There's no skirting around this...
Skirting boards are a must-have item on any home decorating checklist, but why are they such an essential part of a room?
From a practical standpoint they act as a layer of protection for your walls, which without a skirting board would be vulnerable to knocks and scrapes from vacuums, furniture or kids’ antics. However careful you are, you know the bumps are going to happen!
Fun fact - the Italian word for skirting boards is ‘battiscopa’, which roughly translates as ‘hit with a broom’.
Over time skirting boards have also taken on several aesthetic benefits.
Skirting covers the unavoidable gaps between the wall and the floor, giving your room a neater, more polished look. They can also be used to hide wiring - a perfect trick for rooms like living rooms or bedrooms where you might have lots of gadgets.
But there’s more! The days of skirting boards being purely functional are gone; they can now be treated as a statement feature, with people using patterned boards or contrasting colours.
What Materials Are Used For Skirting?
MDF is the most common material used for skirting; it doesn’t easily warp or swell, and it’s reasonably priced. This is the ideal choice for decorators on a budget, or if you want something low maintenance that’s going to stick around for a while.
Softwood skirting is less resilient than MDF but more versatile - it can be varnished, painted, and sanded down to be redecorated - which can make it more cost-effective over time. Think of all the low budget upcycling!
Hardwood, as the name suggests, is the most hardwearing material but also the most expensive as it is generally made to order. It is, however, the top choice if you’re going for that extra special high-end look!
But there is another option...
Introducing Tile Skirting...
Tile skirting is becoming a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms, where wooden skirting boards are more likely to get damp or damaged. As tiles are durable and easily wiped clean, they’re a low-maintenance option for rooms where damage or dirt is likely.
Ceramic or stone tiles can be used, and you can either match the skirting to the floor or walls, or create contrast with decorative border tiles. There are so many options, you can really put your personality into the room!
If you want to join the trend setters, try mixing tile skirting boards with laminate flooring for a fresh look. For best results choose a modern ceramic tile that imitates stone, and aim for colours that match the hue of your wood floor to really bring out the main tones of the room.
How to Use Tile Skirting
When it comes to styling tile skirting, the options are endless. Here are a few of the best ways to use tile skirting…
If you have painted walls and a tile floor, you can use additional floor tiles to create a neat skirting board that blends the two surfaces with a clean finish. This is a classic look that works well for modern kitchens with a tile floor and block colour painted walls.
If your walls are also tiled, you can pick a contrasting coloured tile to create a bold skirting between the wall and floor. This is an effective look if you have similar coloured tiles on the walls and floor, and can introduce a feature colour to match with other room accessories. It’s also perfect if you love Victorian or Period-style decor!
For a really striking look, you can consider buying special border tiles to separate the floor and walls. There are a couple of approaches you could take - stay classic with a block colour that cleanly divides the two tiles, or if you’re feeling more adventurous you can opt for a patterned tile to either complement or clash. This approach works particularly well if you’ve already opted for a light and dark contrast between your floors and walls.