Skirtings and Architraves.

My flat is about to be renovated shortly, and I have the choice of either red pine or MDF for the skirtings and architraves.
Any opinions on which would be the better choice?
Mark.
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It is a question of taste.
MDF gives a smoother more modern finish that might look best in a modern apartment, whilst wood will give a warmer, more traditional look that could be appropriate for a Victorian conversion.
Christian.
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Look at the profiles available in both, which may influence your choice; also consider what finish you want - obviously MDF is a non-starter if you want (eg) a varnished woodgrain finish; however if you're going to be painting them, the skirtings and architraves normally come in pre-primed MDF, which will save you a coat of paint throughout, which might sway you!
David
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On 13 Dec 2004, Mark wrote

Christian's right -- it very much depends on which looks better, both in your opinion and in your setting. I personally prefer wood if there's any noticeable expanses of flat surface involved -- flat MDF surfaces just look too damn smooth for my taste.
We re-did all the skirting boards and architraves in our sitting room a couple of years ago with wood for the skirtings (and dado rails), but we used MDF architraves (which of course don't have as much exposed flat surface area), and they look OK.
--
Cheers,
Harvey
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Just completed 2 houses, one MDF & one pine (painted). Natural wood shrinks after fitting so needs a second fill/decorate in about 6 months. Natural wood has knots which need sealing. MDF is pre-primed but often needs a quick sanding before undercoat. The job appears to be quicker with MDF because it looks nearly finished, because its pre-primed. You need a really sharp plane to flush two pieces of MDF! Natural wood smells better when cut?
For my next project I'll got the MDF route. Its more uniform to work with, "feels" quicker. But, still needs 2 coats of primer/undercoat and two topcoats. All you save is the knotting and a little bit of sanding. Not really worth it unless you can get it for a good price.
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Mark snipped-for-privacy@totalise.co.uk typed:

I hate MDF, but always use it for skirting these days ;-) real wood quickly takes on a cork screw appearance in a C/heated house unless you are prepared to leave it in a barn to dry out properly for a few years.
Sorry about any name confusion ano. Mark
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