A Materials Guide to Woodwork in Your Home

From flooring to furniture, there are countless uses for woodwork in the home. But with so many different types out there, how do you decide which kind of wood would look best in your house? Each variety has its own properties and carries its own qualities. This article will talk you through the main types of wood, to give you a good idea about how to use them in your home.


Softwoods come from coniferous trees such as pine, cedar and fir. They are perfect for renovation projects because the wood is easier to work if you want to match it to an existing style. They are usually yellow or red in hue and are perfect for complementing rustic furniture designs all around the home.

Softwoods are often used as a cost-effective material for outdoor decking because they have minimal knots in them. They can last up to 30 years if treated for pressure, making them perfect for use underfoot.

But there are plenty of uses for softwoods inside the home, too. They are often used to maintain ceilings and walls and are a popular choice for skirting boards.

Although softwood skirting boards are more susceptible to movement than other types, they can be made to look natural through staining or varnishing, a particular boon for those living in period homes. They can also be re-finished and sanded down, meaning you shouldn’t need to replace them very often.

Pine is a good option for period homes because it provides a vast choice for skirting board height; Georgian and Victorian houses tended to have taller profiles than modern homes.



Hardwoods such as solid oak, walnut, ash and beech come from deciduous trees and look beautiful inside historical properties.

These types of wood are a preferable option for ceiling beams in period homes due to their durability and density. They are also used in wooden flooring designs for the same reason.

During the 1900s, Hardwood flooring soared its way up the popularity stakes, earning recognition as a sign of luxury and wealth. But wooden flooring still adds charm to our homes today, boasting high quality and durability, as well as a sophisticated aesthetic appeal.

Hardwood skirting boards are an obvious choice for matching against oak floors, staircases and doors. They can be oiled or stained to match existing interior design, so they need never look out of place.


MDF woodwork

MDF (medium-density fibreboard) is an affordable wood solution made by breaking down the residue of either softwood or hardwood into fibres. It is most commonly used around the home to create furniture, shelving and skirting boards.

One of the biggest benefits of MDF is that you can customise it easily. For example, an MDF coffee table might initially look quite basic, but with a bright paint or stain you can transform it into a striking piece of furniture. You could even apply a tiled mosaic effect on top of the table for a truly unique look.

Another simple but effective way to enhance your home’s interior is to create MDF wall panels. These are also a practical addition to your house as they add extra insulation during the colder months. All you need to do is apply plain MDF sheets to your walls, paint them to match the room’s theme and add your own rails and skirting boards.

In terms of skirting boards, MDF is easy to install and available either pre-finished or pre-primed, making it a popular choice for skirting boards in newly built homes. Its resistance to swelling and warping makes it the perfect low-maintenance choice. It can also be painted to blend in with your home’s colour scheme. If you want a really high-quality finish, you can get MDF skirting boards with real-wood veneers.


To find out which type of skirting board will complement the woodwork in your home, call us on 0800 048 0786 or email help@theskirtingboardshop.co.uk.