MDF Vs. Solid Oak Skirting
When it comes to skirting boards there are two main options available when it comes to the materials used to create it – MDF or solid oak. Which one you choose will be largely dependent on the style you want to go for, how hard wearing it needs to be, and your budget.
It is unsurprising that solid oak skirting is more expensive than MDF (medium-density fibreboard) skirting but does that mean it is better? We examine both to help you decide which to use in your next home renovation project.
MDF is the long-standing material used in homes across the UK and USA and there is a very good reason for that. It is cheap to produce and is pretty hard wearing. An added benefit of MDF is that it has a very little environmental impact as the wood shavings used to create it would likely go to waste were they not used to create medium-density fibreboard.
MDF is a very versatile wood, can be manufactured into various lengths, heights, and depths, and is extremely easy to manipulate into one of the many designs or styles we have grown accustomed to.
The biggest drawback of opting for MDF skirting is that it is not very natural-looking and requires good paintwork to make it look sophisticated.
If you need a lot of skirting or architrave for your home or office then MDF is probably going to be the sensible choice – especially in a more modern piece of real estate – as it is going to keep the costs down.
Top Tip: If you order it pre-primed it can really help minimize the time spent on painting too.
Solid Oak Skirting
The main alternative to MDF is solid oak and thanks to modern production methods it is now more widely available than in the past and can be purchased in a range of styles. Solid oak skirting works best in older and more characterful properties thanks to its natural look and feel. You get those knots that you cannot easily reproduce in more synthetic materials and it can really bring a room to life.
The cost of solid oak is of course much higher than MDF but if your budget can stretch to it and it fits the style of your home/office then it will really give the room a touch of luxury.
In the battle between oak and MDF, there is not one definitive winner and it will ultimately depend on the look you need and the budget you have. Solid oak will be a little more hard-wearing so if you have a house full of kids that are likely to kick or scuff the skirting boards then oak could be the answer and could actually be more cost-effective in the long run as it won’t need to be replaced so often. However, for more modern homes there is a case to be made for MDF skirting fitting contemporary styles better.
Ultimately, you are going to have to choose what works best for you.