In terms of the occupied space, the floor is the largest permanent element of our apartment's equipment. How it will look depends not only on the flooring itself, but also on finishing accessories. Skirting boards are an element that we usually do not spend a lot of time on. Meanwhile, they are not only aesthetic, but also functional. Their quality, durability and appearance determine whether the entire floor will look beautiful. A properly selected skirting board will emphasize the qualities of even the most beautiful floor. On the other hand, a poorly selected skirting board can optically reduce our room or disturb its proportions. So what to consider when choosing skirting boards?How to finish the panels and connect the floor to the wall? Source: partner's materials
Are skirting boards a necessity?
Skirting boards are most often used to cover the expansion gap. When installing the floor panels, we leave a free space next to the wall, thanks to which the floor has a chance to "work" without damaging it or detaching individual panels from the locks. The skirting board will perfectly mask the unsightly gap at the junction of the floor and wall, complementing the entire composition. A well-chosen skirting board covers all shortcomings and makes the room look very nice. The width of the expansion holes depends on the one hand on the material of the floor, and on the other hand, on the skill of a specialist. For vinyl panels, a 5 mm wide wall dilatation is enough, but we rarely deal with such a precise and precise installer. Therefore, it will be safer to choose slats 1 cm wide. In the case of laminated panels, the battens should be wider (15-20 mm). There are also strips that guarantee the coverage of gaps up to 26 mm - this is a particularly good solution when we accidentally left too much expansion.
Skirting boards, apart from aesthetic values, also have important utility functions. They protect the wall against accidental staining or damage that may happen while vacuuming or mopping the floor. Skirting boards absorb impacts and protect walls in the most sensitive places - right next to the floor.Source: partner's materials
How to choose skirting boards to make them look beautiful?
As a rule, we should choose slats matched to a specific floor. First of all, they are matched by functional features. If we use the offer of the panel manufacturer, we have a guarantee that the strip will also match the panels in terms of color. By using the offer of a company specializing in the production of skirting boards, we can usually count on a greater choice and better technical parameters.
The first criterion we usually take into account is color. Either we choose strips to match the color of our floor, and thus accurately reflect the structure and pattern of the wood, or we choose strips in color to match other interior elements (e.g. door frames or window frames). In the latter case, we prefer white strips. Thanks to the slats, you can arrange the space and create illusions - slats in the color of the floor optically enlarge the area of the room, while high ones in a contrasting color will optically shorten the wall. Here are three solutions for choosing a color for a skirting board:
We choose the skirting board to the color of the floor
We can choose a skirting board manufactured by the same manufacturer from which we have the panels. Then we get a guarantee of a perfectly matched shade and texture. If we have a light floor, we will also optically enlarge the room. This model of selection of slats is very popular and safe. We will get a classic and consistent interior that will appeal to everyone. A good choice will also be the use of a universal strip, which has two main advantages: it is cheaper and available immediately in almost every store.
Among the offered products, we have the so-called "Perfect match". They are matched by the manufacturer of the floor, both in terms of shade and character. The color of the slats is obtained in the same technology as the floor (e.g. by using the same foil) or in high-resolution digital printing. An example is the TORE skirting board, which is perfectly suited to Arbiton vinyl panels. The second type of slats are "match" slats. They are also selected by the manufacturer, but match the floor in terms of color. Both categories guarantee a perfect match to the floor. Their disadvantage is the waiting time - usually they are not available immediately. It is also worth remembering that this type of strips will be available only during the sale period of a given color of the panels, and the collections change every 2-3 years. So if in a few years we want to renovate, paint the walls and replace the slats, we may not be able to use the previously selected color.Source: partner's materials
Finally, we have universal strips on the market. They are the most popular solution. Their colors reflect the most popular color groups offered by all panel manufacturers. They are most often selected in the store by directly applying the strip to the panels. A wide range of universal slats allows them to be almost perfectly combined with the colors of the panels. Their undoubted advantage is the price and universal availability.
