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How to Install New Skirting Board

Do you need to know how to install new skirting board the correct way? If so, then this step by step guide should help.  Skirting boards cover any gaps between walls and floors. It also doubles up as a decorative border.

There are many types of skirting board to choose from.  They come in different heights and profiles.  You can also buy them pre-primed to help reduce the amount of painting needed.  When cutting skirting board there are 3 cutting methods that are used.  The ones you require depends upon your room layout.  Below is an example of a room layout.  The 3 different cut types are represented by the letter A, B and C.

A.  Square edge cuts. Located at positions A in the example below.

B.  Internal cuts (known as a scribe). Located at positions B in the example below.

C.  External cuts (known as mitre cuts). Located at position C in the example below.

Installing new skirting boards may appear complicated at first.  This is why we have created this handy step by step guide to help you through it.  We will now tell you how to do each of these cuts.  And the best place to start, using this example layout.  But first, let’s talk about the tools you will need for the job.

Tools needed

As you are learning how to install new skirting board, it is essential you gather all the necessary tools first.

Thick Pencil

Buy this woodworking pencil from the Amazon store

Tape Measure

Buy this tape measure from the Amazon store

Chop Saw or Mitre Saw

Buy this chop saw (mitre saw) from the Amazon store

A chop saw/mitre saw is a must for cutting perfect corners

Coping Saw

Buy this coping saw from the Amazon store


Buy this hammer from the Amazon store

Nail Gun

Buy this nail gun on the Amazon store

Nail guns make attaching skirting boards to walls a quick and easy job.  If you don’t want to spend out on a nail, then you could use instant grab adhesive to secure boards to wall instead.

How to Install New Skirting Board Guide

Step 1.  Measure Up

First of all you need to measure the amount of skirting board you need.  To do this you simply measure the perimeter of your room, but exclude areas where skirting board is not required.  In the below example, the total amount of skirting board comes to 14.5m.

However, this is not the amount you will order as you need to take into account wastage due to cutting.  As a general rule of thumb, is it best to add on an extra 10% to allow for wastage.

Therefore, the amount of skirting board you need to order in the example below is:

14.5m + 10% = 15.95m = 16m (rounded up to the nearest metre)

Below are the calculations:

14.5 / 100 = 0.145

0.145 X 10 = 1.45

1.45 + 14.5 = 15.95m

Step 2.  Start with a straight cut

As with any job, you need a good starting point. As a beginner, it is best to start where the skirting board buts up against a wall or door frame. This is because it only requires a square edge cut. In the example below it is best to start either side of the door frame (location A).  You will then need to measure how long you need the skirting to be from that door frame, in the example below it is 2m.  Once you know the length you need that piece of skirting to be, you can then cut the square edge at both ends (door frame side, and wall side).  Using a miter saw and miter box, start cutting the skirting boards.  Some people prefer to start at the corners first, as these are the hardest cuts to do.  However, this is personal preference.  This guide will start with straight cuts.

Now you should have a piece of skirting with square ends, which fit between the door frame and wall.  The next thing to do is to join another piece of skirting to your previous skirting board, at location B.  To do this you must follow the instructions internal corner (scribe) cut method in the next step.

Step 3.  Cutting Internal Corners

In the diagram below, B represents corners that are internal.  Each B corner should have one piece of skirting board right up to the corner where the walls meet. This piece of skirting board will stay here permanently, as shown in the diagram below.

Now but up another piece of skirting (cut to the correct length) against the piece of skirting shown in the diagram above.  In the diagram below, you can see that this piece of skirting is now 90 degrees to the other piece.  In practice, you will notice the profile at the top of the board does not flow into the other skirting board properly.  To make the profile look right, you must shape (or scribe) the end of one of these skirting boards so that it slots into the other skirting board.  In order to shape the end of this skirting board, you must use a tool called a copping saw.

Please note that all internal corners such as this one require a scribe join.  You will need to cut skirting boards so that they fit along the length of your wall, but then carryout the necessary internal cutting method shown below.

how to install skirting board

Step 4.  Cutting External Corners

In the diagram below, C represents corners that are external.  External corners are joined together by a 45 degree angle on each skirting board, making a right angle when joined together.

You will need to cut skirting boards so that they fit along the length of your wall, but then carryout the necessary external cutting method shown below.

how to install new skirting board

Step 5.  Fixing Boards to Walls

We have shown you how to tackle the different cuts for internal and external corners.  Now you need to know how to install new skirting board to walls.

If attaching to plasterboard walls, use a strong adhesive.  If attaching to brick/plaster you could use adhesive or a nail gun.

Step 6.  Fill in the Gaps

After fixing your skirting to the walls, you will likely see gaps between your skirting board and wall.  We recommend you fill in these gaps with could or silicon sealant.

We hope you have enjoyed this how to install new skirting board guide.


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Posted on 30th November 2018 at 7:00 pm


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