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Fitting skirting board to a very tight bend

I need to put skirting board on an internal wall of the house which unfortunately has a very tight bend around a corner...I have tried soaking wood and cutting slots in the back and soaking it more numerous times but no matter what I do the wood will always end up splitting :(

Does anyone have any recommendation on how I can go about sorting this issue as this spoils the whole look of the hallway of my house :(

Any advice would be greatly appreciated !

10 Answers from MyBuilder Carpenters & Joiners

Best Answer


What type ot skirting is it, can you get it in upvc? That bends easily...

If you can't, and If it's being painted....Mdf is easiest to bend...

Cutting kerfs, slots in it, these need to be no deeper than 2/3rds of the thickness of the timber and in the compression side of the timber. The tighter the bend, the more slots needed and closer they need to be to each other... if it's snapping there isn't enough slots, or they are too deep.

I would think these are the best methods for a diyer to be honest. I doubt you'll bend anything solid timber full thickness around a tight curve...

You may be wiser to get a carpenter/joiner to make you a bit of curverd skirting, they may well laminate several pieces of timber/mdf together to do this.

Hope this helps



Answered 31st Dec 2011

Hi, Use the power of steam and graduall bend the timber. You can make a cardboard profile of the bend first. Transfer that to a board/sheet of ply or similar. Then peg the line you need Trap the skirting at one end betweeen pegs as you go. steam & bend adding pegs as you go. For the steam try a wallpaper stripper with just the hose. Wear gloves.


Answered 31st Dec 2011

Its a difficult one as it always is bending wood. I have bent mahogany strips before and after soaking and applying very hot heat i still had split edges. You could try mdf skirting but i suspect the bend is to sharp. So all you can do is have a good mitre saw and angle your way around the corner with small pieces. Then finish with a good sand when everything stuck in place to finish and blend.


Answered 31st Dec 2011

Hi thebamz
If you can get the same profile of skirting made from MDF, this will be alot easier to bend.
Do not steam it though, just cut the grooves in the back.
All the best.


Answered 31st Dec 2011

By using kerf cuts on the back of the piece and soaking them you have pretty much done what you can.You could try using mdf and bending the piece over a longer period of time (i know of someone that spent a week on one piece bending it slightly more each day).It does work but you have to be patient and it could be that your bend is too severe.Look on the internet,there are alternative methods but a bit more long winded and may involve a lot of filling.


Answered 31st Dec 2011

Hi Thebamz.
The most professional way and to be honest the most successful way to do this is to take a sample of you skirting to a local joinery company together with the radius of the curve, (I'm guessing that the radius is about 100mm). They can then produce the piece that you want by manufacturing it on whats called a spindle molder. It really wont be that expensive providing that they have a cutter to match the molding of your skirting and when finished wont shrink or split and you will have a perfect curve.

Hope that helps,


Answered 8th Jan 2012

Make a tiny box to the shape of your wall,then attached skirting to a straight edge.little bit of scribing but best way.


Answered 21st Feb 2012

You could always use casting plaster run in situ.this will cost no more than a convoluted excursion into steaming and bending of timber.
An ornamental plasterer can do this very easily and it will be perfect.
There is more skirting made of casting plaster than most people are aware.
Sorry only just read this question, surprised nobody else has suggested this solution.Skirting board does not have to be wood!


Answered 28th Apr 2012

Hi, To be perfectly honest there is only one way to do this......Be Brutal!
You will need to cut very deep wedge shaped slots out of the back (dont worry if they are visible from the front as decorators caulk will cover this).
Get a fixing in one side of the board then gradually work your way round.
Dont worry too much about splits or cracks, all of this can be hidden with caulk or two part filler.
The other option, if you can find a matching profile is to use mdf on the corner, it'l bend alot easier!


Answered 31st Dec 2011

Hi, if normal skirtsoftwood with cuts wont bend then it can be tricky, try mdf also with cuts in the back or front, cuts must be on the right side for the bend internal or external,there are few ways you can do this, depends on how tight the curves are and what style the skirting board is. Thin layers will bend better.
You can use mdf in one or two maybe 3 layers to to allow for the bending, if skirting has a moulding either have it made at a joiners in one piece or use a seperate price of mdf for the moulding and fit on top of the layers to create a full effect, then finish with chaulk and filler and sanding to bring it all


Answered 31st Dec 2011

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