Vinyl Flooring Before or After Skirting: Explained

Many people choose vinyl flooring because it is easy to install and maintain. But one question always arises: should you install the vinyl flooring before or after you put down the skirting? Here are a few things to consider that will help you make the best decision for your home.

Skirting should be done after the Vinyl flooring installation. This way, the skirting will sit on top, and the expansion gap will be covered. If you have installed skirting before, you might have uncovered gaps and an uneven vinyl flooring installation. 

You might think, if it’s possible, then why not? But the reality is, there is a very good reason to do things in the right order. The same can be said when it comes to Vinyl floors and skirting.

Is skirting necessary for vinyl flooring?

Skirting is necessary for vinyl flooring and should be factored into every installation. Vinyl flooring requires gaps at the edges to create enough room for expansion and contraction, thus ensuring the floor remains in optimal condition. But this is not the only reason. Skirting also has several other benefits on vinyl flooring, including;

  • Wall Protection – Skirting creates a gap between your furniture and prevents scratches on walls while you move them. It thus ensures you don’t have to repaint your walls often. 
  • Promotes Expansion – Laminate flooring requires gaps at the edges to allow for expansion and contraction depending on humidity levels in your house. Water could sip beneath the laminate floor if left uncovered, and thus skirting protects your floors from that. Additionally, the skirting blends well with the laminate flooring, thus ensuring your floor is safe. 
  • Increase Durability – Most laminate flooring doesn’t have seals at the edges, and water could easily sip beneath them when cleaning with mops. Skirting keeps the edges dry and thus prevents scraping and ensures your laminate flooring lasts longer. 
  • Cover Electric Wiring – Skirting is ideal for proper cable management if your cables run on the floor. It covers expansion gaps and electric wiring, reducing repair costs and making your floors look better. 

Should you install vinyl flooring before or after skirting?

Floor skirting should be installed after your floors are installed, and the adhesive has dried. Laminate flooring requires expansion gaps at its edges, which is vital in determining when you should lay your skirting. If you let professionals such as Lowe’s install your Vinyl floor, they would do the same.

Advantages of Installing Vinyl Flooring Before Skirting

Some of the most significant benefits of installing vinyl flooring before skirting are;

  1. Accurate Expansion Gaps

Laminate flooring requires expansion gaps to accommodate changes in humidity throughout the year, thus preventing bending that would make the floor uneven. An expansion gap shouldn’t exceed 10mm for an accurate installation and to maintain the vinyl flooring pattern. 

Skirting after the vinyl flooring is installed ensures you can cover these gaps at the edge of the laminate flooring. Additionally, it will cover the gaps if they are bigger than intended. This maintains the house’s aesthetic. 

  1. Even Flooring

When skirting is installed before your laminate flooring, you will be restricted to working around them. It can be challenging, the floor is unlikely to fit well, and vinyl flooring patterns will not be maintained. If skirting is installed after the vinyl flooring, you aren’t restricted, and you can fit the skirting according to how the flooring is installed. 

  1. Avoid Beading

Installing skirting after laminate flooring ensures you don’t have to redo beading throughout the room. Indeed, installation time is shorter, and you won’t need additional materials. You also don’t need an expert for beading, thus saving some money on laminate flooring installation. 

  1. Smoother Finish

Laminate flooring aims to make your house look better, and if you install skirting after laminate flooring, this is achieved. You will only need to measure the skirting, cut it and fit it on the laminate flooring instead of cutting it into the floor to insert the flooring. 

These advantages of installing skirting after laminate flooring save time and money. It will be installed faster and in a shorter time. Plus, you’ll be able to attain a smoother and more durable finish.

Disadvantages of Installing Vinyl Flooring After Skirting 

Installing skirting before your floors has many disadvantages that would make the installation harder. Here are some of these;

  1. Uneven Laminate Flooring

Installing skirting before laminate flooring requires that you work around them, and thus you will have to cut the floor to create enough room. There will not be enough room for accurate measurements and for installing the laminate flooring. Ultimately, you will have an uneven floor. This will make the laminate flooring uncomfortable to walk on, and you will need a new installation. 

  1. Time Consuming

Installing laminate flooring is simple, and manufacturers ensure that by pre-installing adhesives. Additionally, you don’t need expert or complicated tools if the flooring is done well. 

Installing skirting before laminate flooring will require more tools to cut beneath the floor, and more time will be required to measure the floor accurately. This thus makes it challenging and time-consuming, further increasing your installation costs. 

  1. Bigger Expansion Gaps

Skirting is required to cover expansion gaps that are bigger than intended. This allows you to install the laminate flooring without caulking and shortens the installation time. You cannot measure the required 10mm expansion gaps if the skirting is done before laminate flooring. It thus creates bigger gaps than intended, and water will sip beneath the floor. 

Can you install vinyl flooring without removing the baseboards?

Yes, you can install vinyl flooring without removing baseboards. However, to do so, you will have to leave a bigger gap than the required 10mm between the baseboards and the floor. Use a 25mm expansion gap to have enough room to install the laminate flooring without cutting the floor. 

How do you fit vinyl flooring under skirting?

Fitting vinyl flooring under skirting requires accurate measurements to leave the right expansion gap and cut fewer laminate planks. This is how you can install your flooring;

Step #1 Clean the gaps under the skirting

First of all, you will need to clean the debris beneath the floor. Use a broom or vacuum cleaner to remove the dust to ensure the adhesive sticks well and that it takes a shorter time to settle. 

Step #2 Measure the required gap before installation

When installing laminate flooring underneath skirting, ensure there is enough expansion gap. Ideally, it should be 25mm from the wall or where the skirting ends. Afterward, measure the remaining floor size to cut the ideal laminate flooring planks. 

Step #3 Fit the laminate flooring beneath the skirting

Remove the strips and fit them along the edges if you use laminate flooring with pre-installed adhesive. Press them lightly using a rubber roller until they are firmly in place. Alternatively, if your laminate flooring doesn’t have an adhesive, you can get an adhesive such as silicone caulking or other alternatives. 

Apply the adhesive onto the floor, place the laminate flooring, and press them lightly. You can use a rubber roller to press the adhesive until they are firmly in place. Install the laminate flooring from one room area and progress towards one end to maintain the pattern. 

Step #4 Let the laminate flooring settle

Finally, let the adhesive dry before cleaning spills. The laminate flooring will dry after about 24 hours, and you can inspect the installation. It is convenient since you don’t have to adjust the expansion gaps, as the skirting will cover them. 


Do you have to nail skirting boards?

You must nail or screw skirting boards to ensure they remain firmly on the floor. This approach offers a smoother and even floorboard! 

Do I need to leave a gap under the skirting?

Expansion gaps are vital for any flooring installation, and the main purpose of the skirting is to cover them. A 25mm gap is ideal when factoring in skirting on your laminate flooring. 

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