Wooden, MDF or PCV skirting boards? Or maybe a modern polymer? Shopping guide

28.03.2024 6 min

When renovating or decorating a room, we often focus on many elements, such as the choice of paint, furniture or lighting, without paying too much attention to skirting boards. After all, in all this interior design madness, it seems that we have a thousand other, much more important things to take care of. However, when it comes time to choose the perfect stucco, it turns out that the choice is not as simple as it may seem. There are various types of skirting boards available on the market. Which skirting boards should you choose for your interior?

White MD094 Mardom Decor skirting boards

To make this decision-making process a little easier, we have prepared a comprehensive guide that will help you understand the basic differences and advantages of the most popular types of skirting boards. Whether you are looking for finishing strips that complement traditional interior designs or you want to add a modern touch with innovative solutions, our guide contains all the information you need to make the best choice.

Wooden floor strips – classic and elegant

Wooden floor strips are a perfect solution for those who value classic and elegance in interior design. They are an indispensable complement to wooden floors, creating a coherent and warm space, especially in classic-style interiors. Strips not only play a practical role, protecting walls and edges of wooden floors, but also have a decorative function, adding a refined character to the interior. However, despite their undoubted aesthetic advantages, wooden strips require proper care: regular oiling and surface protection to maintain their impeccable appearance. Please remember that they are not a suitable choice for humid rooms because the wood is not dimensionally stable – it absorbs water and expands and contracts due to temperature changes. Wood may also change its color under prolonged exposure to strong sunlight. It should also be remembered that skirting boards made of wood may be correspondingly more expensive due to the natural raw material.

MDF skirting boards – a compromise between price and quality

MDF skirting boards represent a compromise between price and quality, being a good choice for those looking for an alternative to the wooden option. Made of medium density wood fiber board. The most common variants of MDF skirting boards are white floor strips or those imitating the structure and shade of wood. The second variant is often color-matched to specific models of floor panels (most often, floor panels of a given brand have dedicated strips), which allows you to create a coherent and visually uniform arrangement. However, panel strips come in a very limited range of shapes and models.

MDF skirting boards color matched to the floor

Although the MDF skirting board is considered a more durable alternative to natural wood, it cannot compare to it in terms of nobility and unique appearance. Natural wood is characterized by knots, grainy patterns and irregular lines, which are a desirable feature for many. On the other hand, MDF skirting boards are characterized by smoothness and uniform structure, which can be both a disadvantage and an advantage, depending on individual preferences.

MDF material is mostly resistant to mechanical damage such as kicks during everyday use, but it can be seriously damaged by sharp animal claws or deep scratches. Then the strips must be replaced with new ones – they cannot be repaired. Just like strips made of natural wood, those made of MDF are not recommended for installation in humid places, as they may swell and delaminate, which makes it difficult to keep them in good condition for a long time. When installing MDF skirting boards, you should carefully consider their use and potential installation location.

PCV skirting boards are the guardian of practicality

PCV skirting boards are a choice that focuses on practicality and functionality in everyday use. PCV skirting boards are an artificial material, so they are 100% water resistant, which makes them an ideal choice for installation in rooms exposed to water, such as bathrooms or kitchens. Their main advantage is that they are easy to keep clean. The smooth material makes dust slide off them without settling on the surface, and if necessary, the slats can be easily washed using water and mild detergents. PCV wall strips are a practical solution due to their high durability, wide availability and relatively low price. Moreover, the availability of a wide range of shapes, colors and models allows us to meet the expectations of even the most demanding customers.

PCV floor strip color matched to the floor

Jednakże listwy przypodłogowe plastikowe PCV, mimo swoich praktycznych zalet, mają znaczące ograniczenia. Nie pozwalają na renowację ani przemalowanie powierzchni, co oznacza, że po uszkodzeniu muszą zostać wymienione na nowe. Ponadto, choć są wytrzymałe i funkcjonalne, brakuje im szlachetności i ciepła, które oferuje naturalne drewno. Plastikowe, błyszczące wykończenie nie prezentuje się szlachetnie i nie pasuje do większości architektury nawiązującej do klasyki: modern classic, stylu nowojorskiego czy glamour.

MDF or PCV skirting board – which is better?

When deciding between MDF and PCV skirting boards, it is worth considering various aspects to choose the option that best suits the needs of a specific room. MDF strips are perfect for dry rooms where aesthetic finishing is a priority, such as living rooms or bedrooms. In turn, PCV strips are ideal for places exposed to moisture, such as bathrooms or kitchens.

