How to fit skirting boards
Skirting boards are clever inventions. Not only are they used for aesthetic reasons to add character and design to a room, but they conveniently hide gaps and holes in-between the wall and floor. Therefore knowing how to fit skirting boards is necessary so you can achieve both points successfully. In this article we give further tips and guidance when tackling this task.
Firstly the wall needs to be considered and the type of wall you are applying the skirting board to. If the wall is ‘tough’ with masonry bricks then appropriate fixings will be needed to support and fix the feature. Assess and determine this before starting.
You are bound to have different lengths of skirting which need to be covered. Start with the biggest first, and use the whole pieces of skirting board as much as possible. This avoids a ‘patched up’ or jointed look all over the room. The joints can however be filled in later.
To carry out this job you will need a special tool (called a skirting board mitre tool – this will allow you to deal with the angles of the skirting board.) Once the tool is ready to use, balance the skirting board and then cut the left hand / right hand / or straight pieces as appropriate to where you are targeting.
Many mistakes can happen at this point:
* Cutting the wrong angle.
* Cutting the board too long or too short (much worse.)
* Sawing in a sloppy way, thus damaging the feature.
Bear all these in mind when you are cutting.
Check that the skirting board is cut correctly and that no cables are in the way BEFORE fixing the feature.
* If nailing the board…gently tack the nails through the skirting board into the wall with a hammer.
* If screwing the board… (most appropriate for stud or masonry walls for example) pre-drilling ‘pilot holes’ can help, as it stops the wood from splitting and damaging the skirting board. Putting plugs through the skirting board before fixing the screws is also helpful. ‘Countersinking’ screws is also wise, as it helps to hide the effect. When selecting a screw, make sure it is of an appropriate length – too long or too short can cause complications and potential damage during the process.
If gluing the board…(and in our opinion this is the most easiest method,) dab bits of adhesive in various sections along the length of the board. Alternatively use a zig-zag pattern evenly across the piece.
Tip: Most walls are not straight, and therefore the skirting board make look as though it’s bowing or (called‘proud’) along the length. Take account and extra care of this when nailing or screwing. If gluing, add extra adhesive to the corresponding areas of the wood / wall so it helps to ‘pack’ the gap.
* Once finished and you are happy, seal any edges with caulking which will also create the perfect finish.
A finished skirting board, with sound lengths and corners, which are properly caulked, can look really polished as the below picture suggests. This is what you should be trying to achieve.
When thinking about how to fit skirting boards, this can be an intricate operation and we always recommend you seek help or assistance if you are unsure. However, we hope our guide has given you some pointers to consider.
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