How to choose the right skirting board

So, a plinth is a strip that covers the gap between the wall and the floor. However, any bar today can be made from different materials and have different performance characteristics. A modern skirting board can be made both according to the traditional recipe – from wood, and according to the modern recipe – from plastic.

Wooden plinth

A skirting board made of solid wood and veneer is used to frame parquet and laminate floors, the base of the structure is usually made of solid spruce or pine, which is covered with veneer from precious wood on top. In addition, it is possible to manufacture it entirely from solid wood (oak, ash, cherry, etc.). Some models can be equipped with a cable channel.

The wooden skirting board has both advantages and disadvantages. The indisputable and most obvious advantage of a wooden skirting board is its “noble” origin and environmental friendliness. Also, an important advantage is the durability and strength of wooden products..

As for the shortcomings, the wooden skirting board received the greatest criticism for its high price, which makes it rational to use it only with expensive flooring, for example, block parquet. Wooden skirting boards (keyed and solid) are most often simply glued to a flat, clean and dry wall.

Plastic skirting board

The most serious competitor to wooden skirting boards is their plastic counterpart. The market position of plastic skirting boards is so strong that we will dwell on this product in more detail..

Plastic skirting boards are made of foamed PVC and are used to frame laminate, linoleum and carpet flooring.

Most plastic skirting boards resemble wood skirting boards in shape and size. On the rear side, they are equipped with fastening channels and a niche for the wire. Plastic skirting boards for carpet and household linoleum often have a groove on the front side, where a carpet or linoleum tape is inserted, cut from the main roll, as a result of which the textured and color unity of the skirting board and floor covering is achieved. Plinth skirting boards are also plastic; they are simply glued to the wall with adhesive tape, which is supplied with the back side of such a skirting board..

Today plastic skirting boards are an indispensable finishing detail, their advantages over wooden skirting boards are obvious. They do not need additional processing (sanding, painting), have an absolutely smooth surface, do not require special care, are resistant to the effects of household chemicals, serve for a long time, very aesthetic.

High-quality skirting boards are made of rigid foamed polyvinyl chloride. Due to foaming, it has a low weight, and a special chemical composition makes it resistant to ultraviolet radiation, moisture, oils and solvents. At low temperatures (below -5 ° C) it becomes brittle, therefore it is recommended to use it for interior decoration and repair work. The skirting board is well processed (sawn, cut, etc.), with slight heating (about + 70 ° C) it becomes plastic and takes any desired shape.

The availability of the assortment of the manufacturer of auxiliary accessories (external, internal, end and docking corners, fastening clips) facilitates the installation and joining of the plinth at the corners, avoids filing and precise adjustment of its length, and also gives a finished look to the room.

Among the advantages of plastic products, it is possible to note high moisture resistance, due to which the plinth does not corrode and rot. Also, with temperature and humidity changes in the room, the plastic skirting board retains its shape and size, which makes it possible to use them in rooms with high humidity.

Insufficient strength and durability are usually called disadvantages, compared with wooden counterparts..

Plastic skirting boards are easy to install. The plastic skirting board is installed in a hidden way, using the fixing channels laid from the back. The wall to which it is attached must be flat. As a rule, an invisible part of the structure is attached to the wall – either a carrier bar, or special fastening elements – clips. Then the upper decorative part is inserted into the groove of the hidden fastener.

“Clips” are supplied complete with dowel and screw. With smooth walls, the gap between the clips is 50 cm, but if the wall has local irregularities, the clips are installed more often, so that the plinth does not tear off the wall. Manufacturers recommend using only proprietary fasteners, since similar fasteners for others are made, for example, from sheet steel that does not have sufficient rigidity and elasticity. This leads to the separation of the plinth from the walls after a short service life..

Clip installation is very simple:

  • the clip is placed on the finished, clean floor and moved to the wall;
  • a place on the wall for the hole is marked with a pencil;
  • a hole is drilled with a diameter corresponding to the diameter of the dowel;
  • the dowel is inserted into the hole and the clip is attached to the screw.
  • After all the clips have been installed in this way, the skirting board is installed with a simple push. Thus, the outer surface of the skirting board remains completely smooth, unspoiled by nail or screw heads. Such a skirting board can be used more than once, its surface will always be like new.

    MDF skirting board

    And finally, the third version of the skirting board can be made of MDF. It is used for framing laminate and linoleum floors, it is also possible to use it as the final decoration of walls lined with decorative panels based on MDF..

    Among the advantages of MDF skirting boards: low price, resistance to moisture penetration and the emergence of persistent pollution, exposure to ultraviolet radiation. MDF skirting boards do not attract dust and are considered hygienic. Their cloudless existence is overshadowed only by fragility, or, as the manufacturers veiledly say, insufficient resistance to surface damage.

    The MDF skirting boards are attached to a flat wall with hook-shaped staples, onto which the skirting board is tightly fitted. The end cuts of the skirting board are closed with plastic plugs, and the corner joints are closed with “corners”. Thanks to this fastening, during subsequent repairs, the skirting boards can be removed and then put back in place..

    One of the types of skirting boards can be considered mounting boxes, which often stretch along the perimeter of the room. They are channels for laying various types of wires and cables. Their use is rational in the event that it is necessary to lay a large number of wires for different purposes and different sections (electrical, telephone, television, computer) in the house.

    Junction boxes are made of PVC and aluminum, differ in a large number of standard sizes and sections, which allows you to lay cables for various purposes and cross-sections in separate channels, thereby increasing the safety of electrical wiring. The shape of the boxes is also different. They can be rectangular and angular for installation in wall corners, under the ceiling or under wall cabinets. And finally, it should be noted that the installation of the plinth is carried out after the completion of the laying of the floor covering. You can replace the skirting board at any time without replacing the existing flooring. Depending on the type of flooring used and the general style solution of the room, the material for making the baseboard is chosen. From the point of view of care, any skirting board is not very whimsical. During cleaning, the plinth is wiped with a damp cloth. Stubborn dirt is removed using detergents that do not contain abrasives and solvents. When caring for wooden skirting boards, avoid excessive moisture, as well as the ingress of abrasive substances and solvents. Dust is wiped with a dry or slightly damp cloth or removed with a vacuum cleaner.

    Text: Vitaly Lvova

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