Installing skirting boards

I am currently installing a floating laminate floor in a property. After this is done, skirting boards need to be installed. A mate has kindly lent me his drop saw and was wondering if anyone had attempted this and what some of the tricks/pitfalls are.

Once finished, I will post some photos and things learnt from doing this job.

Glenn
 
Hi there,
I Recently replaced the skirting in my place after having the floorboards polished. The old boards were in extremely poor shape and I felt that replacement was the way forward.

I ended up getting MDF Bullnose routed skirting from Bunnings pre-primed ready to go. I cut the boards using a mitre box and hand saw after measuring the wall lengths. A good hint is to work out wether you need an inner or outer mitre BEFORE cutting : ). The boards were painted (with help from the lovely Corina) and pre-drilled ready for nailing as per how the old boards were attached.

As with all things a learning curve was involved and I can tell you that if I ever replace skirting again, it will be by using Liquid Nails in place of the usual kind. The Bullet head nails required left bruises in the surface of the boards (from hammer hits) and they also had to be countersunk. They then have to be filled and repainted. This is FAR too much work for what could be a simple job.

With a drop saw and glue you should be sweet !

: )
 
I have always found that installing skirting boards is a quick-n-easy way to tart up an otherwise ordinary house. For such a small change at floor level, it really does make a startling difference, especially when they are painted a high gloss with a quality oil paint.

I used to install them with a mitre box and nails, but was shown the correct way to do this by a professional carpenter.

The pro's now use liquid nails almost exclusively as it actually gives a better bond for mdf that the old-fashioned nail into the wall. Remmeber to use the quick-set variety and not to use too much goo as the clean up is terrible. It is surprising how little is actually required. Once the boards have set, load up a tube of Selleys No-More-Gaps and run a thin bead along the top of the boards to close the fine gap between the wall and the skirting. As soon as you have run the bead around a whole room, get a damp rag and run it along the joint to smooth the finish. As No-More-Gaps and water are mutually exclusive, it is better to have the rag too wet than too dry. Remember to turn the rag regularly for a neat finish. The same technique is used to give your corners a professional looking finish.

If you want to really do it properly, then rather than using the mitre saw have someone teach you how to 'scribe' a joint. It is a little difficult to go into here, but a scribed joint is not susceptible to movement as a consequence of expansion and contraction in the mdf and the wall (and it will happen). If you look at the room corners of any 'budget' house, you will notice that there are expansion cracks in the skirting joint. Scribing involves running a skirting board from one wall to the other side. The adjacent wall's skirting boards are then cut to reflect the profile of the board and actually butt up against the other board. Almost any text book for carpentry or joinery will describe the process of scribing amd it does provide a better finish. A trained eye will also recognise it as an indicator of a more professional standard of tradespeople being involved with the project.

Good luck with the skirting, it is a great feeling when you sit back and survey the finished results.

Regards
Anthony
 
Oops

Aaahhh

I remembered your comment that it was laminate flooring too late for the previous post.

Remember to leave approx 0.5 - 1.0 mm above the floor when attaching skirting boards to the wall. Some fine wedges will hold it clear of the floor.

If you omit to do this, then expansion may bind the skirting boards to the floor in a press fit, and the floor boards will be unable to expand. When this happens you will end up with a bubble or a lump in the middle of your room somewhere. Laminate floorboards do not move as much as the real thing, but they still need a good 6 - 8 mm gap all round the room.

A common (and very professional looking) finishing touch is to double your workload and actually attach a thin strip of 1/4 round skirting to the base of the new bullnose skirting boards. They are a bit fiddly to install, but looks a treat.

Regards
Anthony
 
Hi Anthony,

Thanks a lot for all the tips mate, they have been great and warmly accepted, especially the one about using Liquid Nails instead of the metal variety!

The installation kit that I got with the boards has a heap of wedges, so I will use those for the skirtings as well.

Thanks again

Glenn
 
Looks like MDF and liquid naits are the go for skirting.

Any suggestions for Cornices?? I will be replacing the cornice in a few rooms and was wondering if there are any quick or alternatives?

I have seen some non-plaster cornine (polystyrene I think) and was wondering if this was any easier??

Noddy
 
1st thing learnt...must buy a set of knee pads....my knees are killing me from kneeling on hard surfaces for a couple of hours after work each day.

Glenn
 
Glenn,

I'm interested to know how you have found the floating floor to be? Are you laying onto a concrete slab or existing timber floor (eg. particle board)?

My wife and I were actually talking about these for the loungeroom of our house and then I started wondering things like "how flat does the floor have to be", etc etc etc.
 
Hi Kevmeister,

I laid onto a concrete slab. The floor needs to be reasonably flat. One corner of the main room I have just completed dived a bit right in the corner...this was not apparent until the skirting board was installed across the wall...I suppose I will have to bog underneath the skirting board and paint over it!

The floor itself looks magnificent, I just wish I had put it in before the kitchen...all those bloody cuts drove me crazy! Plus, you have to leave a gap around the kitchen and cover it up with quarterboard which does not look as good as what you see in the magazines.

Glenn
 
The skirting boards have now been attached to the walls using liquid nails.

