20th February 2019

How to Install Skirting Boards with Scribes to Internal Mitre Joints

When you purchase beautiful mouldings for your project, you want them to be installed right. To ensure you achieve the best look and a tight joint with no unsightly gaps, you need to scribe the skirting board at the internal corners instead of mitering it. In simple terms, this means fitting one board flush to the corner then cutting the other along the detailed profile of the skirting so it fits perfectly up against the first piece, like a 3D jigsaw puzzle piece.

Whilst this sounds difficult, it is actually really straight forward and Intrim have created this instructional step by step video to help you.


You will require is a pencil, tape measure, stud finder, square, combination saw, coping saw and a fixing gun.


Step 1. Locate studs with stud finder and mark onto plaster (this is only if plaster wall is on and studs have not already been marked out on the floor prior to plaster wall lining being installed. Typically, these studs would be positioned at 450mm or 600mm spacings)

When you have located the centre points of each stud, you will need to extend the mark above the height of the top of the skirting.

Step 2. Measure length of skirting to be installed. Measure from front flat face of adjacent skirting already installed, to long point of angle joint or internal corner of plasterboard. Square cut both ends allowing another 50mm longer than this measurement to allow scope to perform the finishing cuts as shown in following steps.

Step 3. roughly mark the direction of the cut on the end of the skirting that you want to perform the internal mitre scribe joint.

Step 4. Tilt combination saw over on 43 degrees (a little less than 45 degrees) in the direction as marked in step 3 and cross cut at 90 degrees.

Mark the mitre and face cut intersection line with pencil.

End for end the skirting board so that you are cutting from the face side all the time.

Perform the 90 degree cut on the flat section of the skirting board and tilt saw over on 5 degrees (this is called back cutting and makes for a neater internal joint when installed.)

Take this straight cut through to the point of where the profile or patterned section of the skirting begins.

Step 5. Clamp or support the end of the skirting board that the scribe joint is to be scribe cut with a coping saw.

Proceed to start cutting profile (the profiled section of the skirting is typically at the top portion of the skirting) section of skirting with coping saw, starting from top of skirting board being careful not to snap the very thin section of the skirting left on the top edge.

Continue to cut the profile section on the cut intersection point, with the coping saw positioned on a slight back angle from the face of cut, to produce an under cut or backing angle.

You will find the cutting easier, if you come in from each side of profiled section as shown on video.

The final cut with the coping saw, is finished by completing the straight back cut that was performed by the combination saw in step 4.

Step 6. Completed internal scribe cut ready for installation

Step 7. Position offcut of skirting board onto the end of the scribe cut to confirm neat fit.

Step 8. Transfer final exact length of skirting and mark onto skirting board as the length that was confirmed in step 2. Measure and mark length from face of adjacent skirting board installed to long point of angle joint to be cut at the opposite end of the scribe joint.

Step 9. Use square to transfer overall length mark, from face of skirting to rear face of skirting for long point of angle cut on opposite end of skirting.

Step 10. Mark the direction of the cut. In this case it will be a 22.5’ cut to form a 45’ wall intersection. Normally this would be a 90’ internal corner which requires a simple square cut on this end of the skirting.

Step 11. Tilt saw over on 22.5 degrees and perform the internal mitre cut to the other end of skirting.

Step 12. Install skirting board by positioning in place, ensuring the internal scribe joint in the corner is a neat fit where it meets the adjacent skirting, already installed.

Step 13.  Fit and fix in place by nailing through the skirting and plaster lining, into the stud as marked out in step 1.

Step 14. Finish fixing the skirting board so you are ready to install the next section of the skirting.

If you need more information, our team are always here to help!