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Thread: What To Use for Skirtboards?

  1. #1

    What To Use for Skirtboards?

    Hi all, I moved my basement stairs a while back. What I did was build rough stairs with 3/4" ply measured for the future finishing with oak treads and risers so everything will be up to code.

    I left a 1" gap between the drywall and the treads on both sides so that I could drop in a 1x12 for a skirtboard and not have to scribe and cut. Then, I'll buy the oak treads and risers custom cut those.

    Anyhoo, what would you guys use for the skirtboards? They're going to be painted. I was originally thinking clear pine. That would cost over $100 for 4 8-footers. For less than double that, I could go with poplar. Of coarse oak would be quite a bit more.

    What would you guys use?

    Oh, I prolly shouldn't confuse the issue, but how would you attach the boards together end-to-end? I've got a Kreg jig so I was thinking pocket holes and Titebond. Would this be best?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I wouldn't go with pine cause it dents so easily, even poplar is not very hard. If it's painted, use 1" MDF. It's hard & takes paint beautifully. I imagine a 4x8 sheet would be well under $100, even if spring for the water resistant type. I find it is quite a bit tougher, especially the edges.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    MDF or the pre-primed "glued up" wider trim boards that cost a little less than clear pine.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    We always made them from white pine and I think most of them got painted. I'm sure that if someone ordered a certain
    wood we would have provided it. The white pine routed easily and had a little "give " when wedging them up. But we made only complete ready to stand up and nail stairs When providing materials for
    stairs we used what ever materials were specified. Since you are not routing and wedging ,I don't think the stringer
    material makes any difference .
    Last edited by Mel Fulks; 05-08-2020 at 7:21 PM.

  5. #5
    Adam,I just reread your question. For your application I would use poplar, I guess mdf could be used IF you use a
    cap moulding on the stringer edges. Without a wood cap moulding I think the mdf edge would get beaten up.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    Adam,I just reread your question. For your application I would use poplar, I guess mdf could be used IF you use a
    cap moulding on the stringer edges. Without a wood cap moulding I think the mdf edge would get beaten up.
    Yeah, I'm afraid the edges of MDF would get beat up pretty bad. Plus, I hate ripping it. My vac system still can't keep up with it. At least I wouldn't have to rout it.

  7. #7
    If they are to be painted, I would go with Maple in an ideal world. We like to use hard material on skirt boards as they tend to get beat up by things. Poplar would be our 2nd choice.

    Don't buy 8's. Call a local hardwood rep, I cannot see where you are from, but around me (KC area), we would pay about 2 bucks a board foot for poplar, maybe 3.5 for maple.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Western Nebraska
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    3,750
    Usually they are dictated by the other stair materials. I try to use something tough, like oak or maple on stairs in general, but that isn't always possible because of customer tastes.

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