Skirting, the decorative trim that runs along the base of walls adjacent to the floor, serves as a design feature and a practical addition to protect walls from damage. In Malaysia, homeowners and builders alike have a multitude of choices when it comes to skirting for flooring, with factors such as material, size, and installation playing significant roles in determining the overall cost. This article delves into the costs of skirting for flooring in Malaysia, exploring the different factors that can affect the price and providing a detailed overview for consumers and builders alike.
Different Types of Skirting Materials
Traditional wooden skirting is popular due to its versatility and classic appeal. Some common types of wood used for skirting in Malaysia include Meranti, Nyatoh, and Chengal.
- Meranti: One of Malaysia's most common and affordable hardwoods, it offers an attractive finish and decent durability.
- Nyatoh: A moderately priced hardwood, it's known for its reddish-brown colour and ability to resist warping.
- Chengal: A premium hardwood, Chengal is highly sought after for its durability, insect resistance, and natural beauty.
MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)
MDF skirting is an engineered wood product made from wood fibres, resin, and wax. It's more affordable than solid wood and is available in a variety of finishes, which is attractive for budget-conscious homeowners.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
PVC skirting is a synthetic plastic polymer that offers an affordable, water-resistant, and low-maintenance alternative to traditional wood or MDF skirting. It's available in various colours and styles, making it adaptable for different interior designs.
Aluminium skirting is a lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant option perfect for modern, industrial, or minimalist designs. It's available in various finishes, such as anodised, powder-coated, wrapped with PVC decorative foil, or brushed, and is easy to install and maintain.
Skirting comes in sizes typically ranging from 2 to 4 inches in height and can be customised according to the homeowner's preferences. Taller skirting may be more expensive due to the increased amount of material needed. The choice of size may be influenced by factors such as ceiling height, room size, and interior design style.
- Labour: Professional installation is typically recommended for skirting to ensure proper fitting and alignment. Labour costs can vary depending on the complexity of the job, the type of skirting material, and regional differences in labour rates. In Malaysia, labour costs may range from RM2 to RM5 per linear foot.
- Adhesives and Fasteners: Different skirting materials may require specific adhesives or fasteners. For example, wood skirting might need nails or screws, while PVC or aluminium skirting might require specialised clips or adhesive. The cost of these materials will contribute to the overall installation cost.
- Additional Services: Additional services, such as painting or staining the skirting, may incur extra costs. These services can range from RM1 to RM5 per linear foot, depending on the complexity of the job and the type of paint or stain used.
The Cost Breakdown
- Meranti: RM8 to RM15 per linear foot (including material and installation)
- Nyatoh: RM10 to RM20 per linear foot (including material and installation)
- Chengal: RM15 to RM35 per linear foot (including material and installation)
- MDF: RM3 to RM8 per linear foot (including material and installation)
- PVC: RM4 to RM10 per linear foot (including material and installation)
- Aluminium: RM6 to RM12 per linear foot (including material and installation)
Please note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the specific product, supplier, and location. Obtaining quotes from multiple suppliers and installers is essential to ensure you're getting the best deal for your project.
Factors Affecting Skirting Costs
- Material Quality: Higher-quality materials like premium hardwoods or aluminium with special finishes will typically cost more than lower-quality or budget-friendly options like MDF or PVC.
- Customisation: Custom-designed or bespoke skirting, whether it's a unique profile or a custom colour, can increase the cost due to the additional time and materials required to create the custom product.
- Project Size: Larger projects, such as installing skirting in an entire house, will generally have a lower cost per linear foot compared to smaller projects, as bulk material purchases and economies of scale come into play.
- Location: Regional differences in material and labour costs can affect the overall price of skirting. Additionally, accessibility and transportation costs may also contribute to variations in pricing.
Tips for Choosing the Right Skirting
- Consider the Room's Purpose: When selecting skirting, consider the function of the room. For example, choose water-resistant materials like PVC or aluminium in rooms with high moisture levels, such as bathrooms and kitchens. In living areas and bedrooms, wood or MDF skirting may be more appropriate for aesthetic and comfort reasons.
- Match Your Interior Design Style: Choose skirting that complements your interior design. For traditional or classic interiors, wooden skirting might be best. Aluminium or PVC skirting can provide a sleek and contemporary look for modern or minimalist styles.
- Assess Durability and Maintenance Requirements: Different skirting materials have varying durability and maintenance needs. For instance, wooden skirting may require more maintenance in terms of painting or staining. In contrast, aluminium and PVC skirting are low-maintenance. Consider your willingness to perform maintenance tasks when selecting your skirting material.
- Opt for Sustainable Materials: Environmentally-conscious homeowners may want to choose sustainable materials for their skirting. Some options include reclaimed wood or skirting made from sustainably-sourced timber. This not only helps reduce the environmental impact of your project but can also add a unique touch to your home.
- Seek Professional Advice: Consult an interior designer, architect, or experienced contractor to help determine the best skirting choice for your specific needs and preferences. They can provide valuable insights and guidance to ensure your skirting project is a success.
By considering factors like room function, interior design style, installation and maintenance requirements, and taking the time to research and compare different materials, homeowners and builders can find the ideal skirting solution that meets their budget and design needs. When planning a skirting project, obtain quotes from multiple suppliers and installers to ensure you get the best value for your investment.