The kitchen has been renovated, the dining table and kitchen set have been selected. Now the matter remains with the details and finishing touches, without which the room cannot become harmonious and maximally resistant to splashes, constant exposure to moisture and temperature extremes. One such detail is the kitchen countertop skirting board. Often it comes with a kitchen set, but if you made furniture to order or just decided to refresh the existing set, the question of choice will sooner or later become relevant. We offer you to understand the main types of baguettes for countertops and decide how to install a kitchen skirting board.
# 1. Functions of the kitchen skirting board
The kitchen plinth is similar in structure and appearance to a floor counterpart. They cover the joint between the countertop and the wall (kitchen apron). Why is this necessary? For a number of reasons, the kitchen skirting board takes on a lot of functions:
protection of the joint between the table top and the wall from crumbs, splashes and debris. Even if all surfaces are perfectly flat, there may be a small gap between the kitchen unit and the wall. In most kitchens, deviations from ideal horizontals and verticals are significant, so gaps can be very noticeable. Debris and moisture particles, which will certainly fall into the gap, in favorable kitchen conditions will quickly become a place for the development of mold and mildew. Not only is it unhygienic, but the smell will also be terrible;
- chipboard countertops (the ones that are the cheapest, and therefore became popular) are very sensitive to moisture. To be more precise, moisture acts destructively on such a countertop, which gets on the unprotected end. If it is hermetically covered with a plinth, then even the cheapest countertop will last long enough;
- kitchen skirting board perfectly hides all defects associated with uneven walls. The gaps between the kitchen unit and the wall can be significant, and with uneven walls, the size of the gap can vary markedly in different parts. Molding will help to neatly hide this flaw;
- a correctly chosen plinth decorates the kitchen, makes the interior more harmonious and complete;
- almost all kitchen skirting boards have a place for laying an electric cable, and the appearance of the kitchen will only benefit from the fact that at least some of the wires are masked.
From all this it is clear that the kitchen skirting board is an important detail, the choice of which must be paid attention to.
# 2. The most important basics for choosing a kitchen skirting board
Most kitchen units come with a matching skirting board. However, the “default” option may not be to everyone’s liking, and then you will have to choose a molding to your liking. The question of choice will also appear before those who made the kitchen to order. To make the kitchen baseboard look as harmonious as possible, when determining its color, material and texture, the following rules are followed:
- selection of skirting boards of the same material and / or color as the worktop. So, for example, stone countertops are perfectly complemented by stone baseboards, wooden ones – wooden ones, but combinations of different materials are also possible. Plastic skirting boards can repeat the pattern of any material, therefore they can be considered universal;
- selection of plinths for kitchen fittings, sinks, roof rails or other details. If the handles on the facades are made in bronze, then the plinth of the corresponding color will look harmonious.
When the skirting board is selected together with the kitchen set, you can immediately test several samples of the baguette by attaching them to the kitchen modules and evaluate the compatibility.
No. 3. Kitchen skirting board material
Among the most common options are plastic and aluminum. Stone, ceramic, wood and MDF skirting boards are also sold.
Plastic kitchen skirting board
Plastic skirting boards for countertops are produced on the basis of polyvinyl chloride by coextrusion. From the molten mass, you can create a plinth of any shape and size. The required decor is obtained either by dyeing in the mass, or laminated with a film imitating the texture of noble materials. Usually the molding is decorated for different types of wood and stone species. The texture of the baguette may differ: if the products are glossy and matte, smooth and pebbled.
The main advantages of plastic skirting boards are:
- nice appearance and a wide variety of colors, so there should be no problems with selection – there is an option for any interior and headset;
- affordable price. Plastic molding is cheaper than others;
- ease of installation;
- availability of space for laying wires;
- high resistance to moisture and chemicals;
- resistance to corrosion and decay;
- elasticity, due to which the plastic skirting board can tightly adjoin a slightly uneven wall. This plinth is also used when working with complex curved shapes.
Not without a fly in the ointment:
- plastic is afraid of high temperatures, so close proximity to the hob can be destructive;
- at low temperatures, plastic becomes brittle and can be easily damaged, therefore, it is not recommended to use it in the kitchens of country houses and other rooms where they live irregularly;
- not the highest mechanical strength.
Aluminum kitchen countertop skirting board
Looking ahead, we note that this is the most preferable option in terms of value for money. Aluminum skirting boards can have a polished, unpolished or embossed surface. They also produce aluminum moldings with a replaceable color insert. The latter is sold in a small roll, glued after installation of the skirting board and, as it gets dirty, can be removed and replaced with a new one. This color finish is chosen to match the color of the headset, countertop or other elements.
