How to Fit a Skirting Board

There are a few instances where you may find yourself having to fit a skirting board – whether you’re replacing an old one or fitting a new one into a renovated room. There are a few ways to fit skirting boards, including gluing them to the wall – but we’re going to look at how you can fix them to the wall using screws.

Not only are we going cover how to fit the board to the wall, but we’re also going to explain how to cut you’re your skirting board to your perfect fit. This can be done with ease when you use a cordless saw, and other items from our cutting range.
For fitting a skirting board, you’re going to need a fair few tools so make sure to check you have these prior to starting, and if not you can gather them.

Tools Needed:

  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Knee pads
  • Dust mask
  • Pipe and cable detector
  • Cordless saw
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Power drill – with a wood drill bit, countersink drill bit and masonry drill bit.
  • Tape measure
  • Sharp chisel
  • Pencil
  • Gap filling adhesive
  • Paint brush
  • Sealant gun
  • Filling knife
  • Damp cloth
  • Workbench
  • Masonry nails
  • Skirting board
  • Wall plugs
  • Zinc screws
  • Lost head nails
  • Panel pins
  • PVA glue
  • Masking tape
  • Wood filler
  • Decorators caulk

Step by Step Guide to Fitting a Skirting Board

1. Internal or External Corners?

The first step in fitting a skirting board is to understand how to join it in the corners. The joints will either be external or internal. Internal corners face inwards whilst external face outwards. With external corners, a mitre joint allows the shape of the skirting to continue around the corner.

2. Mark and Cut the Skirting Board

The next step is to mark the corner positions on the back of the skirting board, making sure to note the direction of the cut required. Then position the skirting so that you are always sawing into the front face, for a smoother cut. Holding the board firmly in place, make the cut – if you’re sawing a long piece make sure to use a temporary support at the other end so it is level.

3. Check the Joint

When you’ve cut the first board, give the corner a sand down so it is smooth and check the joint fits right with no gaps. If there is a gap you can check why this has occurred and fill it by using a chisel to shave off a small amount of skirting to close the gap up.

4. Scribed Joints for Internal Corners

For internal corners, you’ll need to cut a scribed joint. This means one part of the board is cut to be square whereas the other is shaped to the profile of the skirting board. These pieces then simply push together. Be very careful when cutting the profiled end – you can use a jigsaw for this.

Make sure to set out your scribed joints so that you don’t have to make a profiled cut on both ends of a single piece of skirting and always cut the profiled end first as this makes the process easier.

5. Fixing Skirting to a Wall

You should use masonry screws or nails and wall plugs when fitting skirting to a masonry wall. Whereas if you’re attaching it to a timber stud partition wall use a stud detector and use lost head nails. In the instance of newer homes, there may be metal stud partition walls in which case use screws. Use an infill board to fill any cavities.

6. Using Adhesive

Alternatively, you can use a gap filling grab adhesive to fix your skirting to the wall. In this case, apply the adhesive to the back of the skirting in regularly space intervals and simply fix the board into place by placing the bottom edge to the floor, just before the fixing position and push this to the wall. If your wall has a bow in it you may need additional fixings, such as screws to make it flush.

7. Using Screws

You will need to use a pipe and cable detector when using screws and if you detect either you should adjust your screw placement accordingly. Mark up the skirting board so that fixing points are around 2cm below the slope of the skirting – at around 60cm intervals. Then, mark the wall (behind where the skirting will go). When you’re happy with the location, drill a hole into the skirting using a wood drill bit.

Then, to ensure the screw sits below the surface, you should use a countersink bit to create a countersink for each fixing hole. Then make your marks through the holes on to the wall and drill them to the length of the wall plugs. Next, insert the wall plugs, making sure they are flush and then screw the skirting onto the wall.

8. Finishing the Skirting

Make sure to fill any holes with filler, to match the boards and use decorative caulk to seal the gap between the board and the wall it sits on.


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Matt Raynes


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