Is thicker always more expensive?

Often we will have conversations with customers about the height of a skirting board

Will its proportions be too much for the room?
Will it be tall enough for a 3 metre ceiling height?
Yet rarely does anyone when searching for a skirting board or architrave question its thickness.

This can be frustrating for us as a supplier where customers are often not comparing products that are ‘like-for-like’ but more importantly we feel that customers in period homes are choosing second best when other options are available.

To combat this we have started to develop “five doctrines” to follow on how to choose the thickness of a skirting board or architrave which we felt implored to share. These are:

1. Look at your original features – This may seem obvious but many people ignore the thickness of the skirting’s they have elsewhere in the house and select items which are often much thinner.

2. Look at the lengths to be installed – It seems obvious that the thinner the material and the longer the length then the more it has chance to bend because it is a natural material.

3. Look at the chances of “cupping” – Again, the thinner the material and the higher the skirting the more chance you have of “cupping”. That is that the skirting naturally tries to revert to the original shaped of the tree – curved.

4. Choose your substrate carefully – Seasoned or top grade timber rarely causes problems but substandard, thinner, poorer grade timer can result in heavy knotting surfaces which can result in a poor overall finish

5. Use only natural FSC timber – While MDF and plastic may be perceived as a cost effective solutions they do not offer the longevity, mixed with the quality and gravitas that natural products can offer.

If proof where needed look in UK period homes and see how long the original period wood mouldings have lasted.

Why then is 26mm the panacea?

As you may be aware all our products are manufactured in 26mm thick Pine, Tulipwood, Sapeli or Oak.

The reason behind this decision is the combination of our knowledge and research of period homes which shows that on average the original timber used was between 22-30mm thick.
Accepting at the time that products were often cheaper and seasoned longer, it still means that the original proponents of these designs felt it applicable to make products this thick for a reason.

We believe that with modern machinery and new methods of stabilising wood the 26mm level is a suitable compromise.

But what about price?

Here begins the dilemma. To test this we recently bought a product from a competitor to check price and quality. The picture below tells it’s own story:

What surprised us most was that for something 31% thinner, 18% lower in height and 17% shorter in length the price was only £1.99 less per metre.

It struck me then that for the quality difference it was less than the cost of a Starbucks latte.

So what do I do with this information?

Simply ensure that you apply the principles above to check, review and carefully select and you will ensure that the look and feel that you are attempting to create is delivered.

Ignore them and you will find that it will never be quite right and believe me these wood features are part of your everyday life and need to add value to it not irritate.

Finally, cost in today’s market place is critical but when the perceived cheaper (compared like-for-like thickness basis) product is actually 7.5% more expensive, perhaps it is a false economy.

Needless to say if we can help then drop us a line and we can if required make the bespoke thickness but only in the context of offering the best solution .

Thank you for reading