2nd January 2019

Choosing the right size mouldings for your project

Designing and choosing styles and looks for your home or project is always the fun and exciting part of building or renovating, but when it comes to placing your order and knowing what size and thickness mouldings you should use, the decision does not seem so simple… although it really is!


The first proportion you should look it as the height of your ceiling, and then decide what you are wanting to achieve with the space.

It is a myth that you should only use large skirting in large rooms with high ceilings, and smaller skirting in small rooms. It is true that large skirting will fill a room and make it feel smaller, but if you are wanting to create a cosy space, then this is something you can experiment with. Using smaller mouldings on a high ceiling will create the illusion of height, and make the room feel taller.


Is your home high traffic? Do you have kids and animals running and playing inside? If so, you may wish to consider a high skirting board to provide a better level of protection to your walls, especially if you’re using wall paper or a bold colour where chips and marks will be more visible.

We consider a larger skirting to be 185mm and larger. 185mm suits most houses and spaces. A more busy profile will suit a room with more space available and if you’re using that size in a smaller space you don’t want to close in too much, we would recommend a profile design that itself has more breathing space, and may have some elaborate detailing on the top portion, and have 50% or more flat space on the profile.


In period and heritage homes it is recommended you use a higher skirting. This keeps with the period style and is typical for that type of design. In Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian homes, skirting boards were all traditionally over 200mm which demonstrated the wealth of the owners and gave a more extravagant look.

If your home is modern and you are looking for clean lines and ‘less is more’, keep your skirting boards 135mm and under. Don’t feel like you have to choose simple or angled lines to create a modern interior either, there are many beautiful mouldings which have more detail and some softer, rounded detail that will fit perfectly in a modern home.


Many people choose the same profile for the skirting and architraves, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. You can achieve a beautiful look using a different profile on your skirting and architraves, as you can see below. So, don’t be stuck on choosing just one profile! Intrim can help recommend profile combinations depending on the look you want to achieve.


Another decision you will need to take into account is whether or not you will be painting your skirting boards and architraves white, neutral, staining natural timber or choosing a bold colour.

Most people choose to paint them in whites and neutrals, which will create a more spacious feel, but if you want something on trend and a little different, you can try for some bold colours. This can close the space but adding colour in different areas of the room can help with creating that illusion of different space. For instance, you could paint your skirting boards and the bottom half of your wall up to and including a chair rail, mounted below the halfway point on the wall to create the illusion of a higher ceiling. You may also want to try painting all of your skirting boards, architraves and walls in one colour to help the eye pass over the whole room and not be distracted by changes in colour. This can be excellent if you have something else you would like to draw the eye to and feature in the room, like artwork or mounted sculptures.


If you’re happy with the mouldings in your home and you’re just looking to extend or renovate, Intrim can match your existing profile and provide you with new mouldings exactly like your old ones!


The final step once you’ve decided on skirting is choosing your architrave size. The following is a good guide for the best architrave size for the skirting board height you have chosen to create the balance and harmony you’re looking to achieve.

Skirtings Architrave
90-135mm 66-90mm
115-185mm 90-115mm
185-230mm 90-115mm
230mm+ 115mm+