MDF, Softwood or Solid Wood - Which is better for Skirting & Architrave?
If you’re looking for new skirting boards or architrave for your home then you may find yourself wondering which material you should use. Both skirting and architrave can be made using a variety of materials such as MDF, softwoods and solid woods. They all have very different pros and cons and suit different styles and budgets.
In this blog, we’ll be examining the pros and cons of each material to help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the right skirting material for you.
Benefits of MDF
MDF is an effective solution that benefits from low pricing and easy installation. If you’re renovating a new or existing home and have a tight budget, MDF could be the way to go. It provides an affordable option that is flexible in its application while still achieving great-looking results.
Another key benefit of MDF is its level of durability. MDF is made up of wood fibre and resin. This composition makes the material incredibly strong and durable and although MDF comes in different grades, at Skirting 4 U we only use industrial strength, moisture resistant MDF meaning our products are built to last.
This industrial composition allows MDF skirting and architrave to move as one unit, even when a change in temperature or humidity occurs. Most commonly found in bathrooms, these environmental changes can warp other types of skirting. Remember though, it is important to paint or prime MDF as this provides a protective barrier.
Alternatives like hard and softwoods offer a more premium option, but MDF continues to be the most popular material for skirting and architrave on the market. In addition to being more affordable, you can still achieve a high-quality finish to be proud of when opting for MDF skirting and architrave for your home.
MDF Skirting Pros
- Easy to work with
- Highly durable
- Still achieves a high-quality finish
- Greater range of sizes available
- Consistent lengths
- No knots or natural defects to contend with
- Will not warp
MDF Skirting Cons
- Lacks the character of real wood, with no visible grain
- Must be primed and painted when installing.
Benefits of Softwood Skirting
As with MDF, there are plenty of benefits associated with choosing softwood for your skirting or architrave. Softwood comes in a wide range of heights and styles and is easier to sand down and re-use than other materials if the original finish needs changing. This means softer woods are a more sustainable option since you don’t need to remove them when starting over.
Of course, there are some downsides to using softwood. They tend to be more susceptible to movement, meaning that, unlike MDF skirting, they can’t withstand changes in room temperature and humidity that well. This means the wood may warp, distort or even split if not treated properly and homeowners may end up spending more when having to replace them.
Softwood Skirting Pros
- Easy to sand down and re-use
- Natural wood look with visible grain
- Wood defects are removed when using engineered pine
Softwood Skirting Cons
- Not as durable as MDF
Benefits of Solid Wood Skirting
The main benefits of choosing solid wood for your skirting or architrave is its wonderful aesthetic and premium durability. The toughness of oak skirting boards means they can withstand damage caused by everyday wear and tear, bumps and scrapes. Hardwoods, like Oak, also look amazing and suit period properties particularly well. The downside is that installing hardwood skirting is an expensive option, thanks to the quality of the materials used.
If you’re planning on installing your new fittings yourself, it’s important that you fully understand the processes involved. If you’re unsure at all, it may be worth contacting a professional to help with installation.
Solid Wood Skirting Pros
- High quality
- Easy to maintain
- Add value to your home
Solid Wood Skirting Cons
- Harder to install
The Right Material For You
When deciding which material to use for your new skirting board or architrave you’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of each and balance them against your budget. Work out which options are realistic and which will work in your space.
At Skirting 4 U, we offer a wide range of both skirting and architrave using different materials. Our extensive range of MDF products comes with a variety of shapes and designs ready for easy installation.
For our softwood offerings, we use finger jointed pine as it creates a beautiful finish to complement your home. Finger jointed pine has been specially engineered to remove knots and other blemishes as well as making it easier to work with. When painted, finger joints are virtually invisible.
Our pine skirting boards are available in pre-cut lengths with various sizes available.
If you decide that solid wood is the option for you, we have a wide range of oak architrave and skirting with design profiles you’re bound to love.
Contact us today for free samples of any of our products.