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Remove and replace skirting?

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dunrovingdunroving Forumite
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I have floorers coming on Monday to lay 3mm screed, and Ardex DPM. They then will install Karndean looselay vinyl planks.

The original carpet has already been removed, as have the Marley tiles, leaving sworls of bitumen glue on concrete solid floor. Over the years, the skirting boards have been painted with carpet laid, so as you can imagine, the bottom half-inch of the skirting boards is a bit of a dog's breakfast.

I had planned to have the decorator in to sand and paint the skirting boards before the new floor is put in, but he's not available so I am in the middle of sanding the skirting boards myself.

The skirting boards are fairly basic 1960s 75mm high solid wood with a slightly smoothed right angle at the top.

Here's my question - am I better off replacing the skirting boards?

Reasons for:
Current boards have so many layers of paint (with a mish-mash on the lower 10mm) that a smooth finish will be a bit difficult.
I've noticed anything from zero gap to 5mm gap between bottom of the skirting board and the concrete floor. My main concern is that the new screed/DPM will be butted up against the skirting board, whereas new skirting board can be fitted on top of the new screed/DPM/vinyl flooring.

Reasons against:
It will cost approx. £250-£300 for new skirting, plus the cost of fitting (I will remove the current board to save costs).
The environment! Would be generating 45m of waste wood.
Plaster *might* be damaged when boards are removed ...

Does anybody have experience with this situation, or see something I'm not seeing?
(Nearly) dunroving

Replies

  • I've replaced all my skirting boards and laid karndean throughout my house. Laying LVT is probably the only time you dont want to put the skirts on after the floor is laid. It is better to put the skirts in BEFORE you lay the LVT as the fitters will then just cut in tight to the skirts with no gaps. If you lay the LVT first then any gaps between the skirts and floor will look awful.
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  • dunrovingdunroving Forumite
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    Stantheman wrote: »
    I've replaced all my skirting boards and laid karndean throughout my house. Laying LVT is probably the only time you dont want to put the skirts on after the floor is laid. It is better to put the skirts in BEFORE you lay the LVT as the fitters will then just cut in tight to the skirts with no gaps. If you lay the LVT first then any gaps between the skirts and floor will look awful.

    I can definitely see your point from looking at the varying gap that is currently between the skirting board bottom and the concrete floor (which is clearly not level). The old floor covering (carpet) disguised this.

    However, I was hoping that if the flooring company is using self-levelling compound before the DPM and the vinyl, that the floor should be ... level. Am I being too optimistic? :o
    (Nearly) dunroving
  • keith969keith969 Forumite
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    I replaced the skirting in my hall and dining room. Replacing the wood floor meant either that or putting in unsightly beading around the edges to hide the gaps between the skirting and the flooring.

    Pre-primed MDF skirting is easy to put down and just glue on with no more nails.

    As for the environment, well the existing skirting was somewhat warped pine and went into the woodburner!
  • dunrovingdunroving Forumite
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    keith969 wrote: »
    I replaced the skirting in my hall and dining room. Replacing the wood floor meant either that or putting in unsightly beading around the edges to hide the gaps between the skirting and the flooring.

    Pre-primed MDF skirting is easy to put down and just glue on with no more nails.

    As for the environment, well the existing skirting was somewhat warped pine and went into the woodburner!

    That whole beading thing is funny - some people seem to hate the idea, and others (i.e., me!) aren't that bothered by it.

    But that is a possible solution if the new flooring isn't exactly level ... I hadn't thought of that because the current boards don't have beading.

    If I think about it, my biggest concern is that the new screed/self-leveling compound and DPM will butt up against the skirting boards, which just doesn't feel right for some reason ...
    (Nearly) dunroving
  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    dunroving wrote: »
    Plaster *might* be damaged when boards are removed ...

    The plaster will be damaged, but most of it will be at skirting board level, so fairly easy to patch up. I would be removing the skirting board so that any expansion gap is hidden once they are reinstated - It is what I did in my kitchen when I laid LVT tiles. Also much easier to strip the paint and prime/undercoat before putting them back.
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  • dunrovingdunroving Forumite
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    I have started to remove the skirting boards, after talking with the boss of the flooring company and with my decorator.

    So far they are generally coming off pretty easily, though I am picking up a better pry bar tomorrow.

    Interestingly, the skirting board seems to be nailed into lengths of wood that run along the wall underneath the plaster, rather than into the brickwork itself.

    I'm also pleased to not see any evidence of rising damp, considering my other thread. Fingers crossed.
    (Nearly) dunroving
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