This article should really help you out, if you plan to use a mitre saw to help fit your skirting boards. Some people like to change their skirting boards to change the look of their room, some as part of a general home improvement and others simply because they have to.
At first this may seem a daunting task, but if you just do a little planning, it is a great deal easier than you may first think.
The fact that you have some way of making clean mitre joints is probably the most important thing to have ready. That could be a mitre box, a hand precision mitre saw, or if you are lucky some type of power mitre saw.
Doing Things In The Right Order.
If you are either laying tiles, a wooden floor or a laminate floor then go ahead and do that first. The skirting boards will go on after you have completed that work. On the other hand if you are laying carpet, vinyl tiles or vinyl flooring then it should be skirtings first and the floor covering later.
The reasons for these decisions are simple enough. Wooden flooring and tiles will probably be there for a very long time, whereas carpets and vinyls will be changed more often. Every time that you wanted to change the look of your carpet or replace your vinyl, you would not want to also have to remove or replace your skirting boards.
The Basic Tools That You Will Need
- Measuring tape
- A pencil for marking
- Some way of cutting a mitre such as a mitre saw or a mitre box
- A drill
- A hammer
- A silicone gun
- A stud locater is really useful but not essential.
If you have those tools then you are good to go. You will also need a few other bits and pieces to do the job properly and I have listed those below. First though allow me to take you through the main types of skirting that are available in most DIY stores or builder’s merchant stores.
Types of Skirting Board
MDF skirting is a popular choice as is softwood skirting. Veneers in light oak, pine etc are also available. Some of the MDF type can also be what is called “white primed.” You can get both of these in various designs such as round, chamfered and rebated or just as a plain option. It simply comes down to personal taste and how much budget you have available.
These skirting boards tend to come in a number of standard lengths which are
- 2,400 mm (7.87 feet)
- 3,600 mm (11 feet and 8″)
The widths can vary quite and some typical measurements are
- 94 mm (3.7″)
- 119 mm (4.68″)
- 169 mm (6.65″)
Typical prices per piece of skirting simply depend on the type that you buy with the cheapest being around £4-5 per length and going all the way up to £40-50 per length. It can be expensive to replace skirting boards if you opt for something like a high quality Oak Veneer, shown in the first image on this page. The cheaper options are usually something like a basic MDF board, shown just above.
Measuring the Room For Skirting Board Capacity
This is your starting point to see how much you need. Measure around the room and add a 20% figure to that number. You need to allow that amount for cutting and waste. For example if a room measure 4 metres by 3 metres. The skirting measurement would be 4+4+3+3 which is 14 m. Then add 20% which is 14/5 = 2.8 and a total of 16.8 metres or 16,800 mm.
- If the length of skirting you bought was 2,400 mm then you would need 16,800/2400 which would be 7 boards
- If the length of skirting you bought was 3,600 mm then you would need 16,800/2400 which would be 4.6 boards so you would need to buy 5 boards
Hopefully all of that makes sense but just be sure to measure the room carefully as you do not want any waste. If you do buy extra boards most stores will take them back providing they have not been damaged.
Other Items You Will Need
So if you have the tools and have measured and picked out your boards, then you are almost good to go. You will however need some panel pins and screws, some type of grabbing adhesive, and the all important wood filler.
Time to start the actual fitting
Rather that write this all down it is much easier to see it being done on video, so here is one of the best that I have watched. It is a short and sweet version for those who just want to get the overall process.
Going to a builder’s yard and buying in bulk will always save you money. Once you have made your decision then it is time to start fitting the skirting board. As us old carpenters say, measure twice and cut once.