Hire the best Tiler

tiles or skirting boards first?

Results 1 to 35 of 35
  1. #1
    Amateur D-I-Yer
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Byron Bay
    Posts
    57

    Default tiles or skirting boards first?

    I am getting a room built by a builder.

    He is completing everything, apart from the floor tiles. I am going to try laying them myself.

    I dont know whether to let him attach the skirting boards, then tile up to them - or tell him to leave them until I have done the tiling.

    Any advice for this novice greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

    Mark

  2. #2
    Senior Member emptybucketman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    144

    Default

    Skirting on after the tiling. A better finish and the skirting won't sit in water after mopping the floor.

  3. #3
    A Member of the Holy Trinity silentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Pambula
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,714

    Default

    Conversely, I put my skirting in first, because I have areas of carpet adjacent, and would otherwise have had to rip the skirting down to get the same height throughout. The skirting is painted first and so is protected from any small amount of water that might sit on it after mopping.

    Doing it this way meant that the finish carpentry was completed, all rooms thoroughly cleaned, the ceiling and walls painted, then the floor coverings laid. You really don't want carpenters back in once you have cleaned up all the saw dust to lay the tiles/paint the walls and ceiling.

    You will also have gaps under the skirting if you lay it over the tiles, as you will be doing very well to lay them all perfectly flat - plus you will have the grout gaps. This needs to be sealed after the fact and then your skirting has to be cut in to the tiles. Much easier to paint the skirting before tiling.

    Those are my reasons for doing it that way.
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    154

    Default

    skirting placed first , then tiled up too ....for an added feature, quad between the skirting and tile ....can be small 12 mm or big 25mm , but it does make a heck of a difference as no dirt can hide in the crevice between tile and skirting .....

  5. #5
    Amateur D-I-Yer
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Byron Bay
    Posts
    57

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by emptybucketman View Post
    Skirting on after the tiling. A better finish and the skirting won't sit in water after mopping the floor.
    Well, the others seem to agree to do the opposite. I must say that the argument about the floor tiles not being level won me.

    I will go with skirting down first. But that leaves the problem of wet timber after washing the floor. As I live in a bachelor pad, there is a very easy solution to that problem - DONT WASH THE FLOOR

  6. #6
    A Member of the Holy Trinity silentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Pambula
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,714

    Default

    If you're painting the skirting, then use an oil-based enamel (same colour as the walls but in a semi-gloss) and you wont have a problem with the small amount of water that will get on it.
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

  7. #7
    Senior Member emptybucketman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    144

    Default

    If that's your cleaning regime then make sure you use grey grout

  8. #8
    Novice
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    outer sydney
    Posts
    23

    Default

    skirting should always sit on top of the tile. if you have to rip the skirting down to suit so be it!... the joint between the skirting board and the tile will allways look messy/cracked joints if the tile is brought up to the skirting unless of course you silicone/caulk this area. and if your cuts towards the walls are imperfect then the skirting will hide these
    Last edited by RPMT; 26th Mar 2008 at 02:54 PM. Reason: added more info and corrected spelling

  9. #9
    Amateur D-I-Yer
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Byron Bay
    Posts
    57

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RPMT View Post
    skirting should always sit on top of the tile. if you have to rip the skirting down to suit so be it!... the joint between the skirting board and the tile will allways look messy/cracked joints if the tile is brought up to the skirting unless of course you silicone/caulk this area. and if your cuts towards the walls are imperfect then the skirting will hide these
    Well, thanks for all the advice everyone.

    I guess I'll have to make the decision at the time. My gut feeling is "skirting last" - then it can easily be removed if it ever needs to be. The silicone/caulk is a good tip.

    Mark

  10. #10
    A Member of the Holy Trinity silentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Pambula
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,714

    Default

    the joint between the skirting board and the tile will allways look messy/cracked joints if the tile is brought up to the skirting unless of course you silicone/caulk this area.
    Funny that mine doesn't. Perhaps it depends on how good the tiler is.

