How to Fit Scotia Beading DIY Tutorial

In this video tutorial from Floorsave, you will learn how to fit scotia beading the easiest way possible, without the need for any special tools or skills.

*Floorsave supply a wide range of scotia beading in many colours. We can help you match the correct coloured scotia with your floor.

How to fit scotia beading

Scotia beading is an aspect of interior decorating that you might never heard of before, given that you've probably never noticed it in a room before – you might assume that it's part of the skirting board if it registers with you at all and, to be fair, it sort of is.

However, scotia beading performs an important role. Because laminate and wooden flooring tends to expand and shrink depending on the temperature of the room in which it is laid, it is never laid so that it sits flush to the wall – there is always a gap that is left between the floor finishing and the wall starting. However, that gap needs to be covered, and this is where scotia beading comes in.

The gap can sometimes be hidden by the skirting boards but isn't usually the best option as you'll have to remove the boards and place them on top of the flooring. This is a very difficult procedure that can damage the skirting, so the most popular method to conceal the expansion gap that is left between the flooring and the wall or existing skirting boards is to fit scotia beading at the base of the skirting boards.

However, scotia beading is the kind of feature that many people don't know how to install correctly – it's vital that the gap is completely covered and no dust or dirt can collect in the recess. It becomes more difficult when you consider that it has to be installed at the bottom of the skirting boards rather than the top, which would arguably be easier.

Choosing your scotia

There are three types of scotia beading for homeowners to choose between.

  • Solid scotia – made from different types of wood but most commonly oak, and available in either lacquered or unfinished states.
  • Veneered scotia – made from a softwood with a thin layer of veneer applied to it. Can be made from a more unusual wood type like bamboo or walnut.
  • MDF scotia – made from MDF and covered with a coloured foil or paper that creates the desired effect. 

Solid wood options are the most expensive for homeowners, with MDF the cheapest option on offer. All of them perform in much the same way, so it just depends how upmarket you want to go in terms of the material used. The finish should also be important to you in terms of continuing the theme of the walls or floor – for instance, some beading finishes are plain white in order to blend in more successfully with the skirting boards, and this is probably the way to go if you’re finding it hard to match a colour to the floor.


  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Mitre box
  • Fine-toothed saw
  • Adhesive/nails/pins
  • Decorator’s filler

Measuring the room

Measuring the room should be fairly straightforward because you’re just measuring the length of the walls and you don’t have to worry about areas or multiplications of different sections as you would if you were measuring for flooring. Add up the lengths of the different sections of wall that have to be covered to find the total length of scotia beading that you will need. The amount you end up actually buying will depend on how the packs of beading are broken down quantity-wise, but you should always allow for up to 25% of wastage as it’s easy to underestimate the amount you actually need, and cut what you have inefficiently.


Any end of scotia that joins to another piece will need to be cut to a 45-degree mitre joint so that the two pieces fit together seamlessly. Use a pencil to mark the cut, a mitre box to guide it (whether it’s an inside or outside corner you’re cutting) and a fine-toothed saw to complete the job. If you think you might need practice beforehand, find some waste wood and make a few cuts using the mitre and saw before trying it out on the real thing.


The scotia should be nailed to the skirting (not the floor, as this would cause problems with the expansion of the floor that the scotia is supposed to solve) at a 45-degree angle using either a nail gun or a hammer. Some homeowners opt for adhesive, which is slightly less reliable than nailing the scotia to the boards, but this does avoid unsightly nail holes.

Gap filling

Once the scotia beading has been fitted, there may be some visible gaps that look unsightly – these will often be caused by imperfections in the wall plastering. They can be plugged with a little bit of decorator’s filler for a more professional-looking finish. Once this step has been completed, the beading might need wiping down with a damp cloth to get it looking as pristine as possible, and then it’ll be ready to show off to guests.

Although it’s a relatively minor and potentially unnoticeable room feature, the key function that scotia beading performs means that it has to be installed correctly; otherwise long-term problems may develop with the floor and skirting board. As shown above, though, fitting it to the skirting boards and flooring of any room is a relatively simple procedure.