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A Guide to Installing Skirting Board: Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Finish

Embarking on a home improvement project can be both exciting and rewarding, especially when it comes to adding those finishing touches that transform a room from ordinary to extraordinary. And in the world of interior design, few elements can give a room the finishing touch as well as skirting boards and ceiling cornices.


Installing skirting boards might seem like a straightforward task, but achieving a professional finish requires precision, attention to detail, and a few insider tips.


In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the process of installing skirting boards like a seasoned pro. From selecting the right materials and making precise cuts to mastering the art of seamless joints, we'll cover every step to ensure your skirting board installation not only enhances the visual appeal of your space but also stands as a testament to your DIY prowess.


For this DIY project you will need the following materials and tools:


  1. Skirting boards

  2. Measuring tape

  3. Miter saw or coping saw

  4. Wood glue

  5. Nail gun or hammer and finishing nails

  6. Sandpaper

  7. Caulk

  8. Paint or finish (if necessary)


Are you ready? Let's go!


 


Guide to Installing Skirting Board

Image credit: Alchemy Build



Choosing the Right Skirting Boards


Beyond personal taste, skirting boards and ceiling cornices are designed to elevate a house's existing architectural details, history, and character. So before ordering, you might want to think about whether the skirting boards you like work with your property's characteristics.


For example, if you live in a Victorian terrace house, you should choose an ogee skirting board that has an S profile or a double curve making it more ornate and therefore suitable for this era home. Choose between traditional and modern skirting board Metres Direct.



Measuring a room before you order


The best way to order the right length of baseboards is to measure the perimeter of the room where you plan to install skirting boards. Take accurate measurements of each wall and write them down.


Consider the corners and any obstacles like outlets or vents. You will also need to add a little buffer in case of cutting mistakes especially if you are not confident in cutting and installing around corners. And if you are looking for the best prices for your DIY project, the team at Skirting King will put together a quote for you in no time!



Cutting your Skirting Boards Like a Pro


Cutting skirting boards accurately is crucial for a professional finish.


Measure and Mark

  • Measure the length needed for each section of the skirting board.

  • Mark the cutting lines on the front face of the skirting board using a pencil. Ensure the marks are clear and easily visible.

Cutting Straight Ends

  • For straight cuts, use a miter saw or a handsaw. Secure the skirting board in place, and make sure it is properly supported.

  • If using a miter saw, adjust the angle to 90 degrees for straight cuts.


Cutting Internal Miters (Inside Corners)

  • Measure the angle of the inside corner with a bevel or angle finder.

  • Set the miter saw to half of the measured angle for each board (e.g., if the corner angle is 90 degrees, set the saw to 45 degrees).

  • Cut each board with the miter saw accordingly.

  • Ensure the two pieces fit together snugly at the corner.


Cutting External Miters (Outside Corners)

  • Similar to internal miters, measure the angle of the outside corner.

  • Set the miter saw to half of the measured angle for each board.

  • Cut each board with the miter saw accordingly.

  • Check the fit at the corner for accuracy.


Coping Joints

  • Coping is often used for internal corners to ensure a tight fit.

  • Make a straight 90-degree cut on the first skirting board.

  • On the second board, cut at a 45-degree angle, leaving the profile intact.

  • Use a coping saw or backsaw to carefully cut along the profile, following the contour of the first board.

  • Fine-tune the cut for a precise fit.


Guide to Installing Skirting Board

Image credit: Alchemy Build



Methods of installation


Different ways of installing skirting boards each have their pros and cons. The simplest method is to use a No Nails adhesive, although daily life and busy households may require touch-ups or re-installation after a few years.


Installing skirting boards with screws offers advantages such as easy removal and secure attachment, but it comes with the drawback of visible holes that have to be filled in and a potentially more labor-intensive process.


Tip: Before attaching the skirting boards, do a dry fit to ensure that the pieces fit together properly and meet at the corners seamlessly.

The choice between screws and other installation methods depends on factors like aesthetic preferences, the specific project requirements, and the skill level of the installer. Here's a breakdown of some key points when installing skirting boards with screws:


Pros:


  1. Easy Removal and Replacement: Using screws allows for easy removal of skirting boards when needed, which can be advantageous for access to wiring or plumbing behind the boards, or future renovations.

  2. Secure Attachment: Screws provide a strong and secure attachment, ensuring that the skirting boards remain firmly in place.

  3. Reduced Risk of Damage: Compared to other fastening methods like adhesive, screws have a lower risk of causing damage to the walls or skirting boards during installation or removal.


Cons:


  1. Labor-Intensive Installation: Installing skirting boards with screws can be more time-consuming than using other methods, such as adhesives. It requires measuring, pre-drilling, and securing each screw individually. You also need to spend time using a wood filler to hide holes and sanding.

  2. Potential for Wood Splitting: If not properly pre-drilled, there is a risk of the wood splitting when screws are driven into the skirting boards. This risk is higher when working with hardwood or if the screws are not appropriately sized.

  3. Cost of Materials: While screws themselves are relatively inexpensive, the cost of screws and the associated tools (drill, bits, etc.) can add up, especially if you're working on a large installation project.



Guide to Installing Skirting Board

Image credit: Alchemy Build


Tips for a perfect finish


Once your skirting boards are securely in place, you will want to apply a bead of caulk along the top and bottom edges of the skirting boards where they meet the wall to create a seamless transition.


Later, when the caulk is dry, you can paint or finish the skirting boards to match the room's color scheme. You can also join the debate: Should you paint skirting boards or leave them in their white finished colour?


Armed with these tips, you are sure to complete your next DIY project with success! Remember to choose the design of your skirting boards carefully considering your home's aesthetic and measure twice before cutting any boards!


 


Jenny Kakoudakis

Jenny Kakoudakis likes to blog about interiors. She launched award-winning Seasons in Colour in 2014. When she is not chasing criminals out of the financial system (her day job), she gets creative by redecorating her own home.


Download her free bathroom renovation guide here.

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