The way I did it was:

1. Measure the length required and cut to size.
2. Bring several items heavier than 20kg near to where you will attach board. - I used several stacks of 10 paving bricks sitting on rags
3. Lay board on face and squirt a line of liquid nails 10mm from the top of the board on the back of board
4. Lift board into place
5. Push heavy items up against board.

This method will lead to some of the liquid nails squeezing out of the top. To clean this you have 2 options:

1. Wait 24 hours for the bit that has sqeezed out of the top to dry and then use a sharp scraper or sharpened flat head screw driver to cut it off.
2. Use turps to wipe the excess off - do not use a dry rag or water as this stuff sticks s*** to carpet.

After the excess has been removed, put some "no more gaps" into your caulking gun and run a line of this along the top next the wall.

Then, get a bucket of water and run your finger along the join to remove excess "no more gaps". After this, get a sponge and run it along the joint to give a beeeeeeeautiful join between board and wall.

Wait until "no more gaps" has dried and then paint in your favorite flavour!

Glenn
 
handy hint for removing no-more gaps/liquid nails is to use a bit of detergent instead of water - works a treat and leaves the surface looking A1

for those of you doing glass bricks w/ silicon this is a must !
 
Another good way of removing excess no gaps or silicone, where you have a reasonably flat surfaces, is to use a credit card or other similar stiff plastic with a nice smooth slightly rounded edge instead of your finger.

Regularly stop and wipe excess build up off the card to stop it wiping up the surface.

This will leave a very nice clean finish to the job, it can require a little bit of practice, but gives a very neat finish.




Cheers
watto
 
The correct way to install skirting is to scribe the internal corners.Before you start though,you need to decide which wall to start on.Good carpenters will "fix in to the light",which means that you plan your joins so that you don't look in to any gaps that may occur due to movement.So when you walk in to the room and look in to the corners in front of you,you shouldn't be able to see in to any gaps that may be present.Once you have planned your cuts,start with the piece opposite the door(usually).Cut square ends on both ends (unless you have an external corner at one end) and fix to the wall.Professional carpenters don't rely on liquid nails and no more skills for skirting.If you have timber walls,then nail and punch in to each stud,preferably with a nail gun.If you have brick,concrete or other masonry,then use a rotary hammer drill and insert some spaghetti and nail.To cut the scribe I will explain how to cut the piece on the left of the piece you have just installed which is on the wall opposite the door.Using the dropsaw ,mitre saw,mitrebox,circular saw,cut the end at 45 degrees,as if you were mitreing the two pieces.Then lay the board on it's back on saw stools,with the cut on your right hand side.Looking down on the cut,along the line where the cut meets the face of the board,you will see the shape of the skirting.Magic! Using a coping saw,carefully cut along this line,slightly undercutting the board so that nothing will be in the way when you put the joint together.Hey presto,you now have cut the exact shape of the skirting on the end of the board.Fit the board and nail.Chase yourself around the room in the same fashion until all skirting is complete.If you want to have much less chance of having gaps develop at your joins,then use timber instead of mdf,even if it is only pine.


Tools
 
Last edited:
Using FJ pine is also better if you're in a humid area. MDF skirting/architrave will absorb much more moisture than pine and warp/swell if it gets wet. Also don't use liquid nails as it eventually gets brittle and will just break away. Use a nail gun (25mm) and gap fill as described. Liquid nails also can't be wiped off with water and detergent, best to use thinners or turps. You shouldn't have to clean up anyway if you use the right amount - don't use too much.
 
Skirting and Flooring

I am currently installing a floating laminate floor in a property. After this is done, skirting boards need to be installed. A mate has kindly lent me his drop saw and was wondering if anyone had attempted this and what some of the tricks/pitfalls are.

Once finished, I will post some photos and things learnt from doing this job.

Glenn
HI, it would have been wise to lay the floating floor after the skirting was in place, the reason for this is that as it's a floating floor you can't secure your skirting down on it and you must leave a 10mm gap all the way round which will be later covered with quadrangle trim of some kind, as for securing the skirting board, if it's going straight into concrete use philips head tapcon screws (not hexhead variety) as you only need to drill a pilot hole straight through board and into concrete surface and then drive screw straight in with no need for plugs...job done. :)
 
HI, it would have been wise to lay the floating floor after the skirting was in place, the reason for this is that as it's a floating floor you can't secure your skirting down on it and you must leave a 10mm gap all the way round which will be later covered with quadrangle trim of some kind, as for securing the skirting board, if it's going straight into concrete use philips head tapcon screws (not hexhead variety) as you only need to drill a pilot hole straight through board and into concrete surface and then drive screw straight in with no need for plugs...job done. :)
Teacher are you aware you are replying to a post that is 6 years old?

Btw ppl dont use liquid nails as the skirtings will fall off the walls within a few months. I used it on shorter skirting runs and the plaster wall behind skirting breaks away still glued to the rear of the skirting.

I went back and did the job properly drilling the walls, inserting wooden dowel and nailing the skirtings. That was 5 years ago. Today they still havent budged :)
 
Hi All

If the wall is concrete, can you use a nail gun to nail the skirting board to the wall without pre-drill the holes and inserting wooden dowel?

Thanks
 
Hi Rixter

I mean the normal nail gun (battery operated).

I saw builder used to nail the wooden house frame into concrete slabs.

Regards
 
Top