So the question has obviously crossed your mind and that has led you here, do you fit skirting boards flush to the floor? Or do you lift them up a little bit?

Well luckily for you, you’ve come to the right place. As an experienced joiner, I have fit my fair share of skirting boards, in both new builds and older properties.

The short answer I’m afraid is the classic “it depends” but it really does. Let me jump into a few different situations and hopefully show you what is the best way to fit your skirting in each.

Hard Floors

If the room you are skirting has hard floors, such as wood, laminate and tile then you want to put the flooring down first and then put the skirting board on top. In this situation, you would run the skirting flush to the floor to give yourself a nice clean finish.

When laying a hard floor you will already be levelling the subfloor, or at least I hope you will be! This will remove the main reason that you would lift the skirting board off the floor to begin with, uneven floors.

Skirting Flush Over Tile
Skirting Flush Over Tile

Fitting skirting boards flush on top of hard floors will allow for a really nice finish and if you do end up with gaps this is where you can use some beading to cover the gaps.


With carpet, you don’t need to fit the skirting board flush to the floor. While there is no reason not to, the carpet is not fitted under the skirting so it doesn’t matter if the skirting is flush or not.

Where you may want to raise the skirting off the floor a little bit is when the subfloor isn’t level. This will obviously be more of a problem in older properties rather than newer ones.

Skirting Cut to Fit
Skirting Cut to Fit

If your floor is bowed in the middle you would have to mitre the skirting board to match in order to get it perfectly flat, or you could lift it off the floor using spaces, saving you a lot of work.

Obviously, if the bow is extreme then you won’t be able to get away with this and you will have to cut into the skirting, otherwise, you would end up with the skirting halfway up the wall.

Skirting With Gaps Under
Skirting With Gaps Under

Just fitting the skirting board to the wall and leaving a small gap underneath, as you can see in the second image above, is a lot easier to do than cutting it to fit.

You can then hide this gap with the carpet, so no one will be able to tell. It can be our little secret.


Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!

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