Laying Laminate Flooring Laying Under Skirting (Detailed Guide)

So you want to install laminate flooring but are unsure if you should lay it under the skirting? Don’t be! Or at least, it’s really not that of a bog problem.

Many people seem confused about whether or not they should lay their laminate flooring under the skirting. Some people say you can’t; it’s impossible, while others say they’ve done it really easily.

Can You Lay Laminate Under Skirting?

It’s possible to lay laminate floorboards under fitted skirting boards. You’d leave gaps between the planks and the wall when installing laminate flooring. Consequently, skirting is fitted at the top to conceal these gaps and add aesthetic appeal to your room, which aesthetically looks very pleasing.

But things are a bit different when it comes to pre-installed skirtings. While you can lay laminate panels beneath skirting that is already installed, experts and manufacturers do not recommend it. You should always install your laminate flooring before skirting for the best results. 

How Do You Install Laminate Under Skirting?

The steps below outline how you can install laminate panels under skirting that has already been fitted, in case you do not want the added expense of purchasing and placing new skirting boards. 

  1. Gather all the necessary tools

Laminate cutter
Jamb saw
Installation kit for flooring
Table saw
Utility knife
Tape measure
Nail gun
Duct tape
Finishing nails
Measuring laminate plank

2. Measure accurately

Using a tape measure to measure everything accurately is highly recommended, but if you have something else that does the job, that’s also fine. Make sure to note the entire width of the space, especially the wall. It’s also essential to measure the complete distance from the wall so that the planks do not fall short when the time comes to slide them under the already-fitted skirting.

Where the floorboards themselves are concerned, ensure that you leave a gap of at least ¾ inches between them so that they can expand and contract. If you are unsure how much your laminate floor might expand, I have written this helpful guide, which will give you all the necessary information. 

The following tools are important for you to have before installing laminate flooring beneath your skirting boards.

  1. Cutting laminate planks

The fiberboard core of laminate panels is thin, which means that you should be able to trim it with the help of materials present in the flooring kit. You can also use a table saw to complete this task. 

  1. Acclimate the laminate floorboards

Before the installation process can begin, you’ll have to give your laminate planks time to acclimate to whichever room you will put them in. At least 48 hours before you begin the project, lay the laminate pieces down in the room, and don’t stack them when you leave them to acclimate. This may lead to bending or make your laminate planks unusable. If you’re interested, I have an ultimate guide on how to acclimate laminate flooring

  1. Trim to fit beneath the skirting boards

Make sure that when you start trimming the materials, you do so by the room’s length. Leave the necessary gaps, even when you slide the laminate planks beneath the fitted skirting, so the gaps can be hidden like they are supposed to. 

You can use a pencil to make signs and then use a jam saw to remove the pieces. 

  1. Start laying the laminate.

Now, it is up to you to make the decision of which wall will be the starting point. Most people tend to start the process from the longest wall. However, you can also begin from a large focal point present in the room, such as large windows or a fireplace. This will also highly depend on which pattern you wish to lay your flooring, for example, L-shaped, H, or herringbone

The first row will start with the planks placed against the wall. You can also choose to trim these off the boards, but only in the first row. This can be easily accomplished by using a sharp utility knife.

Then, position the groove of the next piece into the given space. Don’t forget to press it down to ensure that it snaps in place and is properly secured. Feel free to use 3/8-inch spacers to make room for the planks to contract and expand over time. 

The written instructions mentioned above will make the installation process easier, especially if you don’t want to go through the long process of removing and re-fitting skirting. You can also watch this video below if you want a clearer picture of this process. 

Should Laminate Flooring Go Under Skirting?

Manufacturers and experts suggest that laminate flooring shouldn’t go under skirting boards, as it’s considered ineffective. By this, they mean that it shouldn’t go under already installed skirting boards. 

The order should always be to install laminate planks first and then skirting boards afterward.

Below are several alternatives that you can consider if you do not want to slide your laminate planks beneath the skirting. 

  1. Shadow gap or shadow line skirting

You can remove the skirting boards that have already been installed and use shadow gap or shadow line skirting. These have gained popularity in the last couple of years and are a minimalistic, modern way of concealing the gaps you leave between the floorboards and the wall. 

However, the good thing about this skirting is that it doesn’t need to be fitted over laminate. Rather, it’s a horizontal gap of around 10mm, which stretches along the planes of the walls of your room. They are known for creating a streamlined, uninterrupted design that can absorb surrounding sounds and also save money as a big plus. 

  1. Wooden beading skirting

Wooden beading skirting is mostly used in small spaces with low ceilings. Its primary purpose is to distribute weight evenly and support the structure. They’ve been used in home projects for years, but you won’t see them often. 

These skirting boards are half-rounded and thin, which take up little wall space. You won’t have to slide laminate floorboards beneath them because they’ll only be covering the gaps. 

In addition, when the time comes to change and replace the existing laminate floorboards, you can remove them with minimal damage to the skirting and the panels. 

Do You Need a Gap Between Skirting and Laminate Flooring?

Yes, if you’re laying down laminate flooring, you should know that leaving a gap between the skirting boards and the planks is a must. 

This is necessary to ensure that skirting boards don’t have any contact with the laminate planks, which is why they should be installed only after the flooring. This allows you to ensure that the two do not touch as you fit the skirting atop the panels with a minimal distance between them. 


Can You Use Laminate Flooring as Skirting?

Yes, laminate skirting is quite popular and is commonly used in homes to serve as a kind of protection for your walls. You can protect your room from scrapes and knocks. In addition, it’s also used to bring in aesthetic and decorative appeal. 

Can You Lay Laminate Flooring on Uneven Floors?

Yes, you can lay laminate over uneven floors, but experts and manufacturers warn against it. You can use underlay to make the subfloor even, which is the only way to install laminate on an uneven floor.

Can You Remove Laminate Flooring Without Removing Skirting?

Yes, it is possible to remove laminate planks without removing already-fitted skirting boards. However, this could damage the skirting in the process. If you still want to go through with it, you can use a circular saw around the room and cut out the borders. 

Can I Use Laminate on Stair Risers?

Laminate can indeed be used on stair risers, especially if you’ve made a transition. All you need to do is cut the panels down to size and use a strong construction adhesive to lay them in place. 

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