answered…

    What’s the best skirting board size?

    If you’re struggling to pick out the correct skirting board sizes, a good rule of thumb is to choose a skirting board that's roughly 1/20th the height of the ceiling.

    What’s the best architrave size?

    When it comes to architrave sizes, 2440mm length (just over 2.4 metres) is a good option.

    This is the most commonly purchased size of architraves, especially for door architraves. It allows for wastage and easily covers standard-height doors.

    I can’t find a match for the skirting I already have, do I have to replace it all?

    No, EO Burton can machine a match. We offer bespoke milling, so you can get the perfect match to your original skirting board without fuss. Simply get in touch.

    Do I need to prime MDF skirting boards and architraves?

    Yes, priming MDF is essential to prevent it from absorbing too much paint and ensure a smooth, even finish. We offer a range of primed MDF mouldings in skirting, architraves, and window boards and can also supply bespoke made-to-measure patterns.

    Your Skirting Boards & Architrave Essentials Covered…

    Skirting boards and architrave options can be tricky to wrap your head around, but they’re important details in your project, and it pays to take your time with them. Consider your material selection, profile choice, and ensure a seamless fit with expert installation. 

    For the ideal match to your existing skirting boards, we can provide bespoke milling. EO Burton's commitment to providing high-quality and sustainable timber means your project is in safe hands, so get in touch to receive your free samples.

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