Wood Floor Maintenance

Everything you need to know about expansion gaps and skirting boards when it comes to wood flooring

Lucy Ward

Lucy Ward

November 07, 2022

When fitting a new wood flooring, we usually recommend to remove the skirting board if possible. We do this so we can fit the wood underneath it, leaving you with a clean look and to ensure that there is a sufficient expansion gap for the wood.

As we have mentioned in many blog posts, wood expands and contracts which varies with changes in ambient moisture and temperature. It we fit a wood floor from one edge of the room to another, the floor will buckle and fail if the wood expands. By removing the skirting, we are able to ensure that your wood flooring will have enough room to go through this natural process without becoming damaged.

It is advised that the gap between the wall and the flooring is 12mm, which is a sufficient gap to allow for the expansion of the floorboards. This is called creating an expansion gap. By removing the skirting and reinstalling it after fitting the floor, we are able to ensure that this expansion gap is hidden.

By removing the skirting, we are able to avoid using scotia beading. Scotia beading is a mould used to cover the expansion gap without removing the skirting. It is often fixed to the skirting and over the top of the flooring around the room. This is a look that we tend to advise our clients against as simply removing skirting will have a neater finish – but it is down to the personal tastes of our clients!

Removing and refitting skirting means that it does need a bit of care afterwards. The skirting may often need a touch up of paint after the flooring is installed.

If the flooring you’re wanting to install is in an older property where the skirting is perhaps harder to remove, we are able to undercut skirting. This is not the most ideal method of installing wood flooring, but if a client is wanting to keep as much of the older property as possible, it is our mission to make sure that we are able to do this whilst installing the best wood flooring. An issue with having to undercut skirting is the possibility of affecting wires. Running wires under skirting boards is considered a way of saving time and mess. Further, you may not know whether there is wiring under there.

All in all, removing skirting before fitting wood flooring is deemed preferable and important in our eyes to ensure for the best installation of your new floors.

Feel free to contact us using the Contact page on our website and we will help you get the best wood flooring for your home.

Alternatively, you can call us on 0121 684 4772 or email info@innerspaceflooring.co.uk