How to Install a Mopboard or Skirt Board on Stairs


Installing a mopboard, or skirt board, along stairs gives the this plain area of the home an attractive edging. These large baseboards run along the length of the stairs, where the wall meets the steps. This project can be costly when you hire a professional. But with a few tools and some accurate measuring, you can complete it on your own. Make a template before cutting the expensive wood skirting, since the size and shape of stairs vary.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Table saw
  • Pencil
  • Measuring stick
  • Measuring tape
  • Wall adhesive
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Silicone wall caulk
  • Locate the studs in the wall with a stud finder and mark the location with a pencil or piece of painter's tape.

  • Cut a 12-inch-square piece of mopboard with a table saw. Place it next to the overhang of the top step so it is vertically level and flush with the overhang. Pencil-mark the top and bottom of the overhang on the piece of mopboard.

  • Line up a speed square with the marks and draw a light line for each mark until they meet at a point. This is the template for cutting notches in the mopboard so it fits in each step. Cut the notch out of the board with a table saw. Place the template on a step to verify the fit. Adjust the cut, if needed.

  • Measure the spacing of the steps to cut the mopboard accurately. Place the template on the strip of mopboard and draw a light pencil marking for the placement of each step notch. Cut the notches with a table saw, using caution to not overcut at the corner. Place the mopboard along the steps and check the fit. Adjust the cuts, if needed.

  • Apply wall adhesive to the backside of the mopboard and secure it to the wall. Pound finishing nails at the top and bottom of the mopboard at each wall stud.

  • Bead a line of caulk along the top edge of the mopboard to prevent a buildup of dust along the edge.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're installing carpet, make adjustments to the mopboard by cutting the bottom edge to leave a 1/4- to 1/2-inch gap on the step to tuck in carpet.

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