How to Fit a Skirting Board

Fitting skirting boards is a way of re-energising a room that needs an update, or an essential part of a second fix in a DIY project. Fitting a timber skirting board is not a difficult task for the experienced DIYer, and is even straightforward enough for those new to DIY, saving you approximately £150 in fitter’s fees per day.

Skirting board comes in a variety of designs and shapes. The timber mouldings can have a rounded edge or more elaborate profiles, including torus, bullnose, ogee, large ovolo, small ovolo and lambs tongue.

If you are putting in a new tiled or wooden floor, attach the wooden mouldings at the end of the project for a superior finish. If you are laying carpet in the finished room, fit the skirting board beforehand, as this will help the carpet fitters to work with a clean, straight edge.

What You Will Need

  • Skirting board
  • Mitre saw/ Mitre box
  • Coping saw
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Silicone gun
  • Screws
  • Nails
  • Drill
  • Wood filler
  • Caulk
  • Instant grab adhesive

How to Fit the Skirting Board

Measure the area that you are fitting the skirting boards. Make sure that you add 10% to the total just in case.

Check your skirting board for the correct profile. Some companies produce timber mouldings with a different profile on each side. If this is the case, check which side you will be using and mark this on each board to ensure that you don’t make a mistake later on.

To begin, pick a section of wall with an external corner (if possible). Place the skirting board against the wall and mark on the ground where it will sit.

Repeat this with the adjacent wall. There will be a cross marked on the floor. Measure to this point to determine what length you will need.

Check the wall for studs if you are adding skirting onto a stud wall. Mark the position of these on the floor so that you:- A – don’t try and force a nail into them if they are metal or B – have the best position to nail into if the studs are wooden.

Measure and cut your skirting using a mitre saw or box. Make sure that your 45° cut is at the correct angle for that section of wall!

Check that the lengths you have cut are correct. You can now drill pilot holes for the screws so that sit below the surface of the wood. Repeat for the adjoining wall.

Glue, drill and screw the skirting into place. If the angles are off, plane to the correct angle.

For internal corners, cut the wood to length, and the create corners with your mitre saw. Plane to get a perfect fit. A coping saw can be used on the profile for an internal corner.

Continue around the room. Fill holes with wood filler. Paint for a stunning finish.