How to fit skirting boards on uneven walls

fit skirting board

Skirting boards give a clean and neat finish between the walls and the floors in your property. In older houses, the boards themselves can be quite ornamental with an attractive moulded profile, whereas modern skirting boards tend to be much plainer.

If you’re fitting new skirting boards, match them to the age of the house and attach them to the walls with glue or screws, making sure you mitre or scribe the joins for the neatest and most professional effect.

If you need to replace skirting boards in an older property, you may find that the walls are uneven, presenting you with a real challenge. It’s not an impossible task if you follow these simple steps.

fit skirting board

Measure twice, cut once
Before you buy your skirting boards, measure the room accurately and then add 20% to the total figure to allow for wastage.

When you get the boards home, leave them in the room where you intend to use them for at least 48 hours – the longer the better, if you’re not pressed for time – which allows the wood to acclimatise and makes it easier to mould to an uneven wall.

Next, you’ll need to cut your boards to length, making mitre cuts for the angles where the walls meet.

Pack and gouge

Offer the boards up to the walls, then using a wood drill bit, drill through the boards to make a mark on the walls. Mark each board so you know where each one belongs, and then remove and enlarge the holes you’ve marked with a masonry bit. Then pop in a rawl plug and screw the skirting boards to the wall, countersinking the screws for a professional finish.

You may find that there are hollow and bulging areas in the wall, so mark these when you drill your pilot holes. Pack the hollows with small offcuts of wood, and make a gouge in the back of the skirting board to compensate before you screw the boards in place.

Finish with caulk
Finally, for a professional finish, run a bead of decorator’s caulk around the top of the skirting board. If you find that there are any gaps in the corner joints caused by the unevenness of the walls or warped boards, fill with wood filler and allow to dry.

Sand until smooth and then paint, stain or oil the skirting boards to match the existing architrave and window frames in the room, and no one will ever know your walls aren’t completely square.