Although modern baseboards can be made out of different types of materials ranging from the organic to synthetic, traditional baseboards were originally made out of wood. And while there are different types of wood that can be made into baseboard or skirting board, each of these have their own setbacks and plus factors that can affect the process of selecting the kind of wood to use.
Hardwoods are so named because these are woods that are stronger, and have the advantage of being more long-lasting and durable; which leaves them less likely to be damaged than softwoods. Older homes tend to have skirting boards made out of this kind of wood, most commonly from poplar trees, to help keep out rodents such as rats and mice and preventing them from chewing through the base of the wall to enter the room. Another advantage of hardwood is that it is easier to stain as compared to medium density fiberboards or softwoods. On the other hand, they are often much more expensive than other types of materials used to make baseboards.
These are woods that have considerably less strength and durability than hardwoods, but are usually considerably cheaper as well. Softwoods such as pine don’t normally last as long as their sturdier counterparts and are more likely to be damaged much sooner, but they have gained popularity as being commonly used to replace hardwood baseboards in older homes during renovation as they don’t really show any distinguishable difference to the naked eye when properly varnished or painted.
3. Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
MDF or Medium Density Fiber Skirting board is often sold as a cheaper alternative to hardwood, but is itself not really wood at all. MDF is the artificial product of wood that has been subjected to heat and pressure to be made into a board, the leftover fibers of which are glued together to make the fiberboard. When used as skirting boards, they can be pretty indistinguishable from true wood once varnished or painted to look like real wood, and can be just as tough when the quality is top notch. However, poorly constructed MDF skirting board may not last nearly as long.
4. Bamboo Baseboards
Although bamboo isn’t exactly wood, it looks like one and is often used as a substitute for hardwood where necessary due to its sturdiness. Interestingly though, bamboo is one of the priciest materials for skirting boards.
Skirting board costs vary not only by the type of wood that was used to make it, but also by the size. Depending on the type of finish and style that you’re aiming for, there’s bound to be a suitable baseboard material for you.