How to mitre skirting boards

Admittedly, fitting your own skirting boards is tricky, but not impossible so follow our detailed guide to make sure you don't make a mess of it!

Mitre skirting board

As well as being a functional solution to the joint between the wall and the floor, expansion gaps and uneven plaster, skirting boards also have aesthetic benefits and can improve the look and feel of a room. They can give a property a much needed update and help your home to maintain a fresh and cared for appearance.

It can be a daunting task to replace skirting boards and, if the job is rushed or done incorrectly, you risk leaving gaps or messy finishes. If you are unsure about the best way to mitre, we encourage you to contact a professional. However, this guide is going to provide tips to highlight how easy the task can be when you use the correct tools and follow the right steps.

Before you begin, make sure both you and your home are going to be protected by using dust control equipment, safety glasses and face masks. You should also make sure that the area you are working in is well ventilated.

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Step 1

Starting with the longest wall in the room, use a tape measure to size the length of wall where the skirting board will be placed. Once you have the length, you can take a pencil and mark it on the top edge of the skirting board.

Step 2

Mitring simply means cutting at an angle to create a neat connection between two pieces when they are adjoined on a corner or a room.

To do this, divide the angle of the corner by two – e.g. a 90° corner will have a mitre cut of 45°, if it’s 30° it will have a mitre cut of 15°. The most common mitre cut is 45°.

Step 3

Once you have worked out the length and the angle, you can now begin to mitre. How you proceed depends on whether it is an external or internal corner.

Internal

For the left hand piece of skirting board, use a fine toothed mitre saw to cut from right to left, starting at the point you have marked on the top edge. For the right hand piece, saw from left to right, starting at the point you have marked on the top edge.

External

For the left hand piece of skirting board, saw from top left to bottom right starting at the mark on the top edge. Follow the same steps for the right hand piece, this time sawing down from right to left.

If you aren’t using a mitre box or block, draw the angle by hand with a pencil and use as a guide when cutting.

Note – as this is the most common cut, mitre boxes and blocks come designed with a pre-cut 45° angle.

Step 4

Although using a fine toothed mitre saw should create a neat finish, sand smoothing the product will ensure you get the desired quality finish.

Step 5

Once you have mitred enough skirting board for your room, it is time to fit.

Use an adhesive to fix together the two adjoining pieces and place two nails either side of the corner for a long lasting result.

Top tip – to cover screw heads, use a non-water based shrink resistant filler.

Step 6

Once fitted, you can now choose a finish to complement your interior. Depending on the type of moulding you have chosen, this step could involve glossing, wood staining or painting.

If you want to avoid this extra job, opt for a foil wrapped moulding which won’t require anything other than mitring and fitting.

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Skirting board finishes
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For high quality, easy to fit skirting boards, architrave and internal window sills in a range of profiles and sizes, visit http://www.theskirtingboardshop.co.uk/.