Skirting, also known as baseboard or floor moulding, is a decorative trim that runs along the bottom edge of a wall where it meets the floor. It serves a dual purpose: to provide a finished and polished look to a space and to protect the lower parts of the wall from damage. Skirting is available in various materials, including wood, MDF, PVC, and aluminium. In this article, we will explore the numerous advantages of using skirting in flooring, such as protecting the walls, concealing expansion gaps, and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of a space.
Protecting the walls
One of the primary benefits of skirting in flooring is its protection of the lower parts of the walls. Walls are prone to damage from furniture, cleaning equipment, and foot traffic, especially in high-traffic areas. Skirting acts as a barrier, shielding the walls from scuffs, dents, and scratches that could mar their appearance and compromise their structural integrity. Moreover, skirting helps keep the wall clean by preventing dust and debris from accumulating at the base.
Concealing expansion gaps
Flooring materials, especially wooden ones, are susceptible to expansion and contraction due to changes in temperature and humidity. To accommodate these fluctuations, installers leave expansion gaps around the edges of the floor. Skirting covers these gaps effectively and creates a seamless transition between the wall and the floor. This not only maintains the structural integrity of the flooring but also provides a polished and finished appearance.
Enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the space
Skirting plays a significant role in enhancing the aesthetic appeal of a room by adding visual interest and architectural detail. Available in various styles, sizes, and materials, skirting allows you to personalise your space and achieve a cohesive design that complements your home's architectural style and interior decor. Whether you prefer a minimalist, modern look or a more traditional, ornate design, there is a skirting option to suit your preferences:
- Skirting as a design element: Besides its practical benefits, skirting can serve as a design element that elevates the overall appearance of a room. By choosing a skirting style that complements the design of your space, you can create a harmonious and well-coordinated look. For instance, modern spaces often feature simple, clean lines and may benefit from sleek, flat skirting. In contrast, traditional or period homes may require more ornate or detailed skirting to match the architectural style.
- Skirting as a contrasting feature: Skirting can also be used as a contrasting feature to create a visual impact and add depth to your interior design. For example, you can choose a skirting colour that contrasts with the colour of your walls, creating a striking and dramatic effect. Alternatively, you can opt for a skirting material that adds texture and contrast to your space, such as wooden skirting in a room with smooth, plastered walls.
Easy maintenance and repair
Skirting is generally easy to maintain and repair, making it a practical and cost-effective addition to your flooring. Most skirting materials can be wiped clean with a damp cloth or dusted using a soft brush, keeping your space tidy and well-kept. If your skirting becomes damaged, it is often easier and more affordable to replace a section of skirting rather than repairing or repainting the wall itself.
Another often overlooked benefit of skirting is its role in pest control. By sealing the gap between the wall and the floor, skirting helps prevent pests such as rodents and insects from entering your living space through gaps and cracks. Additionally, some skirting materials, such as PVC and aluminium, are less attractive to pests, making them less likely to chew or burrow through the skirting to gain access to your home.
Hiding cables and wires
In today's technology-driven world, our homes are filled with many cables and wires for electronics, the internet, and entertainment systems. Skirting can be an effective solution for hiding these unsightly cables, keeping your space looking neat and organised. Some skirting designs feature built-in cable management systems. In contrast, others can be easily modified to accommodate wires and cords, ensuring a clutter-free environment.
Insulation and soundproofing
Skirting can also contribute to the insulation and soundproofing of a room. By sealing the gap between the wall and the floor, skirting helps prevent drafts and heat loss, improving your home's energy efficiency. Moreover, certain materials, such as wood and MDF, have natural sound-absorbing properties that can help reduce noise transmission between rooms or from outside sources.
Enhancing property value
By providing a polished and finished appearance, protecting the walls, and offering numerous practical benefits, skirting can increase your property's value. A well-maintained home with thoughtfully chosen skirting can be more appealing to potential buyers, making it a worthwhile investment in your home's overall presentation.
Easy installation and customisation
Many types of skirting can be easily cut to size, allowing for a perfect fit in any room, regardless of its shape or dimensions. Most skirting can be installed using simple tools and techniques, making it a DIY-friendly project for homeowners who want to save on labour costs. Furthermore, skirting can be easily customised to match your unique taste and preferences. You can paint or stain wooden skirting to coordinate with your existing colour scheme or choose from a wide variety of pre-finished options. Skirting can also be easily updated or replaced as your design preferences evolve, ensuring your space always reflects your personal style.
Versatility in application
Skirting is not limited to residential spaces; it is also a valuable addition to commercial and public spaces, such as offices, retail stores, schools, and healthcare facilities. The same benefits that make skirting advantageous in homes – protection of walls, concealing gaps, and aesthetic enhancement – also apply to these environments. Moreover, skirting can be chosen to match the specific requirements of the space, such as moisture resistance in bathrooms or durability in high-traffic areas.
Adaptability to various flooring types
Whether you have hardwood, laminate, tile, or carpet, skirting can be used effectively to create a seamless transition between the wall and the floor. This adaptability ensures that skirting can be a valuable addition to any flooring project, regardless of the material or style chosen.
In summary, skirting in flooring offers numerous advantages that extend beyond its primary purpose of protecting walls and concealing expansion gaps. By enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your space, providing easy maintenance and repair, contributing to insulation and soundproofing, and offering versatility in application and adaptability to various flooring types, skirting proves to be an essential element in creating a polished and functional living environment. When planning your next flooring project, consider incorporating skirting to reap the myriad of benefits it has to offer.