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I've taken out the existing skirting boards and it's left this big gap between the floor and existing plaster/wall. Fixing standard 12.5mm plasterboard to the existing batons would stick out proud of the existing part of the wall. Should I instead fill in the area using bonding/Thistle Hardwall? Then I can plaster over it to meet the existing wall, and pop on regular skirting.

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    You do realize that covering gaps between floor and walls is what skirting boards (or other trim) are for, right?
    – keshlam
    Oct 20, 2023 at 20:34
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    Paging @Tetsujin for translation… Oct 21, 2023 at 2:24
  • @keshlam yes, but I don’t want my skirting boards to come up as high as the previous ones Oct 21, 2023 at 5:40
  • Fit some plasterboard into the space, tape/mud/sand the junction between that and the existing plaster, paint once you have that junction close enough to invisible,, apply new skirting.
    – keshlam
    Oct 21, 2023 at 6:30
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    Plasterboard would be a nightmare on that wall; you'd have to knock all the lumps flat first, then glue it on because there's no room for a wood frame of any type. @AloysiusDefenestrate - afaik, Hardwall & Bonding are two types of 'mud' US [Hardwall doesn't get sucked dry so easily on old brick compared to Bonding, otherwise they're very similar]. Skim might be 'spackle' but tbh, I get lost in the US names just as you transpondians get lost in ours. I wish we had a definitive "name US = name UK" resource.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 21, 2023 at 12:49

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Hardwall*, then skim.
Leave space at the bottom, don't try to make a perfect match to the floor.

You'll have to decide whether you're going to nail your new skirting to the [possibly shortened] original wooden spacers, or remove them & 'No More Nails' the new skirting to the wall. Actual nails are more readily removable without pulling the skim off if you need to get behind them again at any point in future, but glue is quicker & easier to put up.

*Hardwall is just a no-brainer on old victorian brick. Browning will get sucked dry much too quickly.

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