Our Top 5 Traditional Skirting Board Profiles: Timeless Choices for Your Home


Skirting boards play a pivotal role in the world of interior design. They are not just a functional feature that protects walls from scuffs and knocks, but they also provide an aesthetic touch that can complement both traditional and modern homes. Through careful selection, they can enhance the character of a room, drawing together design elements into a cohesive whole.


A room with 5 different skirting board profiles displayed on the wall, each labeled with its classic design name


Our choices in design reflect our attention to detail. Whether we opt for elaborate profiles that nod to the architectural traditions of the past, or sleek, minimalist designs that align with contemporary trends, skirting boards offer a unique opportunity to express our design ethos. The top traditional profiles have stood the test of time, continuing to be favoured for their versatility and enduring appeal.

In considering the most celebrated skirting board profiles, we don’t simply look at their popularity; we appreciate the subtle craftsmanship and the way each profile can influence the overall feel of an interior space. These classic profiles marry functionality with beauty, proving that even the smallest features can have a significant impact on the design of our homes.


Evolution of Skirting Board Profiles


A series of skirting boards, each displaying a different classic profile, arranged in a row for comparison


As aficionados of interior design, we have observed the transformation of skirting board profiles through various historical periods. Starting with the Victorian era, skirting boards were not only functional, aiming to protect walls from damage, but they also emerged as a statement of elegance and intricacy. These designs typically exhibited substantial height and depth, featuring sophisticated mouldings and ornamentation.

In Georgian and Edwardian homes, the skirting profiles reflected the architectural trends of their respective times. Georgian skirting boards often embraced simple, elegant lines, while Edwardian profiles displayed somewhat more decorative features, yet less elaborate than their Victorian predecessors.


Period Skirting Board Profile Characteristics
Victorian Victorian Skirting Board Ornate, tall, deeply moulded
Georgian Georgian Skirting Board Elegant, simpler lines
Edwardian Edwardian Skirting Board Decorative, less elaborate than Victorian


We note a reverence for traditional designs across many period properties in the UK. In these settings, skirting boards serve as a subtle nod to historical aesthetics, offering a harmonious blend with contemporary decor. These traditional profiles, while varied in detail, typically include features like:

  • Ogee: With its S-shaped curve, this profile lends a touch of timeless elegance.
  • Bullnose: Characterised by its rounded edge, ideal for both period and modern homes.
  • Torus: Recognised by its semi-circular arch, a common feature in traditional designs.
  • Lambs Tongue: Showcases a concave curve with a decorative edge, fitting for classic aesthetics.
  • Ovolo: Similar to an egg mould, presents a less rounded curve compared to Torus.

Our attention to historical detail and understanding of contemporary demands allows us to appreciate these profiles’ evolution while maintaining our homes’ architectural integrity.


Popular Traditional Skirting Board Profiles


A room with 5 different classic skirting board profiles lining the walls, showcasing their popular designs and variations


We explore five traditional skirting board profiles that have stood the test of time. Each profile has its unique characteristics and applications, enhancing the base of walls with both functionality and style.

Ogee Profile

ogee skirting boards

The Ogee profile is distinguished by its S-shaped curve, providing a traditional and decorative finish. It’s a versatile choice that complements various interior design styles, often used in period homes due to its elegant detailing.


Torus Profile

torus skirting board

The Torus profile features a single, prominent curve that projects a subtle, yet classic appearance. Popular for its timeless quality, the Torus skirting board is known for its smooth, rounded edge that can suit both modern and traditional interiors.


Ovolo Profile

mdf ovolo skirting board

Ovolo Profile skirting boards, sometimes referred to as ‘Egg Moulds’, offer a less pronounced curve than the Ogee and Torus, presenting a soft, convex profile. This type has gained popularity for its understated elegance and ability to blend into a variety of spaces without overpowering them.


Georgian Profile

mdf georgian skirting board

Georgian-style skirting boards are defined by their clean lines and precise detailing, mirroring the refined aesthetics of the Georgian era. These profiles often incorporate decorative mouldings, adding a sense of grandeur to the room.


