Skirting boards, mouldings and door jambs are all important parts of an internal residential space. While they are commonly overlooked as a design detail, choosing these elements carefully can be the difference between rooms of refined elegance and those that have a more simple aesthetic.Read more
Skirting boards, mouldings and door jambs are all important parts of an internal residential space. While they are commonly overlooked as a design detail, choosing these elements carefully can be the difference between rooms of refined elegance and those that have a more simple aesthetic.
For a relatively overlooked product, skirting boards have a variety of important functions in a home. They cover flooring expansion joints, protect against the accumulation of dirt and prevent water seeping below the surface and ultimately protect the walls from impact damage. Sometimes also known as baseboards, skirting boards are generally inconspicuous and in most cases aren’t an instantly noticeable part of a room. Despite their modest presence, the wrong type of skirting board in the wrong context can negatively impact an entire room.
Getting skirting boards right depends on proportion, colour, finish and texture; each of which will be based on the overall design intentions of the space. For example, in older houses with high ceilings, the skirting boards are generally higher and more decorative than those in a contemporary home with much lower ceilings.
In many older homes, skirting boards have both a decorative and functional purpose. In villas, in particular, original skirting boards are often highly decorative, incorporating mouldings and intricate detail. However, at the other end of the spectrum, a skirting board may simply be a plain piece of timber attached to the bottom of the wall with the sole purpose of protecting the wall.
What types of skirting boards are available?
Skirting boards are generally made of timber, PVC or MDF boards and run along the joint between wall and floor. In most cases, skirting boards are either glued or nailed to the wall. Skirting boards can be stained or painted and can be either a flat, simple board or a more decorative element incorporating mouldings or carved elements.
What is the difference between skirting boards and architraves?
Skirting boards are sometimes confused with architraves, which have a very different purpose to skirtings. An architrave is designed to hide the joint between two areas, just as a skirting board is. However, architraves are generally placed around the outer edges of an object, not along the joint between wall and floor like skirtings. Architraves can be found around door frames and archways, adding a decorative element.
In many cases, skirtings and architraves are chosen together to create a seamless look in a room. While both represent a relatively small detail in the overall context of a room, together architraves and skirting boards combine to create a refined aesthetic. While they may often go unnoticed as individual design elements, they can make the difference between a good room and a great room.
A door jamb is a material used to construct a frame around a door. Available in a huge range of sizes, colours and materials, door jambs are an important part of any home. A standard door jamb is a plain, flat piece of material next to which architraves are installed. A grooved jamb is grooved at the back to allow for wall linings to fit into the groove. This style of door jamb allows for the easy finishing of a wall.
What is the door jamb?
Door jambs are the interior sides of a door frame. Door jambs make up part of the door frame and are often confused with the entire door frame. Door frames and jambs are most commonly made with pine in New Zealand, but can also be manufactured with various other timbers.
A basic door frame consists of two vertical jambs on either side of the door with a lintel that connects the two runs horizontally across the top of the door. Different designs, shapes and materials can contribute to the strength of the seal the door has when shut, as well as the strength of the frame itself.
Hinges are attached to one of the jambs to allow the door to open and close. On the other jamb, a metal plate is typically installed that prevents friction as the door is opened and closed. In the middle of this plate is typically an indent that fits the latch when the door is shut.
The lower part of the door jamb generally sits directly on the floor, while the jamb itself is attached to the wall.
Door jambs are arguably the most important part of a door, defining how a door will shut, how it stops, and how it is secured. Door jambs also hold the weight of the door through the hinges.
In New Zealand, door jambs are generally manufactured with pine however many manufacturers offer customised or bespoke door jambs to fit with specific interior architecture and materiality.
What is a pre-hung door?
A pre-hung door is one that is sold already attached to the door frame with hinges. Pre-hung doors are generally easier and faster to install.
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