It’s safe to say there has been an increase in new DIY-ers entering the space as people quickly realise just how cost-effective renovating your own home is! At Skirting King, we’re all about providing the best quality skirting boards at the most affordable price, so it’s no secret we are huge fans of MDF! For several reasons, but the main reason for us is that it offers you premium quality for a fraction of the price of other materials such as hardwood and solid wood. Let’s explore how you can save money on your next renovation by making the switch to MDF.


MDF for Skirting Boards: Affordable and Efficient

When considering home improvements, many homeowners look for cost-effective and durable solutions for their skirting boards. MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) is a popular choice of material for those who wish to save money without compromising on quality. As a highly affordable option, MDF skirting boards offer numerous advantages that can benefit you and your home in the long run.

Renowned and relied on for its durability, a crucial factor when choosing the right material for your home, and composed of thin panels made from wood wax, wood fibre, and resin, MDF is denser and stronger compared to other materials like wood. This makes it highly suitable for almost any area within your home, ensuring that your investment stands the test of time.

By choosing MDF as the material for you skirting boards, you not only save money by opting for an affordable material, but you also invest in a durable and low-maintenance product. This combination of qualities makes MDF an attractive choice for homeowners seeking cost-effective and long-lasting solutions for their skirting boards.


Understanding MDF and Its Advantages


A carpenter measures and cutting wood, showing cost-saving benefits

MDF Skirting Board Cost-Effectiveness and Affordability

One of the primary advantages of using MDF for skirting boards is its cost. As a manufactured material, MDF offers an affordable option when compared to solid wood or pine alternatives. This means you can achieve great-looking results without breaking the bank. Furthermore, MDF is available in various styles and sizes to suit various interior décors, allowing you to choose the perfect look and finish for your home.


Moisture Resistant MDF and Suitability for Bathrooms

MDF is typically available in different grades, including moisture-resistant options. While not entirely waterproof, these moisture-resistant MDF boards are an excellent choice for areas with high humidity levels, such as bathrooms. The use of MDF in these areas can help prevent warping and ensure a longer lifespan for your skirting board. Just remember to seal any edges and joints, especially in damp areas to prevent any moisture absorption and maintain a fresh appearance over time. All of our MDF skirting boards are made using premium-grade moisture-resistant MDF to ensure quality and durability over time.


Design Considerations for MDF Skirting Boards


A hand holds a saw cutting MDF skirting boards.

Choosing the Right Style and Size for Skirting Boards

It’s important to consider the variety of styles available as well, some popular options include the classic Torus design, which features a curved edge and adds elegance to any room. Size is another important factor, with common skirting board sizes ranging from 119mm to around 200mm. However, our MDF skirting boards can be found in sizes from 60mm up to 250mm.

To choose the appropriate size, you should take into account the height of your walls and the overall aesthetic of your room. For example, older houses typically have taller skirting boards (around 230mm) to preserve their historic charm. The depth of MDF skirting boards usually varies from 15mm to 25mm; consider how this will impact the overall appearance of your space.


Skirting Board Customisation and Aesthetic Appeal

One of the key benefits of choosing MDF skirting boards is their customisability. Thanks to their smooth surface, they are easy to paint, allowing you to achieve the desired look and match your skirting boards to any interior design scheme.

MDF skirting boards can be customised further with a variety of finishes, such as:

  • Unprimed: These boards come unassembled, allowing you to apply your primer and paint to achieve your desired colour and finish.
  • Primed: These skirting boards are pre-primed, making it easier for you to apply the final coat of paint for an aesthetically pleasing result.


Common Concerns and Solutions


A person measuring and cutting MDF, then installing them in a room. They are using a hammer and nails to secure the boards to the wall

Dealing with Swelling and Warping

One of the common concerns when choosing MDF for skirting boards is the potential for swelling and warping due to changes in humidity and moisture. It’s important to note that while MDF is a wood-based product and can experience some movement, this is typically far lower than timber. The average MDF skirting board has a moisture content of between 4-8% at the point of production, meaning that any movement or swelling will be minimal.

To mitigate this concern, consider opting for high-quality, moisture-resistant MDF. This type of MDF is specifically designed to be resilient against adverse effects from changes in humidity and moisture. Moreover, applying a proper finish, such as paint or varnish, will provide an additional layer of protection, ensuring your MDF skirting boards remain in excellent condition.


Comparing MDF with Other Materials

When deciding on the right material for your skirting boards, comparing MDF with alternative materials like hardwood, softwood, and solid wood is essential. Each material comes with specific properties and distinct advantages.

  • MDF: MDF offers great strength and durability. It’s made from wood fibres and resin, which makes it less prone to swelling, warping, and splitting when compared to solid wood. MDF boards are also more affordable and easy to customise due to their uniform and smooth surface.
  • Hardwood: Hardwoods, such as oak and walnut, are known for their inherent strength and aesthetic appeal. However, they come at a significantly higher cost than MDF and may require proper care and maintenance to keep their appearance intact.
  • Softwood: Softwoods like pine are a popular choice for skirting boards due to their flexibility, ease of use, and lower cost compared to hardwoods. Nevertheless, they may be more susceptible to swelling and warping when exposed to fluctuating humidity and moisture levels.
  • Solid wood: While solid wood skirting boards offer a classic and timeless look, they are usually more expensive than both MDF and softwoods. Keep in mind that solid wood is more likely to experience movement, warping, and splitting than MDF.


Frequently Asked Questions


A person measuring and cutting skirting boards with a saw, while another person is installing them along the base of a wall

How does the cost compare to traditional timber options?

MDF skirting boards generally offer a more cost-effective solution compared to traditional timber options. While hardwood skirting can add a luxurious touch to your home, it typically comes with a higher price tag. By choosing MDF, you can achieve a similar appearance at a lower cost, making it a popular choice for homeowners looking to save money.


Can MDF skirting be effectively shaped with a router for custom designs?

Yes, MDF can be shaped with a router to create custom designs and profiles. The material is easy to work with, ensuring that you can achieve a tailored look to suit your individual preferences. However, when using a router, it’s essential to follow appropriate safety measures and use proper techniques to achieve a smooth finish.


What are the considerations when comparing with hardwood skirting?

When deciding between MDF and hardwood skirting, consider factors such as cost, durability, and ease of installation. MDF is generally less expensive and easier to work with, making it a popular choice for those looking to save money and effort. However, hardwood skirting offers increased durability and a more luxurious appearance, making it a better option for homeowners seeking a long-lasting and high-quality finish.


Is there a risk of swelling in damp conditions?

Yes, there is a risk of swelling with MDF skirting boards in damp conditions. Moisture-resistant MDF, also known as MR MDF, is designed for interior applications where occasional wetting or humidity might occur, such as kitchens and bathrooms. However, it is still best to ensure adequate ventilation and avoid prolonged exposure to moisture to prevent potential swelling and damage.


How does MDF skirting stand up to wear and tear over time?

MDF skirting boards may be less durable than their hardwood counterparts, making them more susceptible to wear and tear over time. However, if properly installed and maintained, MDF skirting can still provide a long-lasting and attractive solution for your home. Regular cleaning and touch-ups with paint or stain can help extend the lifespan of your MDF skirting boards.