We choose the slats to the color of the walls.
We can try to "sink" the strip into the wall, giving it the color of the wall, or on the contrary, use a contrasting color scheme. A white strip for a dark wall looks very aesthetic, but it is also possible to use, for example, a dark, anthracite strip for a white wall. Both solutions look very modern, but require not only design attention, but also a lot of experience.
We choose the strip to the color of the door, door frames or kitchen fronts
This is an increasingly popular solution, thanks to which we obtain vertical surfaces of uniform color. This creates the effect of a harmonious wall structure. It is worth remembering, however, that each manufacturer uses a slightly different color scheme and even such a trivial color as white can come in many shades and versions - the most popular shade is RAL 9003. Therefore, it is worth choosing manufacturers who use a universal color scale in their products, e.g. RAL . In the last year, there are more and more interior designs using gray doors and matching gray slats, the most popular shades are RAL 7035 and RAL 7042.
Secondly, the height of the skirting board and the material from which it will be made
As a rule, high skirting boards (those that are over 8 cm) are used in interiors that exceed 260 cm in height. If our room is located in the attic or in a standard multi-family building, we should look for 6-8 cm slats.
The lowest slats are 4 to 5 cm high. They can be quarter rounds or short, straight pedestals. Their low height means that they will almost blend with the floor. We can use them in small rooms to visually enlarge the space. Their disadvantage is a poor visual effect and low practical properties. Four centimeters is not enough to, for example, protect a wall from being hit by a vacuum cleaner.
Skirting boards with a height of 6 to 8 cm are the most popular solution. They will work in almost any room. It is a universal height that allows to keep the perfect proportions of the rooms.
Strips over 10 cm are a bit extravagant solution that can be used in rooms higher than 280 cm. In traditional blocks, such high slats can disturb the proportions of the room. High slats in a color contrasting with the wall will further reduce the room.
As for the materials from which the slats can be made, the choice is very wide. We have wooden slats, mdf slats, non-PVC slats, universal PVC slats and finally hybrid slats.
The slats can be made of solid wood (painted, varnished) or wood covered with veneers, i.e. thin sheets of wood used as veneers or veneers. Wooden slats are elegant, but not very practical. For example, they are not suitable for connection with vinyl planks due to their limited water resistance.
MDF slats (made of wood fiber boards) can be varnished, veneered with paper or veneered. Their advantages are wide availability and a large selection of designs. They are resistant to mechanical damage, but not completely resistant to moisture. After only a few months of being in the room cleaned with a mop, they can swell with moisture, delaminate and crack. Another thing is assembly. They require practice when finishing corners - the need to make precise cuts at an angle of 45 degrees and very time-consuming silicon or acrylating at the wall.
Metal strips are made of aluminum or stainless steel. They look modern, but it is not a popular solution, mainly due to the price and controversial design.
Traditional plastic moldings are cheap, waterproof, but often the visible mounting channel or protruding corners are visually disturbing. For vinyl panels, we can choose a strip made of non-PVC material, eg VIDELIT. Videlit is an ecological material with special functional properties such as water resistance and resistance to mechanical damage. Hybrid moldings are also a good solution, as they look beautiful and at the same time are completely waterproof. These strips are also highly resistant to mechanical damage.
Third, put on water resistance
If our floor is waterproof, i.e. it is made of vinyl or laminated panels with increased resistance to moisture - the skirting boards should also be waterproof. This is an important principle worth following. Manufacturers offer a lot of waterproof skirting boards.
The latest offer from the ARBITON brand is the TORE hybrid skirting board, which is available in two heights (6 cm and 8 cm). It is distinguished by a unique shape and a smooth matte surface. TORE combines flexibility and water resistance (which characterizes PVC skirting boards) with the appearance of varnished skirting coatings. High-resolution digital printing technology ensures perfect color reproduction and high repeatability between production batches. Thanks to this technology, the color of the skirting board exactly matches the chosen floor. The TORE is completely waterproof and very easy to clean. The TORE skirting board is available in all colors of Arbiton vinyl panels - both wooden, concrete and stone. It is a product that will perfectly match a vinyl floor. The TORE skirting board is also distinguished by a very simple and quick installation with clips or glue.
