If you’re putting in new skirting boards, whether they’re going into a spanking new new-build or if you’re replacing ones that have seen better days, then you also need to think about your flooring.
Laminate, wooden and tiled floors need to be laid before you place the skirting boards so that the boards cover any gaps or slightly ragged edges that these floors end up with. If you have carpets, then it’s best to put down the boards first as they offer a nice clean edge for the fitters to work with.
The equipment you’ll need
- a pencil;
- a mitre saw;
- a coping saw;
- a tape measure;
- a hammer;
- a silicone gun;
- some nails and screws;
- fast-acting adhesive and decorators’ caulk;
- a drill, and
- wood filler.
A measured approach
Measure your walls and add 20% of the length for contingencies. When your new boards arrive from skirtingsrus.co.uk, you should mark each one to show which side faces out and which is top and bottom.
Start off with boards that can be fitted with square edges at both ends, like the sides of a chimney breast. Measure carefully and use your mitre saw for a good, accurate cut.
If you’re using fast-acting adhesive, then you need to apply it to the boards in blobs and press the board to the wall. Wipe away any excess that leaks out.
If you’re planning to screw the boards into place, run a pilot drill through the board, marking the wall, at every 6cm. You then need to drill these holes and add a raw-plug. You also need to countersink the holes with a larger bit so that the screw heads can be covered over with filler once they’re in place. Your screws should be long enough to go through the skirting boards and at least 3cm into the wall. Once in place, you can cover over the screw holes with filler and then paint.
Fitting the next boards
Your next board needs to be scribed so it fits in neatly and tightly with the previously-fitted board. This is where you need to coping saw and the pencil. You should have a few practice runs first with some off-cuts – take your time and don’t panic.
Once you’ve done the real thing, check it fits cleanly and accurately at one end before mitre-ing the other end and fixing it into place. Always plan to have a square end fitting to a mitred end, don’t try to join two mitred ends.
Fixing boards to external corners
You only need two mitred ends to meet when it’s an external corner. Cut both ends at 45 degrees so they meet up nicely. Measure both boards to the corner, mark this on the back and make a 45-degree cut with the cut starting on the line.
When you cut the second board, make sure the cut is in the opposing direction so that they meet by changing the mitre saw to its other axis.
Once you’ve boarded all the walls, fill in any gaps between the board and the wall with caulk, running a damp finger along it for a nice smooth finish. You need to let the caulk dry before painting, and then you’re done!