MDF skirting board – Advantages

  • Aesthetics: aesthetic appearance in the case of the white version and a more natural appearance than PCV in the case of the wood-imitating version.
  • Value for money: wide availability and price adequate to the quality.
  • Possibility of painting: white MDF strips allow the surface to be painted, thus matching the shade to the changing style of the interior.

MDF skirting board – Disadvantages

  • Sensitivity to moisture: may swell and deform in humid conditions.
  • Appearance: Limited range of shapes available.
  • Sensitivity to damage: they may be more easily damaged by mechanical damage than PCV strips.

PCV skirting board – Advantages

  • Moisture resistance: ideal for kitchens, bathrooms and basements.
  • Low care: easy to clean and resistant to most stains.
  • Durability: resistant to most mechanical and chemical damage.

PCV skirting board – Disadvantages

  • Appearance: plastic look, which may not suit every interior.
  • Artificial shine: they may be unsightly shiny, which takes away their naturalness.
  • Unable to renovate: if damaged, they require replacement and cannot be renovated.

Modern polymers – the future of skirting boards?

Compared to traditional materials such as wood, MDF or PCV, modern polymer strips stand out significantly, opening up new possibilities in interior design. Polymer stucco consists mainly of white skirting boards, which can be divided into the following materials: polystyrene and polyurethane. The latter is a much denser and more durable material, which is much more often used in the production of floor stucco due to the difficult conditions to which it is subjected in everyday use.

White MD020 Mardom Decor skirting boards in the hall arrangement

Their versatility cannot be overestimated – they come in many shapes and sizes, which allows them to be adapted to various materials and styles – from classic to modern arrangements. Moreover, they are resistant to UV and water, which allows them to be installed in almost any room. Modern polymer skirting boards also make it easier to keep the room clean – they do not require maintenance and, if necessary, can be washed in various ways without the risk of damage. Although they have limited repair options, any scratches or dents can be easily masked with a putty mask and refreshed with paint. Additionally, they are light, but at the same time durable – perfect for various interior arrangements. Their disadvantage is availability – this type of stucco is difficult to buy in popular DIY stores, but is most often available in flooring or stucco showrooms. It is also worth taking into account the factor of price. Polymer floor strips are more expensive than the popular HDF or PCV, but cheaper than wood and much more durable.

White skirting boards by Mardom Decor

Mardom Decor, with a view to meeting the needs of every type of interior, presents a wide selection of skirting boards that perfectly combine functionality and interior aesthetics. This is high-quality floor stucco, made of high-density extruded duropolymer. An original mixture of polymer compounds with special refiners allowed us to develop our own PolyForce material – much denser and more resistant than models available on the market. Moreover, our offer includes modern polymer strips with ScratchShiled® technology, ensuring exceptional durability and scratch resistance, which is particularly important in dynamically used spaces.

Mardom Decor skirting boards are available in two variants: classic white, covered with a matte primer, which can be painted as desired, and in a version already factory-varnished in SupremeSatin® technology in the shade of RAL9003. Thanks to this, regardless of the style of the room – whether classic or modern – the customer can enjoy the excellent aesthetics of the interior as well as durability and high aesthetic finish.

Comparison of materials – wood, MDF, PCV, polymer

Wooden skirting boards
HDF skirting boards
PCV skirting boards
PolyForce skirting boards
Effective masking of expansion joints
An aesthetic decorative element of interiors
Resistant to mechanical damage
Water resistant
Possibility of painting
Relatively low price
Wide availability
Rich patterns
UV resistance
Possibility of renovation

Where to buy skirting boards?

Skirting boards can be purchased in various places, depending on your needs, preferences and selected board materials.

  1. Construction markets: popular chains such as OBI, Leroy Merlin, or Castorama offer a wide selection of immediately available skirting boards, mainly PCV and MDF.
  2. Online trading platforms: the Internet is a good place to search, this way you can easily compare a wide range of skirting boards and choose a model tailored to your interior. If you do not know whether your strips will be original, it is worth paying attention to the manufacturer’s official store.
  3. Specialist flooring stores: specialize in flooring and skirtings, offering high-quality products and selection advice.
  4. Molding manufacturers’ stores: search for products directly through the manufacturers’ own websites or authorized distribution points.

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