The main advantages of aluminum skirting boards:
- high mechanical resistance;
- heat resistance, so the distance to the stove can be minimal – the plinth will not be damaged;
- resistance to chemicals, sunlight and moisture;
- ease of care;
- high durability;
- ease of installation;
- great looks and versatility. Aluminum skirting will look great with most countertops made from cheap materials, and will also be a harmonious addition to expensive stone countertops.
The disadvantages include only the price, but the difference in cost between plastic and aluminum skirting boards is not very significant.
Designers recommend combining an aluminum baseboard for a worktop with the same baseboard – it will look balanced and harmonious.
Kitchen skirting board made of other materials
In addition to the most popular plastic and aluminum models, you can also choose a more exclusive skirting board:
solid wood kitchen skirting board will be a beautiful addition to a wooden countertop. Everything will look gorgeous, but even not the most active culinary processes will be accompanied by splashes of water and dirt, which will have a detrimental effect on the wood. If it is impossible to choose another material, then the molding will need to be very well treated with protective varnishes;
MDF skirting board is slightly more resistant to moisture than wood, but also more fragile. From above, such a baguette can be painted, trimmed with veneer or thin lamination, so there should be no complaints in terms of appearance and its variety;
a skirting board made of natural or artificial stone looks chic, is highly resistant to moisture, high temperatures and sunlight. It is a very durable material that costs a lot. A natural stone baguette is generally a luxury. Stone skirting boards are mounted vertically, as if they are leaning against the wall. A significant disadvantage is that the wires in such a molding cannot be hidden;
ceramic skirting boards are rarely used and are suitable for countertops decorated with ceramic tiles. In terms of performance, this is a very good option. He, like tiles, is not afraid of high temperatures, moisture, aggressive chemicals, is durable and easy to clean.
No. 4. Kitchen skirting shape
The shape of the outer part of the kitchen skirting board can be:
The width of the plinth is chosen based on which gap needs to be closed. Moldings are usually sold in lengths of 3-4 m along with all the necessary fittings: plugs, corners and docking elements.
Plastic and aluminum skirting boards usually consist of two parts: a base, which is attached to the tabletop with self-tapping screws, and a decorative insert, which snaps into place after the base is installed. Stone and some aluminum strips are produced in monolithic form. There are also skirting boards, which consist only of a base, in which any decorative material is then fixed. This is convenient if the headset was made to order from some specific material. Usually one part of the skirting board is equipped with a silicone seal to ensure complete tightness and protect the ends of the furniture from the slightest drops of water.
Depending on the type of attachment to the table top, there are three types of skirting boards:
No. 5. How to install a kitchen skirting board?
According to the description of the skirting board design, it is already becoming clear that installation will not be difficult – no special skills are required. Roughly speaking, the installation is reduced to first attaching the mounting rail, and then snapping the decorative part.
Despite the fact that the design of the molding may differ (slightly), the installation principle remains the same:
- remove the decorative strip from the base;
- measure the length of the countertop or its individual sections (if it is L-, U-shaped or has another complex shape), measure the same distance on the bar and cut it off with a hacksaw for metal. The ends can be cleaned with an abrasive;
- some masters recommend treating the joint between the countertop and the wall with a sealant before installation;
- the base is almost always made of thick, durable plastic that is easy to work with. Sections of the strip must be attached to the table top and fixed to it with a screwdriver and self-tapping screws. The fixing step is about 30 cm. Self-tapping screws can be taken with a length of 18-25 mm with a head diameter of 3-4.5 mm. Do not forget to fix the corner and connecting elements in time. With the help of special grooves, they easily snap into the base bar;
- the decorative strip should be slightly shorter than the length of the table top, so that installation in the corners is simple, and the appearance is as aesthetically pleasing as possible;
- the decorative strip is neatly bent, inserted into the corners and connecting elements and snaps into place on the base. It’s very simple;
- plugs are installed last. To keep them well, you can process them and the ends of the skirting board with silicone, and when it grabs a little bit, install it.
If an aluminum or plastic skirting board is mounted on a stone countertop, then it is better to drill holes for self-tapping screws in advance. If you use stone or ceramic molding, then you can use glue “liquid nails” for installation: you can even choose the appropriate shade so that the result is perfect.
Also, do not forget about the electrical wires that can be laid in the mounting rail after it is finally installed and before the decorative part is mounted.
Finally, we note that an ordinary kitchen skirting board, which many do not pay attention to at all, can become a distinctive element of decor if LED lighting is installed in it. In this case, it is better to dwell on products made of translucent plastic, and if you also use the lighting in the lower part of the kitchen facades, it will turn out to be completely magical.