Having recently been specified as the provider of some very decorative skirting boards to one of the most prestigious new restaurants opening in London who were looking for Victorian skirting boards, we were asked to design and come up with two value for money options to achieve the perfectly balanced high skirting board of 450mm (almost 1.5 feet high) which had the Victorian skirting board profiles.

When designing these bespoke mouldings, there were 5 key factors that we took into account which should always be considered:

  • The existing wood mouldings in the property – both in terms of height, ornateness, dimensions etc.
  • The dimensions of the room – particularly the height
  • The presence of any radiators in the room – this may seem a little odd, but if you do not have the clearance behind the pipework you will have to employ a plumber to allow you to mount higher or thicker skirting boards
  • Whether the room will have dado rails or picture rails as this impacts on proportions of the room height
  • Whether there will be any paneling in the room

All of these factors influence the height that you can realistically achieve in a room.

Having validated the development’s potential for skirting boards measuring almost 1.5 ft high, we set about creating two designs – extended skirting boards made from one piece of moulding and modular skirting boards made up of up to three pieces.

The extended skirting boards took our standard range of 210mm height and extended the base section of the board by 240mm. To ensure support and stability for this height, we opted for Tulipwood as the material for the wooden skirting boards, giving us a strong hardwood basis with which we could create “tongue and groove” joints for the extension, ensured extra firmness for the height. A signature shadow line was created at the joint and integrated to make the design more aesthetically pleasing.

The modular boards were more complicated to create yet easier to fit for the shop-fitters. In this case the skirting board was made up of two parts and utilised the methods employed in both the Georgian and Victorian times of leaving a void behind the lower piece of the skirting board. This void is in fact extremely useful for concealing cabling and other wires and materials as it gives a significant recess behind the skirting board.

However, employing the philosophy that “just because it was done that way in the past is not necessarily the best way” we created a modern twist. The lower sections have specially designed packers and locators that allow the joiners to sit the second more ornate section perfectly onto the structure. This results in  fitting skirting boards in reduced times by up to 50%. There is only one downside to this approach and that is that the minimum thickness for a two-part skirting board becomes at least 52mm, which would require a radiator clearance from the wall greater than the 52mm. You will therefore need a good plumber – not an easy assignment!

So what did our client choose?

They went for the modular system and with rooms of over 3 metres in height, ornate walnut doors and Victorian picture rails, it will look fantastic when it is all complete! Make sure to come back for Part 2 of this blog later in the summer when we will publish the photos and reveal this famous new venue.