When attaching skirting boards to your wall there are a few methods and techniques you can use. First, you need to know which type of wall you are attaching to. You have two types of walls, the first is a stud wall or drywall.
The second is a supporting wall or masonry wall. You can determine which type of wall you have by simply tapping the wall. If it sounds solid then you are dealing with masonry or supporting wall. If your wall is hollow when knocked you are dealing with a drywall or stud wall.
Cutting/Fitting Your Skirting Boards
Always start on the left side of the door and cut each corner as you go. Internal 90° joins should be scribed joints because walls are never 90° perfect so you will find yourself filling the gaps if you mitre these. Another cut would be a coping cut which is used for more fancy skirting profiles
You can use a mitre box to cut perfect joints on the external joins. Follow the room around making sure all mitres and scribed/coping joints fit perfectly.
Once you have cut your skirting board to fit you can now move onto attaching your skirting boards to the wall. Be sure to mark the boards 1-2-3 from the door, this system will prevent you from attaching skirting boards to the wrong section of the wall.
Cut A Scribe Or A Coping Joint Like A Pro!
- Work from the left-hand side of the door
- Scribe internal joins and mitre external joins
- Use a mitre block if you do not have a chop saw to hand
- Mark each skirting board to avoid mistakes later on
Masonry Walls & Fitting Skirting Boards
When fixing your skirting board to a masonry wall you should use:
- Gripfill or adhesive
- Rawl Plugs (brown) and screws @6mm @3″
Push your skirting board into place and use a 6mm masonry drill bit. Drill through the board and the wall together so the holes match up later. Countersink the holes for later on when decorating. You cannot sand down screw heads so be sure they are flush on completion.
Before attaching your skirting board to the wall run a bead of Gripfill along the length of the skirting board. This will set hard so be sure your skirting board fits and your holes are drilled correctly before applying Gripfill.
When using Rawl Plugs you must:
- Push your Rawl plug into the masonry hole
- Run a bead of grip fill lengths ways
- Push the skirting board onto the wall
- Grab your screw push through the hole
- Hand-tight it into the rawl plug already in the masonry wall
- Give it a few taps with the hammer so the rawl plug goes deeper into the wall
- Tighten until it pinches the skirting board, do not over tighten the rawl plug
Top Tip: Double-check for sockets and electrical cable, check the walls with a wire checker before screwing and mark out where the electrical cables run.
Stud Walls & Fitting Skirting Boards
If you are fitting your skirting board to a stud wall or drywall then the process is very similar. All you need is nails instead of screws. You can use screws but the stud wall might not be timber but galvanised steel, so screws will not work. Unless they are self screwing, this means they have a sharp point on the end that will go through the galvanised steel.
Using nails will hold your skirting board in place while the Gripfill does its job. Grip fill will hold the skirting board in place without the nails, all the nails will do is hold it against the plasterboard. If you want to use screws for a better fix then you need to check what type of stud wall you have. Cut a small hole behind where the skirting board will go, shine a light in and you will have steel or wood frames/studs. This way you can use screws or metal self sinkers.
- Check if the skirting board fits
- Apply grip fill along the length of the board
- Use nails or screws depending on the materials used in the stud wall
Top Tip: If your skirting board is not flush against the wall then you should use decorating caulk along the top of the skirting board. Caulk can be sanded and painted over so you will not see this when finished.
Getting Ready For Painting/Finish
Once your skirting board is in place and you are happy with the level of fixings then you should fill your screw heads. Use normal internal filler or wood filler. Leave enough filler in the screw head so do not run it flush with the scrapper, because some fillers will shrink.
This is because you will want to sand the face of the boards. Sanding these flush to the skirting boards is best practice before painting because once you finish with satinwood or gloss you see screw heads if you do not correct this issue now.
- Remove any excess grip fill
- Fill and sand the screw heads
- Fill knots or any other snags
- Use caulk if your wall is not straight
Conclusion – Fitting Skirting Boards
If you have removed your skirting boards for undercoat and glossing then attaching them correctly is key to a good DIY job. You do not want them falling off or coming away from the wall once you have decorated. So be sure to follow our simple DIY advice to fitting skirting boards to both masonry and stud walls.