What wood is used for stair skirts?

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When it comes to installing a stair skirting board, the essential elements to be considered are design, scale and proportion, and material. Wood for stair skirts gives it a more finished appearance and a touch of class and elegance.

However, what wood is used for stair skirts?

The three common materials used for stair skirts are economic wood, softwood, and solid hardwood.

From the three options, it may be hard to choose one that fits your style and needs. Either way, they serve the same purpose but have different designs and a unique finished look.

Why stair skirt is necessary


Stair skirt serves several purposes. It connects baseboards on the ends of the step. Therefore, if you have baseboards, then definitely a stair skirt is necessary. It not only simplifies the finished look but also provides continuity between the house levels.

Stair skirts give a trim appearance on the stairs. Homestyle, stair use, and traffic are considerable elements when it comes to stair skirts.


 Stair skirts are beneficial for creating a polished, classic, and higher-end look for the stairs.

Stair use and traffic

Stair skirts play a pivotal role in protecting the wall from dents. Painting a mark on a stair skirt is easier than a patch in the wall.

Factors to consider when choosing wood for stair skirts


Budget is a crucial component when choosing the right wood to use. MDF is relatively cheaper as compared to hardwood.


If you don’t have much space, then consider something that’s more practical. Additionally, if it’s in a high-traffic area, then hardwood would be a better option. Although MDF can withstand up to 90 kg, more weight may lead to cracks.


Consider whether the wood option will fit perfectly with other timber features in your home.

The wood used for stair skirts

Although MDF, softwood, and solid hardwood have positive features, they suit different styles and décor.

Economical woods


It is made from recycled wood fibers, resin, and wax. Due to this, there are different available variations and options that depend on the wood species used in the manufacturing, the size, and thickness. It also comes in different dimensions

MDF is smooth and flat; hence works perfectly for minimalist or simplistic décor. Unlike solid hardwood, MDF lacks natural character. However, with its finished edges, it can suit stair skirting better.

Since resin is used in creating it, MDF is highly resistant to water. However, it requires extra care and maintenance.

MDF is durable hence is unsusceptible to cracking and warping. It’s a great option for extreme humidity and weight. With its composition and material structure, it can withstand up to 90 kg.

Since it does not have visible knots and wood grains, MDF can be easily painted. As compared to solid hardwood, MDF is relatively cheaper and can be easily found at local stores. However, it can only be used for risers, stringers, and treads.

Despite its benefits, it has several shortcomings. It is prone to scratches. Although sanding may solve this problem, the fiber material of MDF may be exposed, and this may lead to scratches or dents.

When using MDF for stair skirts, careful planning should be done. It can sustain damage even when exposed to extreme heat.


It’s a cheaper option for skirting and gives an industrial feel. It’s strong but also lightweight.



If you want a more traditional look, maple is a perfect option. It has a great appearance and comes in a range of colors, such as chromatic grays, reds, and browns. The colors are great and may complement almost all home designs.

It’s also known to be one of the hardest wood varieties; hence is more durable and does not dent easily. It’s also easy to clean and maintain. It only needs regular sweeping and mopping to maintain its good shape.

One great component is that it is naturally dust resistant. Therefore, it helps control allergens that may be harmful to health.

Lastly, it is economical-friendly. It’s also widely available, making it an affordable wood option. With the range of types and grades, you can always choose the option that fits your style and design.


As compared to other types of wood, hardwood is naturally harder. However, the sturdiness or texture depends on the species of plant it was harvested from.

Hardwoods take long to grow but are dense and strong. Some of the hardwood options are spotted gum, Blackbutt, Merbau, Jarrah, and Tasmanian oak

Spotted gum

It is an Australian native timber that’s known for its strength, beauty, and durability. It has a range of colors based on the tree. Some of the colors are light and deep red and white and light brown. Its perfect colors will match your design and style.

It can easily be painted and polished to match your preferences. It is also resistant to scratches, making it a perfect option if you have pets and children.

It’s also pocket-friendly and environmentally friendly. It’s an inexpensive option that will go easy on the wallet. Spotted gum has a small carbon footprint; hence it’s beneficial to the environment.

If, after years, you want to refresh its look, consider applying surface wax and sanding. This will leave the wood looking brand new.


Blackbutt is a great option for any staircase component. It is an Australian hardwood that is known for its structural applications.

It’s highly durable and long-lasting. With the right care, your stairs will last for decades. One of its attractive features is that sand and polish are applied to retain their original beauty.

Blackbutt does not need high maintenance. All it needs is a microfiber broom to remove dirt. However, ensure that it’s not exposed to a lot of moisture. Any spills should be cleaned up immediately.

If you want a unique appeal, blackbutt is an excellent choice. It comes in light browns and pale creams. The lighter shade is a great option for smaller spaces since they reflect light. Blackbutt fits perfectly with any home design.


Although it isn’t as hard as other hardwoods, Merbau is simple to work with. Its appearance gets better with age. Its shade ranges from brown to reddish-brown. It also has an interlocking grain design hence giving a classic and elegant design.


One of the amazing natural properties of Jarrah is that it is highly resistant to termites and rot. Due to its density, it is fire resistant.

Although it’s sturdy enough and may last for years, the appearance of the timber may wear off after some time.

In most cases, Jarrah comes in red and brown colors. Similarly, it may also come in deep pink, orange, and pale yellow shade. Therefore, you may find the perfect color for your stairs that will match the design of your house.

Since its deep red shade, Jarrah gives a warm appearance and adds sophistication to a home. It’s unique since its appearance gets better as it ages.

Tasmanian oak

It is a versatile timber that is perfect for skirting. Tasmanian oak gives a luxurious, timeline, and authentic look. It is a perfect fit for skirting due to its appearance. Some of its characteristics include high density, light color, and resilience.

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