What is the difference between skirting boards and architraves?


If you are a first-time homeowner or renovator, you may never have paid too much attention to the décor of the space you have been living in. Terms such as ‘architraves’ are not vital to everyone’s everyday vocabulary until you wonder what on earth the name is for that trim around your window, or you decide to beauty up those edges around your doorframe.


Architraves around doors.

If the definition of a skirting board or architrave doesn’t roll off the tip of your tongue, you needn’t fret. We are here to explain the difference between the two, give you a sense of what each is designed to do, what they are typically made from, and open your eyes to the diverse number of styles and profiles available on the market.

Let’s begin with Skirting Boards

Skirting boards run along the base of your interior wall, forming the junctions between construction materials. They are crucial in protecting the base of your walls from shoe scuffs, furniture scrapes, marks from pets or young children, and to hide uneven or untidy joints.


Skirting boards under a window

Skirting boards are typically made from Moisture Resistant Medium Density Fibreboard (MRMDF), pine, oak, cedar, or any other timber that suits your current home décor. Skirting boards come in a variety of shapes and styles including Victorian, Colonial, Federation, Late Edwardian, and more. The style will depend on the profile of your wall, the period of your home, and the general look you are after.

Skirting boards are also used to mask the weaker plaster at the base of your wall and were more commonly used to hide the effects of rising damp in older homes. Depending on your chosen style, the trim can sit completely flat against the wall creating a more subtle and unobtrusive look, or they can be round, shaped and curved, like the Edwardian or Art Deco style, adding elegance, flair, or sophistication to your room.

And now Architraves

Architraves, on the other hand, are a style of moulding that frames the edges of rectangular structures such as windows, doors, or other openings. An architrave covers the gap between the wall and the door or window frame, hiding the joins or disguising movement and shrinkage between the two.


Architraves around a door in a kitchen

Architraves can be made from the same materials as skirting boards, but they don’t always have to be as durable, depending on their vicinity to foot traffic and the potential for bumps and abrasions from furniture movement.

Architraves can also be used to produce a more classic or traditional touch to a room or hallway, and come in a variety of styles like skirting boards including Colonial, Federation, or Post War.

Each style of skirting board or architrave achieves a unique aesthetic for your home. The style reflects your taste and attitude as the owner, so it is important to give sufficient consideration to both designs.

If you are searching for a more modern looking skirting board or architrave, you may want to consider a Californian Bungalow or Late Edwardian style, which is smaller, slimmer, and less detailed than a more traditional style like the Colonial or Art Deco. You can also achieve a more old-time, elegant feel by choosing one of the Edwardian, Federation or Victorian styles.

With over 5,000 different profiles on offer, we recommend browsing our latest catalogue to find the style that suits your unique home. You can also talk to us about your dream design by phoning 1300 761 838.