Do You Put Skirting Boards on Before Laminate Flooring?

Installing laminate flooring is not all that difficult, but many people tend to make the mistake of putting the skirting boards before the laminate planks. Is this a big mistake? Or is this the new way of installing skirting boards?

You should always install your laminate flooring first and then put the skirting. This is not only the easiest way to install this, but you can also cover the gaps between your walls and laminate much more easily as you adjust accordingly. If your skirtings were preinstalled and they are not moveable, you’d need to remove them to install your laminate flooring.

You just moved into a new place and started installing your new flooring. Now that you’re all set, should you be putting the skirts before or after you’ve installed your laminate flooring

Do You Fit Skirting Before or After Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring experts and beginners suggest that you fit skirting boards only after installing the panels. It not only saves time on purchasing edging strips, but it also gives off an appeal like no other. But it’s also much easier to work this way.

What Happens If You Put Skirting Boards Before Laying Laminate Floor?

If you’re skirting boards are already installed, you may still be able to install your laminate floor. However, this is only when there is enough space (to install a quarter-round molding). This means that in some cases, you might need to remove the entire skirting to install only to reinstall it again afterward. 

Pros and Cons of Skirting Before Laminate Flooring

Below are several pros and cons of your decision to fit skirting before installing laminate floorboards. 


  1. Even though this might not sound like something, most people think about. But installing skirts might help paint drops on your flooring or leave marks behind.


  1. If you use adhesive to fix the skirting to the flooring instead of the laminate, you cannot make any changes in the future without ripping the skirting boards out.
  2. You cannot efficiently conceal the gaps present between the laminate floorboards because the gaps might be larger than the already installed skirting boards. 
  3. If you make a mistake with the laminate flooring installation, you might need to remove all skirting boards. 

Pros And Cons Of Skirting After Laminate Flooring

Here is a table that can help you better understand the pros and cons of fitting skirting boards after installing laminate planks. 


  1. It makes installing skirting boards so much easier and less complicated. And if you need to install a quarter round, this will be the easiest way.
  2. You can cover the gaps between your wall and your laminate flooring much easier (which you need for the expansion during the summer). Installing your skirts afterward allows you to adjust to that gap and cover the gaps more easily. 


  1. Skirting boards may need to be painted afterward, opening you up to the risk of leaving stains behind on your brand-new laminate flooring.

How to Install Laminate Flooring with Skirting Boards?

The following is a detailed guide to help you install laminate floorboards and fit skirting boards. 

Step One: Plan In Advance

There is no denying that installing laminate flooring is a significantly large project that you need to undertake. Therefore, the logical approach to this project would mean that you plan in advance and have a well-thought-out idea in mind beforehand. 

Step Two: Decide How To Manage The Skirting Boards

You will have a couple of choices when the time comes to fit skirting boards.

  1. Remove them temporarily while you carry out the process of installing laminate panels. Then, you can refit them once that task has been successfully completed.
  2. You can get rid of your old, dusty skirting boards, install laminate flooring, and then bring in brand-new floor skirting.
  3. Slide the edges of the panels beneath the skirting boards and then fit in beading to conceal the join.
  4. Install laminate floorboards under the already-fitted skirting boards and do not use any beading. 

While several options are available, it’s better to just stick to only one. Experts suggest installing laminate flooring and fitting the skirting boards, but the ultimate decision falls on you. 

Step Three: Prepare Your Space

Before you can start installing, you should clear out the room completely and make sure it’s free of debris. Use a vacuum to ensure it’s all clean. 

Step Four: Lay The Underlay

If you do some research, you’ll find that underlay for laminate panels comes in square boards or a roll. 

For leveled subfloors, such as floorboards, you can purchase a standard polyfoam underlay that is 3mm thick. On the other hand, if your subfloor is made out of concrete, then a wood fiberboard will be better suited. It can also help you improve heat and sound insulation.

Make sure that you check the label on your laminate flooring for further instructions and recommendations from the manufacturer. 

If you’re unsure about the thickness of the underlay, this guide is a must-read. If someone has told you to use double or thicker underlay than you probably need, check out this article on what happens if you use the wrong thickness underlay. 

Step Five: Start Laying Down Laminate Floorboards

The first thing you need to do now is to trim the tongues from the panels. This is an easy task that you can complete with the help of a high-quality utility knife or circular saw. 

Now, start by putting down the first row of panels along the longest wall. The trimmed edges of the floorboards need to go against the wall. Complete the right side first and then make your way towards the left. Also, don’t forget to leave enough gaps, so your planks have space to expand during summer

Remember that every plank you lay down needs to be full size, with a space of ¼ to 3/8 inches between it and the wall. The grooves should also be facing the outer side. In addition, feel free to install spacers made out of scrap wood between the wall and flooring to ensure that you can maintain the given gap. If you’re unsure how much gap is needed, you can check this article which explains how much your floor may expand

Carry on with the same process, but now with full-size planks. As you progress, ensure that you lock every piece to the next with a hammer and pull bar. The end joints must be tight without any gaps. Some manufacturers suggest tapping the laminate floorboards with a rubber mallet to close these end joints completely. 

Step Six: Fit The Skirting Boards

With skirting boards, you need to start off from the longest wall by focusing on the internal corners and measuring every piece as you go. Next, mark the top edge where the cut is supposed to be. A vice would be quite helpful in this case, as it will hold the skirting board and allow you to cut it into pieces.

You’ll also need to angle the trim to fit into the corner alongside the other panels. Moreover, if you are going to attach the boards with the help of screws, try to use masonry nails for this task. If you cannot or don’t want to, then feel free to fix the nails at a distance of 600mm at the topmost flat point. 

On the other hand, should you decide to glue the nails, get a good quality adhesive to ensure efficiency and effectiveness? Spread it evenly throughout the back and then press it into the desired location. It will also serve you well to use a handful of wooden props to push it in until the glue dries. 

While these written instructions can help you finish the job in no time, you can view this video below to understand better installing laminate planks with skirting boards. 

You can also keep the tips mentioned below in mind to help make this project easier.

  1. Get miter joints for external corners and cut these boards at an exact angle of 45 degrees to ensure they fit tightly and properly around the planks’ corners. 
  2. Scribe joints are the only joints to be used for internal corners. Ensure that the boards are cut in a way that they match each other’s profiles.


Do You Leave a Gap Under Skirting Boards?

Skirting boards have been designed to help provide visual appeal to your laminate floorboards. They do so by hiding the mandatory gap that needs to be left between the flooring’s edge and the wall. This gap makes room for the contraction and expansion of the laminate panels.

Does Laminate Flooring Go Under Skirting Boards?

Yes, laminate flooring is installed before skirting boards, as the latter are manufactured to conceal the gaps present in between the planks. 

Should I Remove Skirting Boards Before Laminate Flooring?

While you don’t have to, removing your old skirting boards is highly recommended before installing laminate flooring. This makes the project easier and allows you to remove both without worrying about causing irreparable damage. 

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