MDF Skirting Boards VS Pine Skirting Boards

Posted by Skirting World on 14th Jan 2019

MDF Skirting Boards VS Pine Skirting Boards

As many of you know, you can get skirting boards in a variety of materials and this can alter the look and feel of the finished product.

There are many wood types such as softwood (Pine in this example) & hardwoods such as Oak. However, MDF is the most popular choice for making skirting boards today. The same can also be said for the architraves.

In today’s blog post, I’ll be explaining the differences between MDF and Pine skirting to see why you may want one over the other.

MDF Skirting Boards

MDF is a man-made material which is called Medium Density Fibreboard. This is made up of many materials including softwood fibres and even recycled materials which are then all compressed in a crusher to form a wooden board.

Oscar Design In MDF Skirting

MDF is great for many reasons. Unlike Pine, there’s no knots or imperfections and MDF requires less time to prepare. This is because all it needs is sanding down for smoothness and then primed ready for the final paint finish.

MDF is also great as it’s quick to get prepared. Skirting and architraves are good examples of what can be made, along with certain toys and so on.

If you choose to use MDF, you'll be happy to know that it can accommodate almost any height you require for skirting boards. We range from 70mm to 400mm on the website but can do below and above this height if required!

If you need better quality MDF or moisture resistant boards, HDF (High Density Fibreboards) are slightly more expensive but can survive damp conditions and have higher quality fibres packed in for a much smoother, clean finish and tougher exterior. Since MDF can be machined so quickly, it’s the material of choice for most people.

MDF is also cheaper than Pine making it great for keeping costs down. We only use the highest quality MDF available on the market as lower quality MDF can become furry when machined which is not ideal when it comes to skirtings and architraves.

Pine Skirting Boards

Pine skirting or architrave is a natural wood. We use 5th Grade Redwood for skirting boards and architraves.

Oscar Design In Pine Skirting

One big difference between Pine and MDF is the grain - Pine looks like a normal wood (because it is) but MDF has no grain whatsoever.

Pine is available in size between 69mm and 218mm. Unfortunately, this does make it quite limited in comparison to MDF.

Whilst Pine is great and looks very nice, there’s a few short comings with it.

First, pine is not as tough or as water resistant compared to the better quality MDF offered on the market. This means you will have to be careful when using pine. Primed pine will offer more protection than unprimed pine.

Another problem is due to Pine being natural, some boards may have issues with tree deformities, thus causing the pine to look very ugly and in some cases unusable. Pine costs much more to manufacture and treat compared to MDF thus pine itself costs quite a bit higher too.

Knots are very common in Pine. Although we do our best to avoid them / treat them where possible, they will always be present and can fall out causing a hole in the skirting.


We would always recommend MDF over pine as it's easier to deal with, cost effective in the long run and it can be made quicker than Pine.

However, we hope this blog post explains in greater detail the differences and advantages/disadvantages with going with either Pine or MDF skirting. Now, choose your material and marvel at the results!