    I've done it both ways and prefer skirting first for finish, so there you go. Also looks better at doorways because the grout line follows the perimeter rather than disappearing under the skirting.

    Have fun making up your mind Mark.
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    In a House
    Posts
    253

    Default

    Im with Silent and man of talent on this one, any houses I have been involved in and that is plenty the skirting always goes down first, then the tiles are laid! if the tiles are perfectly flat you shouldnt have a problem with putting the skirting down but if they differ slightly in height which you wont see with the human eye, but go to put down a length of skitring and it "rides up in spots around the edges you will have small gaps here and there!

  12. #12
    Novice
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    outer sydney
    Posts
    23

    Default

    so would you place your timber floor down after you had placed your skirting?

    if you have dips and gaps between the skirting then the tiling hasnt been done right.

    just my personal opinion

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Outer East - Melbourne
    Posts
    346

    Default

    I would do the flooring first and put the skirting board last. Polished floorboards - skirting is last.

    When I laid our solid timber floating floors, I removed all skirting and then put new skirting boards on after. Looks much better than quad, which in my opinion looks like it is there to hide an irregular join.

    When we put linoleum (not vinyl) in our bathroom, I put it down first and put the tiles on the walls afterwards, again to give a neat finished edge that does not have any chance of holding water. While standing up, you have no chance of seeing 1mm irregularities in tile edges if the cut edges are facing down. If you are standing, and you are near a wall, you will be able to see irregularities on any floor material.

    The one time I see this being very different is with carpet. It is laid with the skirting board needing to already be in place to jam the edges and hold them down.

  14. #14
    Novice
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    outer sydney
    Posts
    23

    Default

    exactly. carpet is the only flooring finish where the skirting goes on 1st

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Canberra
    Age
    61
    Posts
    173

    Default

    This sounds like the old "which way up do I put my decking boards" type argument. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. The interesting part is that there are so many people who are so definite.

    Do it whichever way makes more sense to you.

    Cheers,
    Adam

  16. #16
    A Member of the Holy Trinity silentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Pambula
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,714

    Default

    So would you place your timber floor down after you had placed your skirting?
    I would put the timber floor down first of course.

    I would expect a timber floor to be level. Tiles are a ceramic product and are often not flat to begin with. Then they are laid on a bed of tile glue which allows a bit of give and take in finished height. I have NEVER seen a tiler using a straight edge or spirit level around the edge of a room and wouldn't expect them to.

    Speak to a finish carpenter, they'll tell you which way it is usually done.
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

  17. #17
    Tool Whore - 1K Club Member Vernonv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Armidale NSW
    Age
    51
    Posts
    1,181

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by silentC View Post
    I have NEVER seen a tiler using a straight edge or spirit level around the edge of a room and wouldn't expect them to.
    Maybe you need to find a better tiler.

    When I did the laundry I used a straight edge to ensure all the tiles were flat ... but then again I also had the skirting down first and tiled afterwards.
    Cheers.

    Vernon.
    __________________________________________________
    Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like crazy.

  18. #18
    1K Club Member autogenous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Perth, WA.
    Posts
    1,219

    Default

    I would if you can, leave the skirting till after. Its much faster, you get a neater finish under the skirting. The builder may cut and temporarily set up the skirting if he needs to finish his contract.

    Skirting first you will have to put a neat joint along the skirting. Any expansion of the skirting with moisture will put pressure on the tiles. You should really have a silicon joint between the wall and the tile of I "assume" 6mm but that should be checked. It is rarely practiced but worth leaving at least a gap and grout between the wall and the tile.
    https://www.instagram.com/perth_bricklayer_wa

  19. #19
    A Member of the Holy Trinity silentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Pambula
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,714

    Default

    My point is that tiles are never going to be as flat as floorboards should be. You have grout gaps, you have tiles that have a textured surface, or a slight crown, they are rarely ever perfectly flat.

    A tiler worth his salt will put the glue down and get the tiles on fairly quickly without stuffing about. Have you ever seen a professional tiler at work? They don't even gauge the gap, it's done by eye. He will do it without getting glue and grout all over the skirting.

