A step-by-step guide to fitting skirting board, using mouldings and basic woodworking tools and techniques.
1. Why is skirting needed?
The floor is the foundation that an interior design is built on, it sets the tone and mood for your space. Adding skirting board allows you to keep your Atkinson & Kirby flooring in pristine condition, while looking aesthetically beautiful. Result: happiness m2.
Skirting board covers the expansion gap between your flooring and the wall to create a neater finish. Wood is a natural product and has the ability to expand and contract when temperature and moisture levels fluctuate. When installing flooring it’s important to leave a sufficient expansion gap, ensure you choose skirting that is thick enough to cover this gap. Fitting skirting after your flooring is always preferred as it is visually more professional, we recommend removing existing skirting prior to fitting. This guide is for pine or primed MDF skirting, it is not recommended for pre-finished skirting.
2. Where to start
We recommend starting from the left-hand side of the door and working your way around the room anti-clockwise, dealing with each corner in turn. Next we must know how to cut the skirting for external and internal corners. We recommend a mitre cut for external corners, and a scribed joint for internal corners as not all walls are at a perfect 90-degree angle.
3. Cutting the moulding for an external corner – mitred
Measure the distance to the next corner and mark onto the back of the skirting, and the intended direction of the mitre cut. Next, secure the skirting front facing into the mitre box.
Using a panel saw make a 45-degree angle mitre cut in the marked direction. Secure the adjoining skirting board into the mitre box and make a mitre cut in the opposite direction, sand both mitred ends until smooth. Hold both mitred ends together ensuring they fit properly. If the fit isn’t exact you can use a block plane to shave down the ends to achieve a better fit.
4. Cutting the moulding for an internal corner – scribed joint
First, take one of the 2 pieces that will form the internal corner and cut to size with a straight cut, so the end is flush to the wall. Then place this piece at a 90-degree angle onto the face of the second piece of skirting, and draw around the profile onto the face of the piece you will be cutting.
Using a coping saw carefully saw around the profile mark you have just drawn, to create a scribed joint. Position both skirting boards together in the internal corner, ensuring that the scribed joint fits into the profile of the skirting. If the fit isn’t exact, lightly sand down the end to achieve a better fit. Remember to make the cut at the other end of the skirting before fitting them to the wall.
5. Securing the moulding to the wall
The preferred option when securing the skirting is adhesive, as it allows for a clean and professional finish. If your wall isn’t completely straight you may want to use another applying method alongside the adhesive. Starting from the left-hand side of the door, apply grab adhesive to the back of the skirting and apply PVA to any external mitres, and carefully apply to the wall.
If using an additional applying method, use a pipe detector before nailing or drilling into any walls. If fixing to a stud wall, use a stud detector to locate the vertical timber studs, hammer lost head nails through the skirting into the timber studs. If fixing to a masonry wall use a masonry drill, making sure to countersink the screw holes so that the screws are hidden. Ensure you attach skirting to the wall and not your Atkinson & Kirby flooring. Use flexible decorators caulk to fill the gap between the top of the skirting and wall, wipe any excess with a damp cloth to smooth the surface.
6. Add the finishing touches
Once the skirting is applied, use decorators caulk to patch any gaps, cracks, or holes prior to finishing. You have many different options when finishing pine skirting, you can stain for a traditional look, paint for a contemporary finish, or choose to retain the original look of raw pine.
These little finishing touches are where you can tie in with your chosen décor and Atkinson & Kirby flooring. If you decide to stain or leave as it is, we recommend sealing the surface with a varnish or oil. For primed MDF skirting we recommend painting.
7. Share your renovation project
We love seeing how you have transformed your home with Atkinson & Kirby flooring. Upload a picture of your project to Instagram or Facebook and tag us @atkinson_kirby. You can also upload your images to our testimonials page here. We can’t wait to see Atkinson & Kirby flooring in your homes!