How to put up skirting boards

Written by jane humphries
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How to put up skirting boards
An external corner of a room uses a mitred skirting-board joint. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Putting up skirting boards finishes the base of an interior wall to cover the joint between the wall and the floor. A variety of skirting board designs and sizes are available to create a simple or architectural baseboard feature in your home. Additionally, skirting board acts as a buffer to prevent wall damage from furniture placement and vacuuming. Effective skirting board installation requires a methodical approach, using care to ensure corner joints fit correctly.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • Mitre saw
  • Grab-adhesive
  • Coping saw
  • Caulk
  • Caulking gun
  • Latex gloves

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  1. 1

    Start at a place in the room where the skirting board requires a straight square end, such as against a door frame. Measure from your starting point at the base of the wall to the skirting board length you need, using a measuring tape.

  2. 2

    Draw a line onto the front of the skirting board to transfer the length measurement, using a pencil and a straight edge. Cut the skirting board on the drawn line using a mitre saw. Set the mitre saw at 90 degrees if you require a square end.

  3. 3

    Apply grab-adhesive to the back of the cut skirting board according the adhesive manufacturer's instructions. Typically, apply a bead of adhesive to the underside length of the skirting board near the top and bottom. Push the skirting board into position at the base of the wall.

  4. 4

    Measure from the exposed square end of the installed skirting board to the length requirement you need for your next skirting board. Mark, cut and glue the skirting board as you did previously. Position the skirting board on the wall and abut the square end to the exposed square end on the first skirting board.

  5. 5

    Measure the distance between an installed skirting board end and the edge of a wall on an outside corner. Mark the measurement on the skirting board as before, and cut on the drawn line at a 45-degree angle using a mitre saw. Install the skirting board onto the wall using the grab-adhesive.

  6. 6

    Cut the end of the next length of skirting board at an opposing 45-degree angle, using a mitre saw. Measure and cut the other end of the skirting board to fit the wall length. Glue the back of the skirting board, and fit the mitred edges together to install the outside corner.

  7. 7

    Install a square ended skirting board flush to an inside corner. Draw the side profile of the skirting board onto the underside of the next skirting board length, using a skirting board offcut as a guide to draw the profile shape. Cut the skirting board on the drawn profile line, using a coping saw.

  8. 8

    Apply grab-adhesive to the back of the skirting board. Fit the sawn profile end flush to the installed skirting board on the inside corner. Continue to measure, cut and install the skirting boards until the room is complete.

  9. 9

    Run a bead of caulk between the wall and the top of the skirting board to seal the joint, using a caulking gun. Smooth the caulk into the joint using a damp cloth or your finger. Apply caulk to all skirting board corner joints to complete the project.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear latex gloves to smooth the caulk to avoid chemicals penetrating your skin

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