An interesting solution is the STIQ skirting board dedicated to vinyl floors. Due to its shape, color, durability and water resistance, this skirting board is perfect for rooms where vinyl panels are installed. Due to its minimal thickness and modern shape, it fits perfectly in any room, emphasizing and enhancing the qualities of the floor. It is a perfect substitute for commonly used pedestals. The Stiq skirting board is also distinguished by its color scheme. It is available in two very fashionable shades of gray.
The VIGO strip has been a hit on the market since last year. The production technology of this hybrid skirting board also increases its flexibility and water resistance, which are traditional features of PVC skirting, and gives it the appearance of varnished moldings. A special feature of VIGO are the erasers integrated with the strip, which eliminate time-consuming "siliconization". Flexible rubber bands create a waterproof barrier and adapt to the shape of the wall, eliminating minor imperfections, unlike filling with silicone or acrylic, not only speed up the installation, but also the connection is much more durable. The VIGO skirting board was created so as not to make a choice between design and usability. Thanks to the smooth surface, dirt does not penetrate the skirting board and it is easy to clean. The solid core makes it easier to cut the slats at an angle. You can also use many dedicated accessories (corners, connectors, clips). The VIGO skirting board is also distinguished by a very simple and quick installation with clips or glue. It is available both in universal white and in natural wooden colors. VIGO is produced in two heights - 6 cm and 8 cm. So it will also work in more neutral and calm arrangements.Source: partner's materials
How to properly install skirting boards?
The skirting board can be fixed with clamps attached to the wall or with glue. The latter option is quick and convenient, but quite expensive compared to clasps. For about eight running meters, we will need one cartridge of glue, the price of which is around PLN 30. Fastening the slats with glue does not require drilling and is very convenient. However, it must be remembered that the strip mounted in this way becomes a permanent element of the interior design. So if we ever paint the room again, we must protect it very well. It may happen that the element detaches from the wall due to stress. This is especially the case when choosing non-flexible slats. When gluing skirting boards, choose adhesives dedicated and recommended by the manufacturer. In the case of mounting the slats on clamps or rails, we are dealing with proprietary systems. Mounting with clamps consists in first mounting the structural element to the wall, and then hooking the batten. The strip is held on the clamps or the rail thanks to the appropriate cutters on the inside. Clips are attached to the wall with pegs every 40-50 cm and at a distance of 5-10 cm from each corner. The fixing is invisible. The rails have the advantage over the clips that it is easier to reach a straight line and we do not have to wonder if our rail will keep the level. Usually, the walls in the rooms are unfortunately uneven. Some skirting boards have systems of elastic rubber bands that help to compensate for these unevenness. The rubbers adhere to the wall creating a waterproof surface. If our product does not have silicone gaskets, we will probably have to finish the contact with the wall with acrylic. Flooring products are usually attached after the walls are painted, so such acrylating may cause additional staining.
When considering the installation of skirting boards, we must also remember about the corners. Depending on the material, we can use ready-made elements (plastic or hybrid strips) or cut the strips at an angle of 45 degrees. Trimming is laborious and requires a lot of experience. Ready elements, on the other hand, are often visually uninteresting. However, a new option also appears here: for hybrid skirting boards there are mini corners that are easy to install and simply pretty (e.g. VIGO 80 skirting board corners).Source: partner's materials
Ultimately what should you consider when choosing a skirting board?
The best strategy is not to follow the price. Universal moldings are the cheapest. The price of products made in hybrid technology is higher, but we also get a completely different product. The more innovative the product, the higher the price we can expect. However, if we want to achieve an excellent effect on a new floor, we should not look for the cheapest solutions. We choose dedicated solutions for specific panels.Sponsored article by Arbiton