How To: Fit Skirting Boards

What you will need

  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Mitre box or mitre saw
  • Hammer
  • Screws / masonry nails / adhesive
  • Panel pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Caulk / decorator’s filler
  • Wood filler
  • Wood glue
  • Skirting boards
  • Multi-purpose detector
  • Coping saw
  • Planer

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  • 1 Measure the room to work out how much skirting you need. Buy extra to allow for waste and any bad cuts. Run a multi-purpose detector around the wall and mark the location of studs, pipes and cables. Top Tip: Always start on the longest wall and finish up on the shortest wall. You can use off cuts from the longer walls to finish the shorter walls.
  • 2 On your longest wall, you will most likely need two lengths of skirting to cover the wall. Use a mitre box to saw a 45-degree angle at the end of the first board. Measure the distance from the end of the first board to the corner. Transfer the measurement on to a second piece of skirting and once again use your mitre box to saw an opposing 45-degree angle to join up with the cut on the first board.
  • 3 Test fit the pieces and trim them using a planer until they give a flush finish. This is a more secure way of joining skirting.
  • 4 Fix the skirting to the wall. This can be done by nailing it to the wall using masonry nails, screwing into plasterboard using wood screws and a plasterboard fixing or gluing using adhesive. Make sure the nails are flush to the skirting board. Use an adhesive for joining your mitre joints and then secure with panel pins. If fixing skirting to a stud wall secure it directly on to the stud with wood screws. Top Tip: Rest your knee on an off-cut of skirting, sat on top of the skirting when hammering in nails. This will put downward pressure on the skirting boards towards the floor.
  • 5 When joining skirting at an internal corner, cut the first length of skirting so it butts against the wall. Then cut a 45-degree angle at the end of the second length of skirting and use a coping saw to cut at 90 degrees to the face of the board. Follow the grooves of the board with the coping saw.
  • 6 The second board should now slot into position with the first board.
  • 7 For external corners, saw 45-degree angles at the ends where the boards will meet. Test fit the pieces and trim them using a planer until they give a flush finish. Glue along the joint with wood glue and then secure using panel pins. Top Tip: When joining skirting to the architrave of your door, use a 90-degree butt joint to give the best finish.
  • 8 Fill in any nail heads and lines showing at the joins with caulk if you are painting the skirting, or wood filler if you want a natural finish.
  • 9 Caulk around the top of the skirting boards to fill any gaps left by uneven walls.