    Now a handy man will probably fuss about with string lines and spirit levels and so on. It will take him at least twice as long. In some cases, the finish might be better if he takes his time. Some tradies can be a bit rough.

    You will never convince me that a skirting plonked on top of tiles and then caulked will look as good as skirting laid first. That is my opinion. I like to see a grout (or flexible sealant if you prefer) border all the way around. It just looks better in my opinion.

    I don't abide by the people who assert that skirting last is the ONLY way. It's a personal preference I reckon. I'm coming at it from a combined consideration for the order of trades coming through as well as a personal preference for the finish. Others will disagree, but that doesn't make them right

    As I said, I've done it both ways and last time I made the deliberate decision to fit the skirting first because of the above. It makes the most sense to me from the point of view of appearance and efficiency.

    BTW I'd never use skirting in a laundry anyway - it would have a single tile strip all the way around the room.
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

  20. #20
    A Member of the Holy Trinity silentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Pambula
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,714

    Default

    Its much faster, you get a neater finish under the skirting.
    How is it faster?

    I presume that you are also suggesting that the door jambs and architraves are left off as well? Or do you get the chippy to hang the doors, fit the arcs and then come back and do the skirts?
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

  21. #21
    Tool Whore - 1K Club Member Vernonv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Armidale NSW
    Age
    51
    Posts
    1,181

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by silentC View Post
    BTW I'd never use skirting in a laundry anyway - it would have a single tile strip all the way around the room.
    Again, that's probably a personal preference thing.
    In our situation, the skirting is painted and there is sealant between the skirting and the tiles (and skirting and floor). It can easily cope with the normal laundry splashes and spills.
    Cheers.

    Vernon.
    __________________________________________________
    Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like crazy.

  22. #22
    A Member of the Holy Trinity silentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Pambula
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,714

    Default

    Yeah fair enough. Our skirtings are MDF so there's no way I'd have put them in a wet area. I used meranti for the architraves.
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

  23. #23
    1K Club Member autogenous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Perth, WA.
    Posts
    1,219

    Default

    How is it faster?

    I presume that you are also suggesting that the door jambs and architraves are left off as well? Or do you get the chippy to hang the doors, fit the arcs and then come back and do the skirts?
    Because the cuts near the wall don't have to be as precise to create the neat joint down the edge of the skirting board.

    The chippy can fit the doors but you will have to show him the height of tile plus glue or he will be back to rip the doors down if the tile is large thick plus the depth of glue.
    So tile plus glue depth so the door passes over neatly.

    Pending "the floor is flat" you could also once the tiler is consulted raise the skirting the tile+glue+2mm height and lay under the skirt and lay the tile under but you will get a better finish if the skirt is put on after.

    Very little timber frames in WA anymore. Mostly steel. 99%
    https://www.instagram.com/perth_bricklayer_wa

  24. #24
    A Member of the Holy Trinity silentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Pambula
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,714

    Default

    Because the cuts near the wall don't have to be as precise to create the neat joint down the edge of the skirting board.
    Righto, fair call. Faster for the tiler. But since tilers charge by the sq. metre, who cares how long they take

    Chippies and painters usually charge by the hour on the other hand, so it's important not to mess them about I reckon...

    I think the only real con for skirting first is that you have the potential for a crack to form between the grout and the skirting as things move about. You can address that by using a caulk instead of cement grout at the perimeter. I didn't bother and it hasn't seemed to be a problem.

    On the other hand, it is much quicker for painting if you fit the door jambs, skirting, arcs first, then lay your tiles. There's no cutting in to the tiles. No drop sheets required. They can splash paint on the floor as much as they like. You also don't need to clean up twice - once before tiling and then again before painting. Painters get very ancy if you let chippies in after they have painted ceilings etc, and they don't like having to use drop sheets, so letting them paint the whole room before laying the tiles makes things much more efficient from that point of view.

    Chippies in - fit out done - remove doors - clean top to bottom - paint the room - lay the tiles - check the doors for height - paint the doors - hang the doors.

