How to install a Skirting Board

Skirting covers the joint between the floor and the wall. It makes a nice decorative border while hiding gaps that are needed to cope with the natural contraction and expansion that will take place in your house. Skirting will suffer through some hard wear.

Luckily it isn't too difficult to replace. Alternatively, you may want to restore the skirting if the original mouldings have been removed from your home, or fit it on a newly-built stud partition wall. Remember to read all steps thoroughly and to call us on 0115 964 0888, if you have any further questions.­

Here's what you will need for the job…

  • Pins
  • Skirting board
  • Screws
  • Square
  • Safety glasses
  • Mitre saw
  • Wood glue
  • Pencil
  • Hammer
  • Drill driver
  • Countersink bit
  • Plane
  • Coping saw
  • Nail punch
  • Tape measure

Step 1:
Marking the position of the skirting for the job
Select a part of your wall that has an external corner. Place a length of skirting up against the wall so that it protrudes past the corner. Mark a line with a pencil along the floor where the skirting will sit.

Step 2:
Measuring the length of the skirting
Repeat the first step for the adjacent wall. You will now have a cross marked on the floor coming from both walls of the external corner. You can measure up to this point to give you an accurate measurement of the length.

Step 3:
Use a timber stud detector
If you are fixing the skirting into stud work, locate the timber uprights behind the wall. You may need to use a stud detector to do this. Mark the location of the studs onto the floor with your pencil for fixing later on.

Step 4:
Measure and cut the skirting board
Measure the length of the first piece and use your square to mark a cutting line, ensure that for external corners the face should be the longest, and the rear should meet up with the corner. Set your saw to 45 degrees cut and bevel.

Step 5:
Check the skirting length and mark the fixings
Rest the skirting in position and check for actual length. Measure two fixing points onto the face of the skirting, along with the upright markings from earlier – the fixing points will vary depending on the height of the board.

Step 6:
Drill some pilot holes in the skirting
Drill some pilot holes through the skirting and into the studs. Next, use a countersink or flat woodcutting bit to bore into the face of this length so that the screws will sit behind the surface. Screw the skirting into position carefully.

Step 7:
Stick the edges of the skirting
Use some wood glue along the joint then fit the piece into place. Repeat step 6 on this board, then nail a couple of pins through the second piece into the first and punch just below the surface so they don’t come all the way through.

Step 8:
Scribe internal corners
For internal corners, cut a length of skirting to size, bearing in mind for internal corners the rear of the board will be the longest. Cut a to 45 degrees with your mitre saw.

Step 9:
Fit skirting around the entire room
Continue this process around the whole room, making sure you are happy that each board is snug as you go. Once the whole room is complete use wood filler on the screws, then once that dries you are ready to paint or varnish.

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