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Skirting Boards & Architraves

Dedicated to making your interior spectacular with a superior range of timber skirting & architraves of impeccable quality & distinctive craftsmanship.

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How to choose your skirting & architraves

What is the purpose of a skirting board?

Traditionally the skirting board was developed to hide the junction between floor and plastered wall. Plaster often developed cracks and rough edges and the skirting board was a neat way to cover this up. As well, it covers the rough ends of carpet.

Over time the skirting board came to achieve additional benefits such as preventing drafts, hiding electrical equipment and providing a barrier to protect walls from the daily activity of kids, pets, vacuum cleaners and general traffic.

However, beyond mere functionality a skirting board now provides an aesthetic completeness

The different factors to consider when choosing your skirting boards

While it is true that other elements of home design are larger in terms of impact, getting the design of your skirting boards right makes a big difference. They frequently act as a conduit in blending colour and style themes between rooms. They ensure your objective of consistency and a décor that is pleasing to the eye.

The factors to consider therefore are 1) style, 2) colour, 3) material and 4) finish. All these details need to be combined as they add up to the perfect decorative completion of your build or renovation.

What style of skirting is right for you?

Contemporary or period?

In modern homes often a plain, minimalist skirting board without intricate detail will work.

But it is possible that a period style will too, especially when great care is taken with its colour and by teaming it with the right furniture and furnishings.

It is important to note though that this will not apply in the reverse scenario, i.e. a contemporary skirting in a period home, because they mostly have other features such as door or wall trims and dado rails that must be matched.

It is all about getting the balance right!  

Take for example Georgian and Victorian style homes. These mostly have tall and airy rooms – some up to 3 metres – which will accommodate high and more ornate skirtings.

Then Edwardian homes, which are not quite so spacious. Or the contemporary home with a 2.4 metre ceiling height. Skirtings for these must be kept in proportion, not only with the height of the ceilings but the size of the room.

Skirting styles cannot be mixed and matched in different rooms, adjacent corridors and certainly not in the same room! Some traditional or period style skirtings have such distinctive ridges and mouldings that this would not be possible anyway.

Choose the right size skirting

First, decide what you are wanting to achieve in your home build, addition or renovation. These are some factors to keep in mind…….

1) Space. A commonly held belief is that large skirting boards can only be used in big rooms with high ceilings. But if you are wanting to create a cosy space, a higher-than-normal skirting is something you can experiment with. Similarly, to create an impression of extra spaciousness you can keep the skirtings smaller in a large area. Ask our team to show you some sample decors.

2) Height. A good starting point is the following chart:

Ceiling Height Complimentary Skirting Sizes
To 2.4m 90-135mm
To 2.7m 115-185mm
To 3.0m 135-230mm
To 3.6m 185mm+

The above are suggestions only. Any skirting 185mm high or more we consider to be large skirtings. 185mm suits most new homes. A more “busy” profile generally looks better in a room with more space available. In a smaller room – if you are using a high-profile style – we would recommend a design with more “breathing space”, i.e. with 50% of flat space in its profile.

Think about what you want to achieve. Do you want a dramatic effect, a cosy space or just to open your room out?

Do you want the skirtings to stand out as a piece of architectural art, or do you want to just enhance the décor of your room?

Does skirting have to match the architraves?

Once you have chosen the skirting board the next decision to make is about the architraves.

While most people will choose the same profile – in a smaller height – it is possible to mix and match profiles to achieve a look that is both interesting and beautiful.

Following are some recommendations which will help in getting the mix right:

1) Architrave widths for different door heights recommendations:

Door Height Architrave Width
2.04m 66-90mm
2.34m 90-135mm
2.70m 115mm+

2) Skirting and architrave combination recommendations:

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

The most commonly used combinations are:

  • 135mm skirting with 90mm architrave
  • 185mm skirting with 90mm architrave

 

Using a Skirting Block

A skirting block is a great choice when using different profiles, thicknesses or heights for skirting and architraves. It means that the two profiles can be placed side by side without looking out of place.

The following is a 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

 

Colour Considerations

The colour scheme you choose is a big factor in achieving the desired result – a pleasing overall look – with either coloured or neutral toned skirting boards. Here are some ideas:

  •  Coloured skirtings with white or off-white walls. This helps to “frame” a room and offers scope for toning wall decorations,
  •  White or cream skirtings with coloured walls. This places the emphasis on the skirtings, so it is important to install a good style and finish as any imperfections will be noticeable. Care needs to be taken with this as it is easy to get wrong.
  •  Walls and skirtings in the same colour but with the subtle variation of having the skirtings a shade lighter or darker. Or skirtings and walls the same colour. Either of these give a seamless appearance and both are a popular statement in contemporary homes. Both approaches give the impression of greater space.

Materials need to suit the nature of your home

It is a mistake to ignore the importance of the material you choose for your skirting boards. It is a big factor in how they look, how easy they are to fit and how long they will last.

Finger-joined pine is our preferred timber for both skirting and architraves. If you are looking for a natural, lasting product you cannot beat it. It is available in 5.4metre lengths and is straight and stable. Available in FSC certified timber it is also good for the environment.

