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How To Install Skirting Boards

By Paul Hambidge, Managing Director on 28th July 2016.

There are several steps to take in order to achieve a perfect finish with your floors, including underlay, covers around pipes and regular maintenance. However, if you really want to create a seamless floor, the final step to ensure this look includes fitting skirting boards. For the average person, this is a relatively straightforward task, needing only basic DIY skills and a few tools. You should expect to spend around 1-2 days on a large living room but you'll be rewarded by savings of up to £150 in labour by doing it yourself.

What are skirting boards?

Skirting boards are a board of wood which cleverly covers the join between the wall and the floor to create a seamless finish. They are suited to laminate flooring, engineered wood flooring or solid wood.

What is the purpose of a skirting board?

Skirting boards give an attractive appearance whilst hiding the necessary gap that must be left between the edge of the flooring and the wall. This gap allows for the expansion and contraction that happens over time. As well as covering up the messy side of flooring installation, they also provide protection from scuffs and marks.

image of skirting boards

How to remove skirting boards

Skirting boards can end up suffering a great deal of hard wear over time. Luckily, it isn't difficult to replace them and skirting boards come in a range of styles to suit your tastes. To remove skirting boards that have become worn or are unsuitable to the style of your room, simply insert the blade of a chisel between the wall and skirting and tap the edge of the chisel with a hammer. This should loosen the skirting sufficiently enough that you can fit a crowbar in to lever the board out. Slide a small piece of wood behind the crowbar to prevent dents in the plaster.

How to install skirting boards

  1. Start at the longest wall with internal corners first and measure the piece against the wall, marking the top edge to show where to cut. If you have a vice then put it to good use and hold the board whilst you saw it. You'll need to angle the cut to fit into the corner along with the other board.
  2. If attaching the skirting boards with screws, try to attach masonry nails or screws to existing points if possible. If none exist then fix the nails every 600mm at the highest flat point on the skirting board.
  3. If you've decided to glue the nails rather than nailing them into place, spread the adhesive evenly over the back. press it into place and use some wooden props to support it in place until the glue has set.

image of someone nailing skirting boards

Should skirting boards touch the floor?

Whether to install skirting boards with a gap or not depends on the type of flooring you are laying. Carpets need to be fitted against the skirting boards, not underneath them. When installing carpets, it is best to fit the skirting boards first. With carpet, skirting boards can be fitted to the floor. With laminate or tiles, there is the requirement of a small gap between the flooring and the skirting board. Therefore, skirting boards shouldn't have any contact with the floor and should be fitted after the flooring has been installed.

Can I fill the gaps underneath the skirting boards?

Depending on the size of the gaps between the floor and the bottom of the skirting board, sealant can be used to seal the gap up. The sealant can be applied with an applicator gun making it clean, tidy and hassle-free.

If you have gaps in your laminate flooring where skirting boards don't cover them up, colour sealant is available so that you can match the colour to your floor. Waterproof sealant is also available to protect your floors from water damage, especially in rooms like kitchens and bathrooms.

Skirting boards for every home

At Factory Direct Flooring we have everything to satisfy your flooring needs and this applies to skirting boards, too. Our skirting boards are available in either laminate or solid wood but come in a range of styles, sizes, stains and grains to accommodate the diverse nature of our flooring ranges.

Related: How to Measure Your Floor

If you're still feeling a little lost when it comes to fitting your skirting boards on top of your brand new flooring then call 030 100 00 15 to speak to one of our flooring experts.

Paul Hambidge, Managing Director

Paul has 32 years of flooring industry knowledge & experience from both an installation and manufacturing perspective. He started out as installer of very large commercial flooring projects for multiple retailers. As director of Factory Direct Flooring, he has been involved in all aspects of flooring and has worked with some of the largest producers of wood flooring, vinyl flooring and laminate floors.