What Is The Difference Between Skirting Boards And Architrave?

Although skirting boards and architraves are different, they both share similar characteristics and serve the same purpose, which is to help mask uneven and untidy joints. Both skirting boards and architraves are fitted around a room in certain areas such as around the floors, walls, doors, and windows. But if skirting boards and architraves are so similar, what makes them different?

In this post, we are going to take a look at skirting boards and architraves and explain what sets them apart.

Skirting boards

Skirting boards are fixed to the bottom of the wall close to the floor and run along the whole perimeter of the room. They are made from pine, oak, PVC, and MDF skirting, and come in a variety of styles such as Victorian and Late Edwardian.

Skirting boards also come in a range of shapes. The shape of the skirting board you get usually depends on the profile of your wall and the period of your home so, unfortunately, you can’t pick which shape you have. You can get skirting boards that sit flat against the wall, or they can sometimes be round and curved.

Without skirting boards, your walls are likely to take knocks from things like furniture, pet marks, and shoe scuffs. So it is important to fit skirting boards that are durable, as these will help prevent the walls from being damaged easily.


Architraves were a common feature in a lot of Classical Architecture, and they are sometimes referred to as ‘mouldings’. They can be made from the same materials as skirting boards, although they are a lot thinner and less durable.

Architraves are typically found around the outer edges of structures such as door frames and windows. Although architraves are used in a similar way to skirting boards to hide untidy joints and for added protection to the join, they are generally used for decorative purposes to give a more sleek finished look to a room.

They come in different styles like Federation and Colonial and are generally used to give a traditional, classic aesthetic style to your home. You can get cheap architraves and moisture resistant architraves, which are ideal for areas around the home where moisture is present, like the bathroom for example.

What is the difference between the two?

The only real difference between skirting boards and architraves is the end finish and whether they arrive primed or painted. Skirting boards have two sides that are visible, the front face and top edge, whereas architraves have three, so they will have different requirements when it comes to painting and priming them.

Although both skirting boards and architraves can be made from the same materials, architraves don’t have to be as durable as skirting boards. However, due to their similarities, they are great for pairing together should you wish to match your skirting boards to your architraves.

By using the same type of material and finish, it can help give your home a unique aesthetic. You should consider both designs carefully as it will reflect your taste and style.

Unhappy with the designs of your current skirting boards? Maybe they’re warped beyond repair or just very old. If you’re looking to buy new skirting then you’ve come to the right place. My Skirting Boards design and manufacture moisture resistant skirting at competitive prices! For advice on choosing the right skirting board, give us a call on 0333 366 0082 or drop us an email at sales@myskirtingboards.co.uk.

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