Big gap behind skirting boards

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Rez22, Sep 5, 2021.

  1. Rez22

    Rez22 New Member

    I’m looking for some advice on how to fit new skirting.

    We have a new engineered wooden floor being fitted in a week. I have started removing existing skirting board as carefully as possible. The new floor needs expansion gaps near the walls, so new skirting boards will hide that gap.

    The old skirting was attached to wooden uprights with very old clasp nails. Some of the wooden uprights are loose now, a couple came out completely. I think they would be hard to use effectively to screw into now. There was a gap between the brick wall and the skirting, ranging from 15mm to 25mm in some parts. The brick wall is quite crumbly in places too. See attached photos.

    What do you think is the best way to attach new skirting? Our handyman suggested glueing plywood strips (using gripfill) to the brick wall…. Then the skirting could be attached soundly with glue/screws to the plywood. Does this sound like a reasonable idea? Any other suggestions?

    Attached Files:

  2. koolpc

    koolpc Screwfix Select

    What about expanding foam adhesive?
  3. mitefix

    mitefix Active Member

    It will need some packing behind to bring the void flush with the plaster.

    7/9" skirting will need to be plugged and screwed.

    sticking skirting boards on the the wall with a few pins here and there Is not good in the long run.
  4. Okoak

    Okoak Active Member

    The traditional way would be to fit new timber pads into the brick joints, cut off flush with the plaster and then nail the skirting into them as it was before.
    However I would suggest that a decent quality gun grade expanding foam adhesive is the perfect solution here.
  5. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select

    Metal foam gun in building section (not paint counter) of B&Q are £10 and what I'd use as others have said
  6. Rez22

    Rez22 New Member

    Thanks, so it sounds like the consensus is that something needs to go behind the skirting so that is flush with the wall. I’m not keen on expanding foam… mainly because I’ve had a bad experience with it before - I wasn’t able to control it! What do you think about plywood in the void attached to the brick wall, which would then be flush with the plaster, for the skirting to go against?
  7. mitefix

    mitefix Active Member

    Any timber will do the job.

    There is very little to nail to when fitting the skirting board to the timber packer behind.

    being 7"/9" skirt they tend to curl over time if they are not fixed properly Plug and screw into the brickwork is the best solution.
  8. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    If the substrate is crumbling first stabilize it using PVA or similar. Allow it to set and fix new spacing battens using long screws, you will need at least 75mm in the wall with the plug at the bottom of the hole. Make good any gaps behind the batten with foam or gripfill type adhesive. The basic rule is, if the wall is weak, use deep fixings.
  9. Okoak

    Okoak Active Member

    You shouldn't dismiss expanding foam because of any experience you may have had with an airesol type diy product, which are notoriously erratic and messy.... A good quality professional low expansion foam adhesive in a metal gun is a completely different animal, and is a highly controllable, very effective and versatile adhesive system.
    Handy Nigel and I-Man like this.
  10. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Screwfix Select

    +1 for gun grade foam adhesive. Controllable and will fill the gaps and leave the skirts solid with no visible fixings. They're not structural so just need to be held in place. Never had a foamed skirt fail yet. Mist the wall first if it's a bit dusty. If there is a very large gap, it does help to glue some spacers on first just to aid positioning while you hold it in place to set. With large gaps there is more foam, so you have to watch the expansion doesn't push the board away.
    I-Man likes this.
  11. Rez22

    Rez22 New Member

    Thank you everyone - very helpful!
  12. GRH

    GRH Member

    I can't think of anything better than this video from Bradshaw Joinery - he uses concrete screws in such a way that you can get the skirting just right. Well worth your attention, in my opinion.
  13. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Screwfix Select

    I really don't get the obsession with screwing skirtings. With such a range of modern adhesives to choose from for different applications, why go to the extra work of having screw heads to fill over? Yes, maybe if you need to spring the skirt an occasional screw helps, but on straight walls all you are doing is making sure the skirt doesn't fall off - there is no stress and nothing structural.

    There is no reason to maintain tradition for traditions sake - we fly in aircraft glued together from composite these days - not riveted any more.

    each to their own.
    stevie22 likes this.
  14. GRH

    GRH Member

    If you watch the video you will see that screwing with the type of screw used enables you to keep the skirting square, like micro adjusting it. In this particular case, I think screwing, as per the video, is the way I would go - but of course, it is up to the OP to decide.
    New does not always mean better.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021

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