Whether you’re looking to enhance the visual appeal of your space or simply need to cover those unsightly gaps between the wall and floor, learning how to fit skirting board is a valuable skill for any DIY enthusiast or homeowner.
If you’re looking to fit skirting boards in your home, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process step by step.
From installing skirting boards to dealing with corners and gaps, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure your skirting board project is a success.
Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Materials
Before you begin fitting skirting to the wall, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand. You may need the following:
- Skirting boards
- Tape measure
- Mitre box and saw
- Coping saw
- Lost head nails or nail gun
- Drill bit and screwdriver
- Wall plugs (and masonry nails when securing to masonry wall)
- Panel pins
- Cable detector
- Damp cloth
- Grab adhesive
- PVA glue
- Temporary support
- Countersink bit
- Cartridge gun
- New flooring (if applicable)
Step 2: Measure and Cut Skirting Boards
Start by measuring the walls where you plan to install skirting boards. It’s essential to get accurate measurements to ensure a snug fit.
Mark your measurements on the skirting board, using a pencil and tape measure.
Cut the skirting board using a mitre box and saw for straight cuts and a coping saw for internal corners.
Remember that internal corners should face inwards, and external corners should face outwards.
Step 3: Prepare the Skirting Boards
Before attaching the skirting boards, it’s a good idea to prepare them. Sand any rough edges and apply primer if you’re using primed MDF skirting boards.
If you’re working with wooden skirting boards, you can also apply a layer of PVA glue to enhance adhesion and to help hold the skirting board in place.
Step 4: Locate Studs and Pipes
To ensure a secure attachment to the wall, use a pipe and cable detector to locate any pipes or cables that may be behind the wall where you plan to fit the skirting.
This step is crucial for safety and to avoid damaging any utilities.
Step 5: Fitting Skirting Boards
Now that you’ve prepared your skirting boards and located any potential obstacles behind the wall, it’s time to attach the skirting boards.
Prior to fixing the skirting board to the wall, ensure that the surface is entirely clean and free from any dust or dirt.
- Start with the first board. Hold it against the wall in the desired position and mark the fixing points with a pencil.
- Drill pilot holes at the marked positions to make it easier to insert the screws.
- Attach the first board firmly to the wall using screws and wall plugs.
- For longer walls, join two boards together using a mitre joint. Ensure the joint is seamless and secure with screws.
- For internal corners, cut the skirting boards at a 45-degree angle using a mitre box and saw. Make sure they fit snugly against each other.
- For external corners, measure and cut square pieces of skirting board to fit the corner. Attach them securely.
With Adhesive & Nails
- Ensure the wall surface is clean, dry, and free from debris. Sand or scrape any irregularities for a smooth fit.
- Measure the length needed for each skirting board section accurately. Cut the boards at 45-degree angles for neat corners.
- Apply a suitable adhesive (construction adhesive or a strong bonding adhesive) evenly along the back of the skirting board.
- Carefully press the skirting board into place, ensuring it is level and flush with the wall.
- Secure the skirting board by driving nails at an angle (toe-nailing) through the top edge of the board and into the wall studs. Use a nail gun or a hammer and nail set for this step.
- Space the nails at intervals of about 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) apart for a secure attachment.
Step 6: Dealing with Gaps and Small Imperfections
If you encounter small gaps between the skirting board and the wall, use gap-filling grab adhesive to fill them.
Simply fix the adhesive into the gaps and wipe away any excess with a damp cloth.
For countersinking any nail holes, use a countersink bit to create a flush finish. Nails are sunk with a nail punch, whereas screws are countersunk with a countersink bit.
Step 7: Finishing Touches
Once all the skirting boards are securely attached and any gaps are filled, you can apply the finishing touches.
If you plan to install new flooring, do so after fixing the skirting boards to ensure a seamless look.
Additionally, you may want to apply a bead of grab adhesive along the top of the skirting board to hold it firmly in place.
In conclusion, fixing skirting boards is a manageable DIY project that can significantly enhance the appearance of your home.
By following these steps and being meticulous in your measurements and cuts, you can achieve professional-looking results.
Whether you’re dealing with internal corners, external corners, or straight walls, this guide has covered all you need to know to successfully fit skirting boards in your space.