How To Fit Skirting Boards Around A Bay Window
We've decided to cover this topic because we get asked a lot about whether or not our skirting boards can be fitted to a bay window.
We always recommend that you ask a professional to fit the skirting boards, but we do have some handy tips if you need to have a go yourself.
MDF Skirting Boards Are The Best Option
If you need to bend skirting around a bay window, purchasing MDF skirting boards will be your best bet. MDF offers much more flexibility than hardwoods and softwoods.
You will be able to bend MDF much more making it suitable for less radical curves. We find that the thinner the MDF is, the easier it is to bend.
For example, our 15mm MDF will bend much more easily than our 25mm MDF without any additional work being required.
However, there are options for you if you need to fit skirting to a tight curve (like bay windows).
Using Kerf Cuts To Allow The Skirting Board To Bend
Image Courtesy Of Old House Online
Using kerf cuts in the rear of the skirting is the preferred and possibly the easiest way to create bendy skirting boards.
This process involves making shallow cuts in the reverse side of the skirting board. This makes it board easier to bend.
Ideally, you want to make a cut every 20 - 25mm. You want to start by making them shallow and then testing the skirting to see if it bends enough to fit.
If not, you can repeat the process and make each cut slightly deeper. You can also try adding more cuts which will help the board to bend further - but don't over do it as this can weaken the board leading to breakages!
We have to warn you that this is not an easy task - it is very labour intensive.
Also, every piece of wood is slightly different to the next - one may be able to bend more than the other but you won't know until you give it a try. There can be a lot of trial and error when using this method but the end results are superb when it's done right.
Using Weight To Gradually Bend The Skirting Board
Image Courtesy Of DIYnot
If you have the time and space required to carry this out, it definitely offers the best finish (compared to kerf cuts).
This process involves adding gradually weight to the centre of the skirting board over the period of a week to naturally bend the skirting board.
You'll need something to rest the skirting board on that gives you access to the centre and allows the board to 'sink'. We recommend creating a stand for both ends of the skirting to sit on.
When adding the weight, don't put everything on in one go. This will just increase the risk of the board snapping.
For instance, you could use a bucket to sit on the centre of the skirting. You could then add water or sand to the bucket in gradual amounts every day.
This will force the middle of the skirting board to curve. As you add weight, the curve will increase and because you are doing this over a period of a week the board should maintain it's shape.
You can continue until the required curve is achieved - but don't push it! All wood will have it's limit so take care and proceed slowly.
We can't guarantee that this will work so always proceed with caution.
Creating A Window Seat
Image Courtesy Of Period Terrace
If you're not comfotable with the advice given so far, you could do away with having to try and ben dskirting around the bay window.
Instead, you could opt for a window seat. These have grown in popularity over the years.
If you choose to go down this option, you won't need to bend the skirting. Because the window seat will be built out level with inside wall, the skirting board will run straight across the front.
This idea shouldn't be overlooked. As well as making it easier to fit the skirting, you're adding a useful seating area to the room!
You can even take it a little further and make the seating area into storage as well! This simply involves using a hinged seat that can be lifted to reveal the hollow inside - instead of wasted space, you now have a seating area and plenty of extra storage!
This would be an ideal solution if you have a really tight curve to go around.
The downside to this option is that Bendywood is a lot more expensive than the MDF equivalent and because most people won't need a lot, it can normally be ruled out.
However, the option is there for you and you can read more about it here.
We've explored various ways of bending skirting boards and avoiding bending them altogether. Hopefully you've been able to make a decision on how yo wish to proceed with your given situation.
For any more advice, don't hesitate to get in touch with us (or call us on 0121 328 2179) - we're always here to help!