In short, the answer is NO.
If you have decided on timber floorboards as your flooring, you need to lay these prior to fitting your skirting boards. There will be a gap left between the wall and your first board to allow for any swelling and movement, and then your skirting will then be butted down hard against the timber floor.
As your skirting boards and floor boards are natural timber, they have the chance of shrinking from day to day exposure to the climate inside a home, such as heating and air conditioning, which reduces humidity. If you have left a gap between the skirting and floor boards, this gap is likely to become unsightly and larger over time, requiring rectification.
If you want to reduce the risk of potentially of damaging your floorboards by working on the top of them after the flooring is laid, you can cut your boards to length, put them in place and add a spacer the height of your flooring. This will mean the floor can more easily be installed under the gap and once finished, you then just have to butt your skirting hard against the floor and secure them in place.
Sometimes due to the natural line of the floor, and that timber flooring has been sourced from a living tree and is not perfectly flat (which is the reason we love it so much, right?), there can be small spaces between your skirting and boards in some areas. The best solution for a clean look is to run a small bead of ‘no more gaps’ along the junction where the skirting meets the floorboard then
If you are renovating and have removed an existing flooring to be surprised by some beautiful old boards underneath you are looking to restore, there are a few options you have to beautify your trims.
- Remove and replace. This is the more labour intensive option, but the one which will achieve the best look. You can remove your existing skirting boards and either re-install them flush against the floor boards at the new floor level, or choose some new skirting to install. This will require you to repaint your wall, otherwise you can opt for a taller skirting board to cover just over the old wall skirting line.
2. Install quad or scotia. You can install timber quad or scotia at the skirting and floor junction to hid the gap.