Do you have a loose, damaged or missing skirting board that you want to tackle yourself? Skirting boards help to protect the walls from everyday scuffs and knocks while finishing a room’s décor. Fitting a skirting board is not necessarily complicated, but it does call for precise measurements and neat work.
Skirting boards need mitred cuts for both internal and external corners. If your floor is uneven, the board will need to be cut at the bottom to ensure that it is even. If this is the case, or if you are unsure about doing the job yourself, call a trusted local carpenter or handyman for a quote. If you think you are up to the job, read our top tips for getting a professional finish.
Before you start
Before you start, you will need: skirting boards, measured to length, grab adhesive, countersink, mitre saw. Optional equipment includes a masonry drill and drill bit (if you are fixing your skirting board to stone walls), jigsaw (for levelling the board), timber offcut and spirit level (if your floor is slightly uneven).
Mitred corners and joins make sure that joins between two pieces of board on corners or on a long length of wall are neat and tidy. It is important that you saw your skirting board in the right direction to obtain an angle correct for your join: internal and external corners require different angles. In short: internal corners require two pieces, each cut at a 45-degree angle; external corners require two pieces with a 135-degree angle and straight joins require one 45-degree angle and one 135-degree piece.
For internal corners, with your board laying flat and the external side facing upwards, you need to tilt the blade of your mitre saw and cut a 45-degree angle. Once you have finished cutting, you will have one piece which has a 45-degree angle, and one which has a 135-degree angle. The 135-degree piece can be kept for external corners and joins to save time later.
Ornate skirting board
If you are using ornate skirting board and are not an experienced DIY-er, you may want to get in touch with a professional to ensure that you get the best finish. However, if you are experienced, cutting ornate skirting board shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Simply push one piece of skirting board up against the wall, fitting tight to the corner, and measure your other piece to fit against it. Use an offcut of skirting board to draw the exact profile of the skirting board, before sawing into shape using a jigsaw or fret saw. Once you have cut the piece, slide into position to ensure that it fits exactly before you secure the board to the wall. If you are unsure, practice on an offcut.
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