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How to choose the right skirting board and architrave

A complete guide on choosing the right skirting board.

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1st June 2023

Choosing the right skirting board and architraves can be difficult especially if you have many options to choose from. We have put together some points to consider when making your decision so you can be confident you are creating a beautiful interior!


When selecting your skirting board and architraves first you have to determine what is the interior style of the house, or what style you are looking to create. This will determine the profiles of the board you choose.

Hamptons ~ Bigger is Better

Traditional Hamptons use high, thick skirting boards with big rounded profile features. This not only creates a stand out look, but helps the skirting hold its own again elaborate wall wainscoting.

A more coastal or modern take on Hamptons skirting is to still have a tall skirting with a more simple design.

French ~ More is More

The French Provincial style is admired for its symmetrical design, classic proportions and decorative elements. Skirting boards are a key feature in French style homes and are ornate and decoratively detailed.

Victorian/Georgian ~ More of EVERYTHING

Victorian/Georgian interiors mantra is ‘more of everything.’. Highly detailed dado rail, wall panelling & highly decorated skirting board profiles which are balanced & elegant will help you achieve this beautiful look.

Modern/Contemporary/Art Deco ~ Keep it Simple

Interior mouldings in modern homes most popularly choose a minimal Shadowline skirting, or a smaller profile with sharp, hard lines. We have seen an emergence of the use of high but thin skirting boards with simple designs with large flat space. Don’t be scared to experiment with size, so long as you keep it simple, you can’t get it wrong.

Farmhouse/Country ~ Close to nature/vintage

farmhouse/Country style houses are generally cosy and relaxed. This look can be achieved using large skirtings to give a touch of warmth and cosiness to the space.


There are some basic rules when choosing your boards, although they are not hard and fast, they give you a good guide on what works best. Choosing a skirting board based on your ceiling height is a good place to start.

Ceiling Height    Complimentary Skirtings Sizes

To 2.4m                   90-135mm

To 2.7 m                  115-185mm

To 3.0m                   135-230mm

To 3.6m                   185mm+

Think about what are you looking to achieve. Do you want drama, a cosy space or to open your room out. How prominent do you want your skirting and will you have them as a stand out piece of architectural art, or do you want them to just enhance the look of your room?


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


PRACTICALITY – Use of the space

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 wallpaper 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.


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 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 have already selected your skirting and are looking for the architrave to go with it, we usually suggest using the same profile design in a smaller size to provide a consistent style treatment, scale, and balance. However, in some cases, if the skirting has a large area of detailing it may not be available in the smaller size for your desired architrave size. In such cases, we suggest you go for a similar profile with complimenting design elements, which would be a different profile code.

So, if you ask if the skirtings and architraves have to match then yes they should match but matching is more relevant to proportional sizes and not design. And if using the exact same profile is not possible you can choose a different profile with similar details.

Deciding the size of the architrave

There is a two-pronged approach for choosing your architrave size, and these are by the height of your doors and the height of your skirting boards.

When looking at door heights we recommend:

Door Heights      Architrave Widths

2.04m                       66-90mm

2.34m                       90-115mm

2.70m                       115mm+

Skirting and Architrave Recommended Combinations

When considering what works well with your skirting board size, we recommend:

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

The most common size combinations sold are:

135mm skirting with 90mm architrave

185mm skirting with 90mm architrave



Recommended skirtings and architraves profile combinations

If you choose to go with a different profile for architrave, there are a few things to remember:

  • You will need to make sure that the skirting board and architrave you choose are both the same thickness.
  • Make sure you still stick with complimentary height combinations as above, both for the mouldings and your room size.
  • If the two profiles you have chosen are very different in look and design, you may need to use a skirting block so the area where the two meet is not messy or too busy.
  • Try to stick with profiles with similar features ie both with bold curves, or both with steps and sharp lines. Don’t try and mix profiles that are worlds apart in look.

Here are some of our recommended profile combinations if you’re looking to experiment.


A skirting block is an excellent choice if you are using different profiles, thickness or heights for your skirting and architraves, as it seamlessly allows the two profiles to not look out of place or odd, allowing them to not be placed right next to each other.

Skirting Block Size Guide

Skirting Height Architrave Width Skirting Block Size (hxw)
90mm 66mm 100x70mm
115mm 66mm 125x70mm
115mm 90mm 125x95mm
135mm 66mm 150x70mm
135mm 90mm 150x95mm
135mm 115mm 150x120mm
185mm 90mm 200x95mm
185mm 115mm 200x120mm
185mm 135mm 200x140mm
230mm 90mm 250x95mm
230mm 115mm 250x120mm
230mm 135mm 250x140mm

You can find more information on matching skirting boards & architraves here.

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