How to Fit a Skirting Board

As well as being a fundamental feature within your home, skirting boards can add an aesthetically pleasing touch to a room, giving an outdated or rundown property a fresh makeover. If you’re wondering how to fit a skirting board, without having to pay for a professional, this easy-to-follow guide will walk you through every step.

Fitting a skirting board yourself

With the right products, you can easily fit a skirting board yourself – provided you take the time to:

  1. Measure the wall accurately
  2. Choose the right product for your home
  3. Neatly mitre the corners
  4. Fix the skirting board to the wall with strong adhesive or nails
  5. Complete with the appropriate finish

All of our skirting boards are designed with you in mind and we’ve put together this guide to make skirting board installation as simple as possible (although, of course, there’s no shame in calling a professional to do the job for you!).

How to install skirting boards: a step by step guide

 

1. Measuring your wall

To calculate the amount of skirting board you’re going to need, measure the area you are fitting and add around 20% onto the length to allow for mitring.

 

2. Choosing your skirting board

As a visual feature of a room, there are a variety of skirting board materials, finishes and profiles available. Whether you’re looking to update your property with a contemporary vibe or you want to create a classic feel, finding the perfect product couldn’t be easier.

If you’re looking to complement a modern home, choose skirting boards in shades of white, walnut and light oak. We also suggest you opt for profiles such as Ovolo and Lambs Tongue, which feature smooth arcs and rounded lines and are the perfect touch to contemporary designs.

For interiors that are more traditional, we believe pairing them with mahogany, rosewood and golden oak products works beautifully. To highlight heritage furniture, you could also choose a profile with accents of elegance and luxury, like Torus.

If you want to achieve the same aesthetic results as real wood but for a lower price, MDF is a great alternative. You can find out more about choosing the right option for your home by reading our introduction to buying skirting boards.

 

3. Cutting skirting boards

Method 1: Mitring

The term mitring refers to cutting your skirting board at an angle to help neatly join two pieces in the corner of a room. Wondering how to cut skirting board corners by mitring?

Take the following steps:

  1. Divide the angle of the corner by two – e.g. a 90° angle corner should be cut at a 45° angle.
  2. Left-hand pieces of internal corners should be cut from right down to left, whereas left-hand pieces of external corners should be cut from left down to right.
  3. For the right-hand pieces of internal corners cut from left down to right, and for external corners cut from right down to left.

We suggest using a mitre box or block to help you perfect the cut.

Method 2: Scribing

Sometimes referred to as ‘coping’, scribing is used to cleanly connect the internal corners of skirting boards. If you’re unsure on how to scribe skirting boards, it involves shaping the end of a section of skirting board so that it neatly fits the contours of an adjoining board.

Scribing allows your skirting boards to fit snugly together at the visible front part of the joint, even if the walls of your room aren’t completely square.

Follow these steps to scribe your skirting boards:

  1. Cut an internal mitre on the end of the skirting, taking care to ensure that the cut is perpendicular to the skirting.
  2. On the profiled section of the skirting board, cut along the line made by the front edge of the mitre. Cut from the top and stop when you reach the flat, unprofiled part of the wood. Use a coping saw to do this.
  3. Draw a line down from the end of your first cut. Use a panel or tenon saw to cut from the bottom of the skirting board up to the initial cut. The waste wood should drop away, leaving you with a neatly scribed board.

All skirting boards should be cut with a fine-toothed saw. Whichever method you choose, we recommend using dust control equipment and wearing face masks and eye protection. It’s also important to ensure you’re working in a well-ventilated area to adhere to health and safety regulations.

REMEMBER: If you’re still unsure on how to cut skirting boards well, you can always seek help from a professional.

 

4. Fitting skirting boards to the wall

All of our products have been designed for practicality and can be fitted in place using a strong gap-filling adhesive. If you’ve previously looked into how to fit skirting boards and what adhesive to use when doing so, we suggest using Instant Nails Adhesive, which allows you to fit your new skirting boards without nails or screws.

Simply spread the glue evenly across the back of the board and press the piece in place against the wall. Keep it in position until the adhesive has set.

Although we recommend fixing skirting boards with adhesive, if you prefer screw-fixing your skirting boards, drill and countersink the skirting and use an appropriately sized screw to fix in place. Sand the screw head down and cover suitably depending on your chosen finish.

  • Primed: Fill with a non-water-based shrink-resistant filler.
  • Veneered: Cover with oak pellets – these are 12mm in diameter and need to be drilled with a counterbore.
  • Fully Finished: Our fully finished products should only be fitted using an adhesive.
  • Wrapped: Fill with a gap filling adhesive.

Left with unsightly pinholes after screw-fixing your skirting boards? Try covering them up using a Wax Crayon Filler.

REMEMBER: When screw-fixing, it is important that you check the area is free from pipes and cables to avoid damage to your property.

 

5. Applying the finish

Your choice of finish will depend on the material you opted for, so this step could include glossing, staining or painting.

If you have chosen a foil-wrapped moulding, this product comes fully furnished and doesn’t require any decoration.

If you have selected a wooden, veneered or primed skirting board, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to guarantee a professional finish. Generally, primed products will only need a light sand, undercoat and gloss finish, whereas veneered products should be treated like timber. We wouldn’t recommend water-based stains or finishes; it’s better to use wax, Danish oil or acrylic lacquer.

Please note that varnishing or lacquering veneered skirting boards may darken the colour. Also, as they’re a natural product, some colour variations may occur in the lengths.

For help applying finishes to any of The Skirting Board Shop’s products, take a look at our helpful decorating instructions.

 

If you require more information or advice on how to choose the appropriate skirting board for your home or how to fit a skirting board correctly, please get in contact our team by emailing help@theskirtingboardshop.co.uk or calling 0800 048 0786.

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