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Fitting Timber Skirting Boards

Before fitting your timber skirting board there are a number of factors to consider if you are a novice and doing it for the first time.

Firstly the type of timber will affect how easy it is to fit. Some timbers are harder than others to fit due to how hard the timber is, and its grain structure can have an effect on how easy it is to take small amounts off a joint to achieve perfection. Pine skirting board is the easiest as it is both soft and also has easy working grain. Ash and European Oak skirting boards are the hardest in both the physical hardness and also grain structure to fit. Glacial oak is equally as physically hard but actually slightly easier to work due to a kinder grain structure.

Skirting board types also dictate how easy they are to fit. Modern skirting board types are the easiest to fit with our own bullnosed, 3mm pencil round, and 8mm chamfered by far the easiest to fit. Torus skirting board is the next easiest as it has less different shapes to cut round followed by ogee. Our own Chatsworth and Manor house skirting boards are by far the hardest and are probably best left for a qualified site joiner to fit.

The only feasible way to cut an external skirting board joint is by using a mitre. These are best achieved using a chop saw, so hiring or buying a chop saw before you start is a must. If you are lucky all you will have to do is set your chop saw at 45 degrees, cut both pieces of wood and it will fit, easy... However if you are fitting into an old house the odds on your corners being a perfect 90 degrees are not great. If this is the case you will need to bisect your angle. This is also easy, simply push your skirting board up to the wall and draw a line along the floor up to and past where your joint is going in both directions. Then, draw a line linking where both points meet at the wall and at the outer point of the skirting board, this is your actual angle which you will be able to adjust on your chop saw.

For internal corners you must do a scribe, this is quicker, easier and the way a good quality site joiner would fit skirting board. This will work even if the corner is not a perfect 90 degree angle. The first piece of wood for a scribe is normally cut to the full length of the wall. The second piece of wood needs to be cut to the shape of the skirting board. This is the point where modern skirting boards are much easier to fit than the more traditional moulded skirting boards. The easiest way to cut a scribe is to use your chop saw to cut a 90 degree angle across the face of the mould. You will then automatically be presented with the perfect template to cut around without having to draw any lines. Then use either a jigsaw cutter with an exceptionally thin blade or an old fashioned coping saw to cut around the shape and you will have your scribe. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that can show you this technique, but watch it through and check it describes it in the same way for the best results.

When selling skirting board from our premises we are often asked for the best way to fix to the wall. When fitting MDF skirting board, which we’d never recommend (it’s quality wood all the way for us!), we would glue to the wall using a good quality panel adhesive. When fitting painted wooden skirting board I would screw to the wall using good quality wall plugs. Then, countersink the screw head into the wood and use wood filler to cover the screw head.

When fitting pine skirting board, oak skirting board or Ash skirting board that is to be stained I would screw the skirting board to the wall using good quality wall plugs but would drill a 12mm deep, 12mm diameter hole first for the screw head to fit into. Once screwed into the wall you must use a timber plug that is 12mm tapered to 12.5mm to tap into the hole using a small amount of pva glue, then sand off. This way no fixings will be visible and you will have a perfect looking length of moulded skirting board.  

That’s it! If you have any questions, or are interested in our range of prime quality wooden skirting boards and architraves, call us on 07856974929 or use our contact form. We’d be happy to give you the benefit of our 100+ years and 4 generations of knowledge, just ask for Andrew or David.

Have a go, you will enjoy it..... but practice on cheap quality pine from Wickes or B&Q, or MDF skirting board, before fitting the good stuff.