A staircase is one of the most noticeable elements in your home, and it deserves some attention.
Installing a stair skirt board or baseboard on stairs is the perfect solution to finish your stairs. This feature will give you a polished and seamless look that will serve you well for years.
This blog post will examine some baseboard on stairs/ skirt board choices and some other options for skirting your stairs to find what works best for your home.
What is a Stair Skirt Board?
A stair skirt board is a wooden board that covers the space between the wall and the bottom step of your staircase (or top step if you’re going up).
Various materials can make this trim, but professionals recommend using solid wood for durability purposes.
These trims come in two types:
- Running along the stairs stringer on the outside of the stairs
- Running between the stairs and the inner wall next to the stairs
Why You Need Stair Skirt Boards
Skirt boards are the hidden gem of staircase building. They’re an inexpensive, easy-to-install solution that can help you protect your stairs and make them look more professional.
When installed on the outside of staircases, skirt boards act as a protective layer between your carpeted stairs and your hardwood or tile flooring. This helps prevent damage to the flooring and protects the stairs from wear and tear.
When installed on the inside of stairs, they act as separators between drywall and the stairs. These baseboards give staircases a finished appearance by hiding unsightly gaps in the finishing and imperfections along the edges of stairs. They also prevent water damage from leaking down into wall cavities, where it could cause rot or mould over time.
When Can You Not Install Stair Skirt Boards?
If you’re planning on installing a baseboard or stair skirt board, you should know a few things before getting started.
First, make sure that your house has trim. It might look strange to skirt your stairs if it doesn’t have trim. A nicely finished hardwood stair tread can also look good against finished drywall, so it is possible to keep the aesthetics of a set of stairs without a skirting board.
If you have floating steps, you should know that skirt boards only work with a wall next to your stairs. So, if your stairs are floating, they won’t be able to accommodate a baseboard on stairs or skirt board.
If you have a spiral or curved staircase, installing a stair skirt board is possible, but it will be much more complicated. Making skirt boards for these staircases requires flexible material like PVC (vinyl trim).
What Size and Materials Should You Use for Your Baseboard on Stairs?
The standard size is 9.5 inches wide and at least 0.625 inches thick. These dimensions are mandatory to ensure that the skirting sits at least 1 to 1.5 inches above the stairs’ nosing, leaving enough room for a chair rail if required.
The length of the stair skirt board will depend on the rise and run of your staircase and the thickness of your current baseboard (must be over 0.625 inches).
Typical materials to choose from include:
MDF is an excellent choice for a skirting board because it’s less likely to warp or twist, but there are some downsides.
The biggest issue is that MDF is not environmentally friendly. It emits VOCs indoors, which can be harmful over time. In addition, MDF isn’t very durable—it’s difficult to sand or refinish if damaged.
PVC / Vinyl Trim
Carpenters recommend using a PVC skirt board to avoid moisture damage or if you have a spiral staircase.
PVC doesn’t contain any organic components, so fungus or mould can’t grow on it. It’s also pre-finished with a white colour, which means you don’t have to paint it. However, it can be brittle and hard to manipulate.
Hardwood skirt boards are the most durable option for your home. However, they’re also the most expensive.
If you can afford it, professionals recommend going with hardwood—it’ll last you for years to come, and you can quickly repair any damage by sanding or refinishing.
Softwoods for skirt board installation are a more affordable option and perfect if you wish to paint over or stain the wood. However, they can easily bend and warp with time.
Stair Skirt Board/Baseboard on Stairs Alternatives
No Skirt Board
You can opt to leave your staircase bare and not install a skirting board. This style gives your stairs a clean and modern look. However, ensure the paint job is perfect for a polished look. Most professionals advise against this option, as it doesn’t protect the drywall.
Baseboard trims require less installation planning as there’s no need for a gap between the stairs and the wall. They’re also quite affordable and easy to install.
Ornamental trims or moulding are ideal for adding a sophisticated and “expensive” look to your staircase. You can get them at your nearest home improvement store.
Quarter Round Moulding
Quarter round moulding is another affordable alternative to stair skirt boards or baseboards on stairs. It’s inexpensive, perfect for hiding paint and other imperfections, and fits easily in tight spaces.
Conclusion: Professional Baseboard and Stair Skirt Boards Installations in Toronto and the GTA
You might think that installing skirt boards or baseboards on stairs is unnecessary. The truth is these finishing touches add decorative and protective value to your staircase and more than make up for the cost in the long run.
If you’re looking for a professional baseboard on stairs/skirt board installation for your Toronto home, Dream Trim Moulding is here to help!
We’ll make sure to install your skirt board perfectly, so you can get back to enjoying your home without worrying about any imperfections. We’ll also take care of removing your old baseboard if necessary and installing a new one for you, ensuring a clean, polished, and seamless finish.
So give us a call today at 647-309-5443 or fill out this form, and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible to schedule a free estimate. We proudly serve Toronto, Vaughn, Brampton, and the surrounding areas.
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