However, MDF is widely used for skirting in modern homes. Its limitation is that it cannot be machined or formed in the same way as natural wood and therefore cannot be used for period styles. For a contemporary look in a contemporary home it is both suitable and affordable. Factors to consider are that it does not offer the longer life span of natural wood, being susceptible to warping, chips and cracks, and may need to be replaced sooner than you would like.

If you are spending the money on your building project it is often worth spending that little bit extra to get the qualities that natural wood offers.

Learn more about the differences between FJ pine and MDF here:

 

Think about how you want to finish the skirting board

Primed or Un-primed?

Put simply, primed mouldings are those that have been coated with a primer before leaving our factory. After they have been installed, they then only need painting with your final colour.

This is fast becoming the preferred option as it saves time and money for the end user.

Extra lead time must be allowed for if you choose this option. Normally it will add only a few days to your expected delivery date.

 

Combining practicality, budgets and aesthetics

When choosing your skirting boards & architraves you need to analyse how much traffic the skirting is going to have to cope with and how soon you may need to replace them. Plus in an addition or renovation, how are they going to look adjacent to existing rooms?

Also consider the aesthetics of the finished room, so consider other features such as chair rails, picture rails, wainscoting and other wall panelling designs.

Keeping to a budget? A cost-saving option is to reduce the skirting thickness without altering its height. This can often give you the profile you want but at a cheaper price. We estimate that while skirtings and architraves are less than 1.2% of the overall project costs, the impact they make and the value they add is far greater.

Aim for consistency. Practicality, longevity and aesthetics combined throughout your project will give you years of satisfaction. Skirtings must flow whether in corridors or adjoining rooms. They make far more impact than you may have thought!

I like what I’ve got already

Intrim can match and provide new mouldings exactly like your existing skirting profile. This is particularly valuable when renovating or adding to a period home. And it is not as expensive as you may imagine. Factors to consider are a) the custom set-up fee and b) what is the minimum amount that you must order. It can be alot cheaper than replacing the entire house with new mouldings when you only need them for an extension.

Like what you’ve already got? We can match it

Send an enquiry

If you’re happy with the skirting shape in your home, and you want to retain the original character of the period Intrim can match your existing profile and provide you with new mouldings exactly like your old ones! Of course minimum orders apply and there is a custom setup fee, however you may be surprised the cost is very reasonable to get the look you are after. It can be alot cheaper than replacing the entire house with new mouldings when you only need them for an extension.

Helpful resources

 
Blog

How to choose the right skirting boards

With so many choices and profiles, the decision on which skirting boards...

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Blog

Choosing the right size moulding for your project

Designing and choosing styles and looks for your home or project is always...

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Blog

Do your skirting boards and architraves have to match?

For a simple answer, it’s true that architraves and skirtings ‘should’...

Read blog

Frequently asked questions

How do I install skirting boards and architraves?

How do I remove old skirting boards?

How do I know how much skirting or architrave that I will need?

To accurately work this out, you will need to measure the rooms, doorways and window frames. To learn how to do this see the guide here.

We also offer a free take-off service for our account customers, where we work out the requirements for you. Simply submit your project details, plans & window schedule. Learn more here.

What do I do if I need a curved architrave or skirting board?

We have state-of-the-art machinery to produce spectacular curved architraves,  arches, and custom made curved timber mouldings to specification. Skirting boards and wainscoting mouldings can be produced to bend around curved walls using a flexible polyurethane material that matches the profile designs used for your flat surfaces. When painted you can’t see the difference to provide you with seamless finish throughout the project.

How much should I budget for skirting & architraves for my build?

There are many factors that will affect the total price of your project. Understanding the differences of the material costs & labour costs, and the combination of these factors along with the scale of the project, number of rooms, size of the rooms, and complexity will determine how much you will need to budget.

Material costs – The type of material used (FJ Pine, MDF or other hardwoods), the size of the timber moulding profiles height & thickness, the finish (raw or primed), and quantity per profile will determine the price. When selecting a design the price will not vary if all these factors remain unchanged.

Labour costs – Installation work is generally carried out by a professional tradesperson / carpenter. They will generally work on an hourly basis, and the rates may vary based on your location. The skirting installation cost of labour ranges between $68 to $107 per hour depending on the city or State of the project. Decorative skirting boards need to be scribed in each corner to provide a neat finish. This is done by hand by a skilled carpenter and can add significant time to the project. The end result is spectacular and well worth the investment, however up to 45% installation time can now be achieved with FAST TRIM®. This Intrim exclusive prescribed skirting and pre-mitred architrave system provides a high precision machine finish that saves time & money making decorative skirting and architraves now even more affordable. Learn more here
When considering your total project budget significant painting cost saving can be achieved by order pre-primed mouldings. This priming is applied to your order by a precision machine during production providing a superior and more cost effective finish.  Learn more here

How long is each length of skirting & architrave?

FJ Pine & MDF Skirting & Architrave is sold in lengths of 5.4M

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