    Happy chippy, happy painter, slightly annoyed tiler. What better outcome?
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

  25. #25
    1K Club Member autogenous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Perth, WA.
    Posts
    1,219

    Default

    [quote] Chippies and painters usually charge by the hour on the other hand, so it's important not to mess them about I reckon.../QUOTE]

    In Western Australia this is not the case. They wished to be paid on a productivity basis.
    On some more complex jobs they may charge by the hour where things like cavity doors or damaged walls and patching are required.

    On WA project homes all trades are paid productivity based because the builders are concerned that some may stand around and pick their nose. Its cheaper for the builders.

    The last thing they want is trades on wages because wages are expensive. Builders don't wish to incur the overhead costs such as Superannuation, Workers Comp, Vehicle costs, Mobile phone costs, Tool supply etc etc.

    Its much cheaper to pay as a contract total sum.

    Some trades are now having 5 minutes morning tea, skipping lunch and going hard to increase productivity. Thats why you see them starting at 6:30 and going home at 2:30 or 3:00. They get subcontracted as a company for how much they do, not how long they are there.

    Some jobs such as "large" houses , renovations builders may fold to a day contract as they are too complex to quote and better quality can be achieved under close supervision and also be cheaper/faster.
    https://www.instagram.com/perth_bricklayer_wa

  26. #26
    A Member of the Holy Trinity silentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Pambula
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,714

    Default

    Yes I believe that project homes here too are done on a fixed price for everything. That's why they are so full of faults.

    As an owner builder last year, I had in some cases the opportunity to pay for the completed job - eg. the plasters would either work on a sq. metre rate, or an a time + materials. I went for time + materials, which was probably the wrong decision in hind sight but no big deal. The two carpenters, the painter and the roof plumber I hired were all on hourly rates.

    I figure that on the one hand, you might save money with the fixed price - on the other if the trade has under-quoted to get the job, they usually want to cut corners to save time. On an hourly rate, you can go the other way with long smokos, stretching smaller jobs out to fit in with knock off time etc. You need to be on site, or have someone on site you can trust to keep an eye out.

    My friends have a story about a project home they moved into. They were celebrating in the spa when it crashed through the bathroom floor. But it was done for a price...
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

  27. #27
    Senior Member Eastie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Between a rock & a hard place (vic)
    Posts
    281

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by silentC View Post
    Yeah fair enough. Our skirtings are MDF so there's no way I'd have put them in a wet area. I used meranti for the architraves.
    IT's not uncommon to put down mdf in wet areas - especially next to tiled showers as if there's any leak it will show the signs well before major damage is done to anything else.

  28. #28
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    73

    Default

    I did both the tiling and fixing at our home and I laid tiles first, skirts last. Tiles were quicker to lay as they do not need to be mm perfect and it leaves a cleaner look.

  29. #29
    A Member of the Holy Trinity silentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Pambula
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,714

    Default

    How did you deal with the gaps under the skirting?
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

  30. #30
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    73

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by silentC View Post
    How did you deal with the gaps under the skirting?
    Did not have any major gaps- Biggest would have been around 1mm. Tiles are polished porcellin 500x500 so as long as you lay them all level, should not have gaps. Rough finish tiles like slate would leave randon gaps. Once I laid the skirts, ran some grout between the skirt and tile to fill any inperfections. Nearly 3 years down the track and no cracks at all. Completing it this way worked well because the tiles, grout and final skirting colour are all very close (Alabaster colour).

  31. #31
    Member Calm's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ballarat Vctoria
    Age
    66
    Posts
    66

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SkyHook View Post
    I am getting a room built by a builder.

    He is completing everything, apart from the floor tiles. I am going to try laying them myself.
    Mark, the option of tiles or skirting first does not matter.

    You state you are going to do the tiling.
    What size tiles are you using?
    How are you going to cut the tiles where required?
    Do you know how to start the room - lay it out?
    Have you ever laid or cut ceramic tiles before?

