Architrave, skirting, door casings, window board, mitring and RAL colours… sometimes it seems like the world of DIY and home décor is only for people who speak the language of the trade.
You may have a Pinterest board full of ideas, or you might have an exact mental picture of how you want your mouldings to look, but flailing your arms and describing it as ‘the thing with the round-y bits’ won’t get you the living room of your dreams. Today, we’re translating moulding-related terms into plain English.
Architrave conceals the joint and any shrinkage or movement that may occur between the wall and the casing within the door surround. It was also used to frame windows in more traditional homes and buildings, but recently it has become popular in contemporary homes to add extra depth to the design of a room where shutters have replaced curtains. Another use for architrave is around built-in cupboards or loft hatches.
Architrave and skirting blocks
Architrave and skirting blocks may be chosen for functional or purely decorative reasons. Architrave blocks are placed where the architrave head and legs meet at the top corners of a door. Skirting blocks are placed where the architrave and skirting meet at the bottom of a door. These blocks are usually slightly thicker and wider than the architrave and skirting and can be plain or highly decorative. They are useful when connecting elaborate profile designs as they eliminate the need to make difficult cuts for mitring. They are also used in older homes where there are wall alignment issues.
Pronounced [kawk]. A sealant that fills any cracks or joints around mouldings, skirting boards, etc., so it looks smooth the whole way around.
Cladding is a skin or layer applied over another material either inside or on the outside of a building. It can be functional or purely decorative and is available in a variety of materials including MDF, fibreboard, timber, metal, vinyl and composite materials. Exterior cladding can provide additional performance benefits to a building such as thermal insulation, weather resistance, fungal resistance and noise control. If using exterior cladding, it is extremely important to ensure it meets fire safety requirements for the project. Always check with the manufacturer before purchasing.
An interior or exterior decorative moulding located at the meeting point between walls and a ceiling or roof. Historically, the purpose of the exterior cornice (sometimes referred to as coving) was to direct rainwater away from the sides of a building, however, this is rarely seen in modern homes. Today, interior or exterior cornice is mainly used for decorative purposes.
If the word ‘cornice’ is being used in the context of kitchens, it is referring to the trim at the top of kitchen wall cabinets.
A moulding that runs at about waist-height around a room. In Georgian times, a popular decorative feature was to lean dining room chairs up against the walls and the dado rail helped to protect the wall décor.
The frame that an interior door is fitted to, manufactured with a built-in door stop (with door linings the door stop is separate). Casings come in three pieces: the top resting piece is called the head while the two vertical side pieces are called side jambs or legs. Door casings and linings are commonly called door frames, but these are actually used for exterior doors.
The frame that an interior door is fitted to. It differs from a door casing in that the door stop is separate. Linings come in three pieces: the top resting piece is called the head while the two vertical side pieces are called side jambs or legs. Door casings and linings are commonly called door frames, but these are actually used for exterior doors.
A piece of material (or mouldings) attached to a door lining or casing to prevent a door from swinging through when closed. Door casings are manufactured with a built-in door stop. With door linings, the door stop is separate.
It is also the name of an object used to hold a door open or closed, or to prevent a door from opening too widely and damaging a wall or furniture.
The frame that an exterior door is fitted to. Frames come in three pieces: the top resting piece is called the head while the two vertical side pieces are called side jambs or legs. Commonly confused with door casings and linings.
The exterior wall or face on the front of a building that houses the main entrance. It often features a more elaborate design than the rest of the building.
Fully finished mouldings
Mouldings that are ready to install and don’t require painting or lacquering onsite. SAM manufactures several fully finished products including SAM Zero fully finished interior mouldings, SAM Trimax fully finished exterior mouldings and SAM Wrap pre-lacquered real wood veneer mouldings.
A gorgeous shiny finish.
A non-shiny finish. Excellent for darker colours.
Medium-density fibreboard is an engineered wood product made by combining wood fibres with wax and resin binder. We’re big fans of MDF at SAM! For more information, read our blog post “What is MDF?”
A border of wood or cloth material across a door or window to cover the curtain rails. Window pelmets can help with insulation and keeping the heat in, as they prevent convection currents. Now you know what those fancy curtain covers are called!
In the context of kitchens, the pelmet is the trim that fits underneath the wall units.
A thin moulding found about 30cm below the top of the wall, traditionally used to hang pictures from to create a decorative feature above the dado rail.
This is a profile used for cladding. If using timber cladding, each profile varies in performance and there would be an additional lip on the shiplap profile that offers more protection against the weather. If using SAM Trimax exterior fibreboard cladding, you will achieve a superior performance with every profile as the board is entirely weatherproof and has a product lifespan of 60 years.
A moulding used around the perimeter of a room where the walls and floors meet, offering protection against knocks. It first became popular in the Georgian era, and when the dado rail trend was on its way out, the height of the skirting board increased to balance the proportions of high ceilings that were common at that time.
The soffit is under the fascia board and is usually used for ventilation purposes. While you may not have known the names of them until now, your fascia and soffit are some of the hardest working boards in your house.
Most people walk up and down stairs every day and won’t realise how the various parts work together to create a staircase. A stair riser is the vertical piece on each step. If you are working on a stair project, it is important to ensure the risers (or height of the step) aren’t too high making them uncomfortable or unsafe to climb. There are lots of online calculators that can help with this, or you could speak to your local builders’ merchant, DIY store or stair accessories manufacturer.
This is the part of the step that you walk (or tread) on. Again, it is important to calculate the correct depth of the stair tread so that the stairs are safe to climb. There are lots of online calculators that can help with this, or you could speak to your local builders’ merchant, DIY store or stair accessories manufacturer.
Tongue and groove
Another profile used for cladding, both interior and exterior. Each piece of cladding has a tongue on one edge and a groove on the other so they slot together easily. Both tongue and groove and shiplap cladding look similar once installed, however, if using timber, they offer different performance benefits and weather protection levels (see Shiplap). If using SAM Trimax exterior fibreboard cladding, you will achieve a superior performance with every profile as the board is entirely weatherproof and has a product lifespan of 60 years.
Panelling around or on a wall surface. A versatile DIY favourite, wainscoting adds a touch of class and the illusion of space, especially when leading up to a staircase in an open hallway.
Window board is a ledge found inside a building at the base of the window, used to close the gap between it and the wall. Condensation in a room will hit the window pane and then drip down towards the bottom of the glass. Using a moisture resistant material, such as SAM moisture resistant primed MDF, will divert this moisture and prevent damp and mould. Window board is often mistaken for windowsill, which is the ledge below the window on the outside of the house that allows rainwater to be diverted away from the window and run off the surface instead.
Mouldings wrapped with a thin, decorative covering of another material. SAM manufactures MDF mouldings wrapped in real wood veneer (either unfinished or pre-lacquered), paper or PVC. These mouldings require little to no finishing and therefore reduce labour time onsite and overall project cost.
And there you have it: a glossary of mouldings terms. For quality MDF mouldings to give your room the edge, you don’t need to look any further than SAM.
If you would like to speak to one of our team, give us a call on +44 (0)28 9442 8288 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.