An easy-to-follow guide to fitting scotia beading, using Richard Burbidge mouldings and simple tools and techniques.
The nature of wooden flooring and laminate flooring means that you'll need to leave a gap around the edge of the room as you lay it. This is because these types of flooring naturally expand and contract, so you need to leave some space around the skirting boards. This gap can sometimes be unsightly, which is why adding scotia beading is a popular DIY trick.
Scotia is a decorative moulding that covers any visible gaps without removing the skirting board. You can choose a scotia style that suits the look of your room, matching or contrasting with the flooring. Making sure scotia beading is installed correctly is a relatively simple procedure - here's our guide:
1. Choose your Richard Burbidge moulding
Firstly you’ll need to decide the style of floor moulding you’re going for. At Richard Burbidge we offer a wide range of scotia bead styles, from decorative to minimalist. Richard Burbidge mouldings are of the highest quality, so will perform the key function and also totally transform the look and character of a whole room for a professional-looking finish.
Top tip: Select a scotia style and colour that matches the skirting boards for a cohesive look. Wondering 'how much scotia beading do I need'? Measure the perimeter of your room to determine the total length of scotia required, then add another 10-20% as a precautionary measure for wastage.
2. How to cut Scotia beading
You'll need to use a mitre joint to connect lengths of scotia beading together. Of course, safety wear (protective gloves, knee pads, eye goggles etc) are recommended for use during any work. Cut the beading at a 45-degree angle to guarantee a seamless finish for the gap-filling boards. To cut corners, measure the distance between the two corners and mark this plus the direction of the cut onto the back of the scotia with a pencil.
For the next step, you'll need a mitre box, sandpaper and a mitre saw. Cut at the 45-degree angle in the direction of the mark. Cut into the scotia to make a mitre cut in the opposite direction, and sand down the ends until completely smooth. Check that both ends fit together - you might need to sand a bit more or use a block pane to make sure the fit is flush.
3. How to install Scotia beading
For places where the scotia is being fitted in a place where the end will be left open (for example near a door or archway), some homeowners opt to attach a return piece to the end for a neater finish and secure surface.
To install a scotia return, you'll need to mitre cut the end that's being left 'exposed', then cut into another piece of scotia in the opposite direction to the first cut. Cut the second piece to size and put them together to make sure they fit together. You can then use PVA to fit the return onto the end and secure it against the wall. Make sure to follow your chosen adhesive's instructions.
4. Securing the moulding to the wall
When it comes to how to fit scotia beading, you have a few options. Some installers choose to use nails which provides a reliable hold. Others choose adhesive to help avoid unsightly nail holes for a more professional-looking finish.
To fit scotia with nails, first you'll need to secure the beading in place. Use nails every 30cm along the scotia, being careful not to hammer any nails into the floor. Use either a nail gun or a hammer for precision. As a precautionary measure, you might want to use a pipe and cable detector to avoid hitting any electric cables or hidden pipes.
For adhesive fitting, use a grab adhesive along the back of the scotia, and carefully stick to the wall (avoiding the flooring!). For external mitres, apply PVA. You can use flexible decorators caulk or decorator's filler to fill any gaps between the scotia and the skirting board. Wipe any excess with a damp cloth to smooth the surface to create a potentially unnoticeable room feature that brings the design together.
5. Add the finishing touches
Once the scotia beading is correctly applied, you can go over it with decorators caulk to patch up any gaps. If you have selected pine scotia (or another varnishable wood), there are many different finishing options. You might consider a wood stain for a traditional look, paint for a contemporary finish, or choose to retain the original look of raw pine. The finish you choose will help enhance the room's décor and match your existing skirting.
If you decide to stain the scotia or leave as it is, we recommend sealing the surface with an oil or varnish. Safety wear (such as gloves and a mask) is always recommended for varnishing in enclosed spaces.
6. Share your DIY renovation project
We love seeing how you have transformed your home with Richard Burbidge products. Upload a picture of your DIY project to Instagram or Facebook and tag us @richard_burbidge. You can also upload your images to our testimonials page. We can’t wait to see what you create with Richard Burbidge mouldings!