How to Install Skirting

What you will need

  • Measuring tape
  • Saw
  • Coping saw
  • Mitre box
  • Planer
  • Multi-purpose detector
  • Drill / hammer
  • Screws / masonry nails / adhesive
  • Caulk / decorator’s filler
  • Skirting boards

Getting Started

If you aren’t applying the skirting in a new room, you will likely have to remove your old skirting first.  Using a hammer, knock a bolster chisel between the skirting and the wall.  Then gently lever the top edge away from the wall just enough to fit the blade of the crowbar between.  To prevent damage to the plaster, use a small piece of wood behind any of the tools you use so that they don’t directly come into contact with the wall. Using this method should make sure the least amount of damage is caused and the job is completed quickly and easily.

Whether you are applying your skirting to a new wall, a freshly painted wall, or even an old wall, it is important to make sure your walls are fully void of moisture.  Moisture in your walls could ruin your new skirting and possibly produce mould.  If you feel the wall is cold and you’re not positive, use or borrow a moisture reader to check.

Pick your Skirting

View our full skirting collection here to see the available finishes for the style you like.


You need to know how much skirting you will need; do this by measuring the length of all your walls.  Deduct the lengths of any doorways and other areas you may not cover, such as a fireplace or cupboard.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry, make sure to purchase 5% of additional skirting in case of miscuts.  Most Deanta Skirting packs come in lengths of 3.6m or 5.4m.  Contact your local stockist or sales rep for exact info.

Understand How to Join Your Boards

It is important to understand how to join skirting to result in a smooth finish.  There are two common joints: internal and external.  Internal corners face inwards, you will have a least 4 of these, and external corners face outwards.  You may also have to join your skirting in the middle of a wall, if the length is greater than the length of your skirting.

When cutting your skirting, use a mitre box to get precise 45-degree cuts.  Begin on your longest wall, if it is longer than your skirting then your first joint will be to connect your two pieces of skirting.  Saw a 45-degree angle at the end of the first board. Measure the distance from the end of the first board to the corner. Transfer the measurement to the second piece of skirting and saw an opposing 45-degree angle to join up with the cut on the first board.  To get the best finish, use a planer to make them flush and more secure.

When joining skirting at an internal corner, measure the first piece of skirting so it butts against the wall.  Then cut a 45-degree angle at the end of the second length of skirting and use a coping saw to cut at 90 degrees to the face of the board. Follow the grooves of the board with the coping saw. Test the grooves against another piece of skirting for a clean fit; sand away any areas necessary.

For joining external corners, measure your skirting against the wall and mark on the back where the corner is.  Cut your 45-degree angles away from the mark so that when you look at it face-on, the exposed cut is hidden beneath itself.  Test the pieces together and use a planer to give them a smooth and tight finish.

Adhere Your Skirting

Figuring out the best way to adhere your skirting to the wall will depend on the material of the wall.  If you have masonry or stud walls, you’ll be able to use screws or nails with good results.  If you have damp-proofed walls, you will need to use adhesive so that you don’t puncture the damp-proofing.  Nails and screws will be noticeable on your skirting and require you to fill them with caulk or wood filler.  If you don’t want to do any filling, and your walls are nice and straight, you can use strong adhesive to adhere your skirting.

When fixing a skirting onto a masonry wall, like brick or block, use masonry nails or screws and wall plugs.  If your wall has studs, use a detector to locate the studs and use lost head nails.  Some new homes have metal stud partition walls.  If your home has these types of walls, you’ll need to use screws; ensure you have zinc coated or plated screws so that they don’t rust.

If you decide to use adhesive, make sure to get a strong one and have objects nearby to hold it in place.  Apply the adhesive to the back of the skirting, aiming for even coverage with a zig-zag/waved line.  Simply fix the skirting board by placing the bottom edge to the floor just in front of the fixing position and push firmly against the wall.  Once the adhesive is on, make sure that they are held in place with weighty objects until completely set.

Finishing Touches

Use a flexible decorative caulk in a mastic gun to seal the gap between the top of the skirting board and the wall.  Run a damp cloth along the join to smooth.  Hide any screws or nails with caulk or filler and sand to smooth the finish.