    The answer to these questions should let you decide which is the best way for you.

    I used to do tiling at weekends with my BIL and we always had the skirting on first and the painters had finished. Usually we were the last tradies in the house.
    regards

    David


    "Tell him he's dreamin."
    "How's the serenity" (from "The Castle")

  32. #32
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    73

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Calm View Post
    Mark, the option of tiles or skirting first does not matter.

    You state you are going to do the tiling.
    What size tiles are you using?
    How are you going to cut the tiles where required?
    Do you know how to start the room - lay it out?
    Have you ever laid or cut ceramic tiles before?

    The answer to these questions should let you decide which is the best way for you.

    I used to do tiling at weekends with my BIL and we always had the skirting on first and the painters had finished. Usually we were the last tradies in the house.
    Excellent and most important point when tiling. We spent a number of hours measuring and laying out the floor tiles so we would have to cut against each wall, end up with most of the tile around door jambs and looked ok down the long hallways etc. We also had to take consideration of WC/Bathroom wall tiles (As they are the same) so making sure they suited bath hob, shower base took time, but all worked out perfectly.

  33. #33
    A Member of the Holy Trinity silentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Pambula
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,714

    Default

    Tiles are polished porcellin 500x500 so as long as you lay them all level, should not have gaps.
    You should have a gap every 500mm then

    I went around and did an inspection of mine on the weekend. I found one place where a hairline crack has developed between the grout and the wall. This is at the front door threshold where there is no skirting to cover it anyway. I must say, the tiler did a very neat job of getting the cuts consistent against the skirting.

    My tiles are 500mm square too. They're not slate but they do have an uneven surface, like most non-porcelain tiles I guess.

    I still think you could have done yours either way. If the grout, tiles and skirting are all the same colour, no-one would ever pick the difference. I'd imagine that if you're fussy enough to lay them all level, you would be fussy enough to cut them all neatly as well.

    Maybe we should post pictures of the results?
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

  34. #34
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    73

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by silentC View Post
    You should have a gap every 500mm then

    I went around and did an inspection of mine on the weekend. I found one place where a hairline crack has developed between the grout and the wall. This is at the front door threshold where there is no skirting to cover it anyway. I must say, the tiler did a very neat job of getting the cuts consistent against the skirting.

    My tiles are 500mm square too. They're not slate but they do have an uneven surface, like most non-porcelain tiles I guess.

    I still think you could have done yours either way. If the grout, tiles and skirting are all the same colour, no-one would ever pick the difference. I'd imagine that if you're fussy enough to lay them all level, you would be fussy enough to cut them all neatly as well.

    Maybe we should post pictures of the results?
    True, it was less work though as I did not need to cut all tiles against the walls mm perfect (I needed to save time as I laid close to 250m2!). I'll take a pic and post.

  35. #35
    A Member of the Holy Trinity silentC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Pambula
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,714

    Default

    Ah, so what you're all saying is that it's a way of covering up sloppy workmanship?

    To be honest, I've never done a large area. I didn't watch the tiler do it, but he is known for being very fast. I don't think it would take him any longer to cut them at 452mm +/- 0mm than at 450mm +/- 2mm. I suppose it's all a matter of practice.

    I'll get some pics of mine, then we can compare...
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

Similar Threads

  1. tiles or skirting boards first?
    By SkyHook in forum Doors, Windows, Architraves & Skirts
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 28th Mar 2008, 05:39 PM
  2. Help!! Who Does Skirting Boards........
    By makka619 in forum Doors, Windows, Architraves & Skirts
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 28th Jan 2007, 08:51 PM
  3. Skirting Boards
    By samrose in forum Doors, Windows, Architraves & Skirts
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 29th May 2006, 09:22 AM
  4. Skirting Boards
    By TeamUN in forum Doors, Windows, Architraves & Skirts
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 13th Jan 2006, 10:18 AM
  5. skirting boards
    By mayoh in forum Doors, Windows, Architraves & Skirts
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 29th Oct 2004, 10:10 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •