How to fit skirting boards
What is the best way to fit skirting boards?
Skirting boards are used to cover the joint where the wall and floor meet each other. Depending on the nature of your project you’ll either be replacing the skirting in a room or fitting new skirting as part of a room makeover. If you’re adding both architrave and skirting then it’s a good idea to match the styles for a consistent look.
You don’t need to leave a gap underneath the skirting boards. If you’re having a carpeted floor then fit the skirting boards first. If you’re laying down a wooden floor then fit the skirting boards afterwards.
Skirting boards come in a variety of materials – primed MDF, fully finished MDF, softwood and hardwood. MDF skirting won’t warp and doesn’t have any knots or imperfections. If you choose hardwood or softwood skirting then select lengths with the least number of knots and imperfections.
Should I sand skirting boards before fitting?
MDF skirting doesn’t need sanding, but if you’re using softwood or hardwood boards they may need lightly sanding and treating before fitting.
How do I cut and measure skirting boards?
When cutting skirting boards you will need to know the best way to join them at the corners. External corners face outwards and internal corners face inwards. Each corner needs a different cut for the best results.
- Mitre joints are used for external corners. The boards are cut at 45 degree angles so they fit nice and tightly around the corner.
- Scribe joints are used for internal corners. One of the boards is cut square then the other board is cut – or “scribed” – to match the profile of the first board. Scribing also helps minimise the risk of gaps forming if the skirting shrinks after fitting.