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How to install skirting boards

31st Mar '21 • By Shreya Kulkarni

Skirting boards can really make or break the aesthetic of your room. If yours are a little worse for wear, update them with these simple tips

how-to-install-skirting-boardsSkirting boards are attractive and functional additions to any room and create an overall framework for your home. The job of skirting boards is to hide the gap between floor and wall. Installing them is an easy job with the right tools and know-how. Let's look at the process you’ll need to install skirting boards in your house. If you’re not confident with tools, have a professional carpenter do it for you. 

Why use skirting boards?

types of skirting board
Skirting boards are essential at forming the junctions between construction materials — potentially covering untidy or uneven joins. They also provide a barrier that protects the wall from scuffs and dents caused by people and pets moving through and vacuuming. Skirting can be used to cover up the exposed electrical wires and connection that cannot be removed. Hiding these wiring under the skirting board is found more economical and practical compared to hiding under the ceiling board. Some construction flops may result in unwanted gaps between the wall and the floor. Redoing such works is time-consuming and costly. One alternative is to install skirting so that the poor work is covered and cleared economically. The skirting board installed has a projection that always keeps a gap between the nearby furniture and the interior wall. This way rubbing and scratching from the furniture are avoided letting the wall free of scratches. A matched and good coloured skirting gives the room a finished and cleaner look. Skirting throws a professional touch to the room it is installed.

What are the types of skirting boards?

Skirting hides improper edges, protects furniture from scratches, and gives a room a polished look. Different styles of skirting boards and designs are available as a result of recent modern ideas in the field of interior design.
Pencil skirting is an excellent design option for giving a room a finished look. This can be mounted on patterned or unpatterned walls.
Wooden skirting gives a home a lush, elegant appearance. It is the best choice for marble and tiled floors. For light floors, walls, and ceilings, wooden skirting works best. For traditional-looking decors, wooden skirting is used. If you are a minimal look at your house, this might not be the right choice for you. Get advice from your carpenter to see which skirting would look best for you.
In flush skirting, the skirting and the plastering are on the same level giving a seamless look to the interior space. As they are on the same level, they do not catch dust quickly as in the case of other skirtings, where they stay projected out of the walls.

How to install skirting boards

Skirting boards can be installed by a licensed and experienced carpenter near you, or you can install them yourself. Learning how to lay, skirting boards means you could avoid the professional skirting board installation cost, but you need to be confident in your carpentry skills. The cost might increase if you make a mistake that needs to be fixed by a professional. If you are sure about your ability, the following are the steps to follow - 
Using a tape measure, measure the wall where you'll be mounting skirting boards. Draw a straight line on the skirting boards with a pencil or a handsaw. This is where you'll be cut. With a stud finder and masking tape, mark the location of studs behind the wall. 
Using a handsaw, cut the skirting boards along the marked lines, leaving an additional 1-2mm for a close fit. The inside corners should have a 90-degree angle. For many people, the most difficult aspect of building skirting boards is finding out how to cut skirting board external corners. 
To do so, put the skirting board on a mitre box secured to a workbench and cut a 45-degree angle through it. Then, using a coping saw, make the connecting 45-degree corner on another board as closely as possible. Leave a few millimetres at the top of the board to overlap the other board for a snug fit.

Place the prepared boards in their final positions. To secure the boards to the wooden frame behind the wall, use a nail gun to shoot nails over the marked wall studs. Make sure you cover your eyes and ears with adequate eye and ear protection. If you're using an adhesive grip, apply it to the back of the board at regular intervals.
To make the external corners more stable, cross-nail them or add extra adhesive. Around doorways, bottom moulding should have a 30-degree chamfered edge where it crosses the architrave.
Make the appropriate adjustments with the handsaw or file to make sure that the moulding suits above and below the skirting board.
Using the nail gun or glue, secure the moulding to the wall studs. Bottom moulding should not be added to the floor because it can create complications if the floor shifts. Any protruding nails should be hammered in first. You may use putty of the same colour as the boards to cover these.

If this is outside your expertise, hire a licensed carpenter to do the job for you.

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