Kick Boards - Stairway Base Board Trim
The picture below provides you with an excellent example of a kick board. Kick boards protect the side walls from people using the stairs. It's not uncommon to find a stairway that didn't use them, with plenty of marks or even while damage. A kick board can also be referred to as a skirt board.
Would I Build A Stairway Without A Kick Board?
I wouldn't use one, if I was trying to keep building costs down. However, if I was trying to reduce the amount of maintenance in the future, I would definitely install something to protect the walls.
Wouldn't A Kick Board Suffer From Similar Damage?
Good point and you're right, they will get scuffed up, scratched and
damaged and there's almost no way around it. Even if you're as careful
as possible and your feet or shoes don't ever touch the skirt board,
there's a good chance that the vacuum cleaner will.
The only way to reduce scuff marks or any other damage to the side of your finished stairway would be to move out of the house. Let's face it, stairways are high-traffic areas and they are used daily. You will increase your chances of damaging anything, the more its used.
Easy Kickboard Repairs
Another point I would like to make is that kick boards are usually made out of wood and would be easier to repair or replace than a textured wall surface. Depending upon the size of your wall, a kickboard would also be easier to paint.
Stairs / Stair Glossary
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