I have to attach some skirting boards on recently plastered walls and openings. The issue is that the floors on each side of the opening are at different levels, therefore the opening has a step on it. What usually happens with the skirting board on each side and around the opening?

Do you not put the skirting board around the side of the opening? And if so, how do you finish the edge of the board to meet the opening so that it looks good?

Obviously with the floor levels being different you cannot just wrap the skirting board around the opening as it will not line up on the other side.

Hope this makes sense.

Edit: Here is a picture. The step is not yet tiled, but it shows the level differences.

enter image description here

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  • A picture would really help. – Tester101 Jan 11 '12 at 13:17
  • Tester101, I was trying to work out how to get a picture here. – TravisPUK Jan 11 '12 at 13:54
  • picture added... if it wasn't noticeable enough. :) – TravisPUK Jan 11 '12 at 14:00

Dimensions on your photo would help make a better model, but here is what I might do in this situation.

The easy way

End the upper trim with a bevel (30-45°) at the edge of the stair, then continue in the lower room as normal.

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You may want to use a transition piece to pull the pieces together.

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You could even cut an angle into the top of the transition, for a different look.

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You may also want to bevel the upper trim into the transition piece.

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The complex, lots of angle calculation, pain in the neck way

Cut a small angled transition piece from the upper trim, down to the lower trim.

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In this case, you may still want to bevel the upper trim piece.

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There's not really a right way to do something like this. It's more about your preference, and the amount of work you're willing to do.

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  • Tester101, thanks very much. Actually I think the easy way in your models looks the best. The ones with the transitions seem to be awkward to my view. BTW, you model diagram is almost exactly right. :) – TravisPUK Jan 11 '12 at 15:46
  • The third one (and its variations) all look like major dust collectors. – Dave Nay Jan 11 '12 at 15:46

I see two obvious solutions:

  1. Use a different height skirting (shorter on the right or taller on the left) in each area so that the tops match.
  2. Just use the same height skirting throughout and accept the that level of the skirting changes when the floor level changes.

With the frame to the doorway you can just butt up the skirting without having to make any tricky joints.

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  • ChrisF, thanks for the reply. I was thinking that, but just want it to look clean. I need to try and find some examples where 'professionals' have done the same thing. I think the two heights is the best approach though as the lower floor level already uses a higher board than the rest of the house. – TravisPUK Jan 11 '12 at 14:38

I used door trim to break it up in a similar situation. I wanted to case the corner, but I was outvoted by the project supervisor. This is what I had on-hand (matches the doors), I'm sure you can find a better match if you want to make it look a bit smoother.

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Looks decent from this angle

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Here, you can see it edges out, since I didn't put the trim on both sides of the corner.

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  • 3
    +1 I'd use a similar idea, but definitely a different style of corner piece, even a flat piece of trim with perhaps a partial 45 on the top and lower side. – BMitch Jan 11 '12 at 14:30
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    @BMitch, Yep, not the best piece to finish it with. I was going to be strangled if I made one more trip to the hardware store. I'm the only one that notices, naturally. – Steve Jackson Jan 11 '12 at 14:32

I tend to go for the same technique as I use on stairs - use an angled piece down each side. This works well.

Depending on the drop you may need to use thicker skirting, or you may not - but you just cut your horizontal skirting as normal and cut your angled pieces to fit up against them.

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  • thanks for the reply. The problem is that the step is a single one and doesn't really have the ability to have an angle section on it. The opening is on the higher level and the other side of the opening is the lower floor level. – TravisPUK Jan 11 '12 at 13:53

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