Timber Skirting Species

Adding skirting boards to your home can completely transform your space. Skirting boards can protect your walls from furniture and any other accidental knocks and kicks that may occur, whilst also adding a classy touch to any room. They can also be used to even out where the wall meets the floor. 

There are many options when it comes to styles and materials, and this may seem overwhelming. Here at Timber 2 U Direct we are going to walk you through the different types of wood that are available to you. We will analyse each option and help you to determine which one would be most suitable for your skirting board project.

The history of skirting boards

Dating all the way back to the 19th century, skirting boards were just another way for rich Victorians to decorate their houses. They also offered a way to seal poorly designed walls by covering up the plaster and keeping the heat inside. The richer you were, the bigger your skirting board; some even reached heights of 30cm. This was due to the high ceilings of lavish homes.

Over time, skirting boards no longer only served the function of keeping a house warm, but now also added style and flare to the rooms of those that there were working class citizens. There are so many options available when it comes to choosing a material, the thickness and the heights of your skirting boards. There is also no one way to install a skirting board into your home,  it’s totally up to personal preference.


Many people choose to use hardwood for their skirting boards. Due to its toughness, it has excellent durability. This means if it is knocked or caught by furniture and other things it isn’t going to be easily damaged. Woods such as these offer elegance whilst also boasting resistances to water and scratches. The grain of this wood is very aesthetically pleasing too making it a great addition to the home.

Hardwood is likely to be slightly higher in cost than other woods, however due to its nature, it will last much longer than other materials. This means it will last for longer and won’t need to be replaced often as other available option. One thing to bear in mind, is that it can be harder to fit so ensure you know what you’re doing or use a professional to help you. 

There are a few different types of Hardwood you can choose from for your skirting board. Oak is a type of Hardwood that offers a light colour and an attractive prominent grain that if varnished, can bring out its natural features. Tulipwood is another brilliant hardwood. It is usually used for skirting boards in kitchens and interior joinery.


If you are looking for a wood that has versatility, softwood might be the way to go. It is very easy to sand down and can be adapted to a range of styles and heights. You can always reuse it for other projects too if it’s not quite right for your skirting board project. This makes it a highly sustainable wood. It is also more reasonable than hardwood which makes it perfect for people that may be working with a lower budget.

The only issue with softwood is that due to its more mailable nature, it’s likely that it won’t last as long as other options. This wood is prone to warping and can distort and spilt due to temperature change. You may find yourself having to replace your skirting boards more often.

Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)

If you are looking for a combination of the two, Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) is for you. This wood is made from excess hardwood and softwood fibres leftover from other construction projects. MDF carries properties from both types of wood and means it is both dense and elastic. The fibres are held together using waxes and resins under high temperatures. Once cool, it makes a strong and durable material. 

It is relatively easy to install and is resistant to the warping and swelling that you often see in softwood. MDF skirting board is low-maintenance and more affordable than softwood and hardwood. If you are completely new to skirting boards and are not sure where to start, MDF is the best option for you.

Which wood is best for skirting boards?

The answer to this question all depends on what kind of skirting board project you are looking to complete. If this is your first venture into DIY skirting boards, perhaps MDF is the best option for you. It is easy to install, carries both properties of hardwood and softwood, and can be more affordable for those on a lower budget.

If you are more experienced in your DIY with a larger budget, you may want to choose hardwood as your option. This will give you a strong and durable skirting board that can withstand anything you throw at it. It also requires minimal replacement, so will stand the test of time. 

Softwood is versatile. If you have a project that requires many odd lengths and corners, using softwood is the best option for you. It is easy to sand down and if you make a mistake, it can be easier to correct than with other wood options.

Timber 2 U Direct concludes

Are you ready to start your skirting board project today? Good news, Timber 2 U Direct can help with that. Whatever wood you choose for your skirting board, you should get it from a trusted supplier like ourselves, to ensure the best quality. We are the online trading arm of leading timber supplier and trader Brooks Bros LTD. Our extensive range of timbers are made to measure so you can ensure everything is correctly sized before you make a start. Not only this but we also deliver directly to your door. If you need any help, get in touch with our friendly team today!