Existing Skirting Boards are a major consideration to be taken into account when installing a “floor on floor”.
In an ideal world skirting boards should be removed and re-fitted after the floor has been fitted, however with older period properties that is not always possible, particularly grade 1 listed building where skirting boards must be preserved.
The process of removing old skirting boards can damage surrounding plaster work, particularly if partition walls are constructed of lath and plaster. That plaster work will then have to be repaired after the skirting boards are re-fixed, the alternative is to leave the skirting boards attached and trim them in situ.
A competent and experienced floor fitter should have access to a professional skirting board cutting and trimming tool. If you are on a tight budget and attempting to install the floor yourself the other option for skirting boards is to pin a quadrant or scotia to the skirting board to bridge the expansion gap.
For an ultimate tidy wood floor installation the skirting boards should bridge the expansion gap between the wall and floor (10 to 15mm).