MDF, Softwood, Hardwood; What’s Better?

When the time comes to purchasing new skirting boards for your property, you may find yourself unsure of what type of skirting board to get. Skirting boards can be made from a wide variety of materials including MDF, softwoods and hardwoods. But which one is better?

In this blog, we will take a look at the benefits to using each of these materials to help provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision on what materials your skirting boards will be made from.

Benefits of Using MDF

MDF: A Cost-Effective Solution

One of the main benefits to using MDF is its affordability. If you are renovating a house to then sell or even if you are a homeowner, you will most likely be working to a budget that may be restricting. This is where MDF skirting boards come in; MDF is well known for usually being the cheaper material in comparison to other materials such as softwood and hardwood.

Obviously, the price of your softwood and hardwood would depend on the grade you want. The higher the grade of wood, the more expensive it will be. That’s why a lot more people are turning to MDF for their skirting boards. You may think being the cheapest material and that the quality of MDF wouldn’t be as good; but that’s where you’re wrong. MDF skirting boards provide you with a high-quality, affordable skirting board alternative.

MDF: Lasting Durability

Another benefit to using medium-density fibreboard (MDF) for your skirting boards is its incredible durability. MDF consists of thin panels that are made from wax, wood fibre and resin; this makes the material denser and stronger which in turn, makes it more durable.

To explain MDF’s lasting durability more; thanks to the structure, the MDF skirting boards move as one unit even when there is a change in the humidity and temperature within a room. These kind of changes in temperature are most common in bathrooms due to the heat and steam that comes during a hot shower; however, it is important to paint the MDF because the paint will provide a protective barrier, preventing water damage. Thanks to MDF’s ability to move as a unit, you don’t have to worry about the skirting board becoming damaged. The overall benefit of this is that as a homeowner, you won’t have to keep spending money on new skirting boards every few years.

Benefits of Using Hardwood

The main reason that people choose hardwood as their material of choice for their skirting boards is simply down to the fact that hardwood is extremely tough; meaning that it can withstand damage caused by knock or accidents. The downside to this though is the cost. Harwood is often a lot more expensive than other types of materials that are used on skirting boards like MDF.

Also, fitting hardwood skirting boards aren’t as easy as you may think. It actually fact, it is a lot harder to fit then MDF or softwood skirting boards; so, it you are going to be doing the fitting yourself, it is imperative that you have the necessary skills before you order. If you don’t, then either check to see if the company you are ordering from can fit the hardwood skirting boards for you, or look at hiring a professional. As they say, do it right, not twice.

Benefits of Using Softwood

Often, the reason people decide to choose softwood for their skirting boards is down the flexibility softwood offers as well as the range of styles and heights that are often available. Another benefit of using softwood is that it is easy to sand down and re-use if the finish isn’t what you were looking for. All of this makes it a more sustainable option since you don’t need to remove the entire skirting board and start over.

The downside, however, is that softwood skirting boards are more susceptible to movement, meaning that unlike MDF skirting boards, they aren’t able to withstand the changes in temperature and humidity in a room as well; leading the wood to warp, distort, and eventually split. Because of this, you will find yourself having to spend more money replacing your skirting boards because of the damage which is why a lot of people look to alternative solutions like MDF skirting boards.

Weighing Up the Facts

When looking at what material to use for your skirting boards; you must weigh up all the facts in order to make the correct decision for you as each scenario is different and sometimes it simply boils down to personal choice.

If you are interested in finding out more about the advantages of MDF skirting boards, then feel free to check out our blog where we go into detail about four advantages to using MDF skirting boards or, check out our product range.