Lambs Tongue Profile

mdf lambs tongue skirting board

Lastly, the Lambs Tongue skirting board profile showcases a concave shape with a rounded tip resembling a lambs tongue. This design is appreciated for its soft contours and is commonly found in heritage properties for its historical significance and charm.


Material Choices for Traditional Skirting Boards


A table displaying 5 classic skirting board profiles with labeled material choices


When selecting skirting boards for your home, we consider the material to be a crucial aspect of your decision. The most common materials for skirting boards include MDF, oak, and pine.

MDF Skirting Boards:

  • Economical: MDF, or Medium Density Fibreboard, is cost-effective.
  • Easy to Install: It’s lightweight and easy to work with.
  • Customisable: Ready for painting, it allows for a seamless match with your décor.

Hardwood Skirting Boards (such as Oak):

  • Durable: Oak is a hardwood known for its long-lasting properties.
  • Luxury Appearance: Adds a premium feel to interiors.
  • Natural Patterns: Each piece is unique, featuring distinctive grain patterns.

Softwood Skirting Boards (such as Pine):

  • Affordable: Pine is a more budget-friendly option compared to hardwood.
  • Easy to Stain: Can be stained to enhance its natural look.
  • Less Durable: While still robust, pine may not be as hardwearing as oak.

Here’s a quick comparison:


Material Attributes Cost Durability Aesthetic
MDF Customisable, lightweight Low Moderate Neutral
Oak Durable, premium look, unique grain High Very high Luxurious
Pine Easy to stain, natural look Low Moderate Natural

Design Considerations for Selection


A room with various skirting board profiles displayed on a wall, with measurements and design considerations written next to each profile


When we select our ideal skirting boards, we must weigh personal preference against the architectural style of our space. For modern interiors, we tend to prefer skirting with clean lines that complement minimalist design. Such designs maintain the sleekness of a room without drawing undue attention to the skirting itself.

Victorian skirting boards, on the other hand, can add period charm with their intricate mouldings. These often pair well with matching architraves and dado rails to preserve the historical integrity of a room. It’s essential to ensure that these classic profiles integrate seamlessly with the overall design.

Here’s a brief overview of considerations:

  • Modern Skirting Boards: Emphasizes simplicity and often features a plain, unadorned profile.
  • Victorian Skirting Boards: Characterised by more elaborate and ornate designs, suitable for period properties.
  • Personal Preference: Should align with the aesthetic and functional needs of the homeowner.
  • Architrave Compatibility: The design chosen should harmonise with the door’s architrave for a cohesive look.
  • Dado Rails: If present, the skirting should complement any dado rails to achieve an integrated design flow.



Can I mix and match different skirting board profiles in the same room?

While it’s best to stick with one consistent skirting board profile throughout a room for a cohesive look, you can mix and match different profiles between rooms or floors of your home. This allows each space to have its own unique character while still maintaining an overall traditional aesthetic.

How do I properly measure for skirting boards?

To measure for skirting boards, start by calculating the total perimeter of the room. Measure the length of each wall and add the measurements together. It’s always a good idea to add an extra 10% to your total to account for waste and potential mistakes during installation.

What materials are traditional skirting boards typically made from?

Traditional skirting boards are commonly made from solid wood, such as pine, oak, or mahogany. These materials are known for their durability, versatility, and ability to be painted or stained to match your desired décor. MDF (medium-density fibreboard) is also a popular choice for its affordability and stability.

How do I install traditional skirting boards?

Installing skirting boards involves measuring and cutting the boards to size, applying adhesive to the back of the boards, and nailing them into place along the base of the wall. It’s important to use a mitre saw to achieve precise 45-degree angles for a seamless fit in the corners of the room.

Can I paint or stain my traditional skirting boards?

Yes, most traditional skirting boards can be painted or stained to match your personal style and décor preferences. If you plan on painting your skirting boards, it’s best to use a semi-gloss or gloss paint for added durability and ease of cleaning. If you prefer a natural wood look, you can stain your skirting boards to enhance the wood grain and protect the surface.