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Installing a Scotia

If you are installing a hybrid floor, you will need skirting or a scotia to cover up the expansion gap. A scotia is a long thin strip, sort of triangular in cross section. The one I used was plastic. This is how you install one.

First, identify the long lengths and cut them about 2 mm longer than measured. Use a pencil to mark how it should be cut (i.e. angle) and use a mitre block to cut at the required angle.

Use the cutoffs for the shorter lengths - the longest length each can cover - until all the lengths of scotia are cut.

Cutting scotia to length
First step - cut to slightly longer than required length

Next, make the scotia fit together. Use a vice and a file, being careful with the angle.

At internal corners, file the corner so it's rounded. Use excess lengths of flooring and/or an external wall corner to hold the lengths of scotia together and a newspaper to protect the floor.

Preparing scotia to file the corner so it fits
File corners like this

Exposed ends? No problems! Paint with an oil based paint so it looks pretty. Here, I chose dark grey - the undercoat for the red doors I painted.

Exposed end of scotia after it has been painted dark grey
Make those exposed ends look pretty

Finally, glue the scotia to the wall or skirting. Ideally, the wall should be painted with a primer. Test the wall paint if unsure. Silicone will last longer but proper masonry glue will work better at adhesion and hence eliminating gaps, so what you prefer - longevity or quality - is up to you.

If you are starting and stopping and the end of the caulk has dried, simply shove a kebab stick in the end to loosen the dried bit. Try not to shove it in too far or you may end up with a sudden mess of caulk after the dried bit pushes through the tip.

Freeing caulk with a kebab stick
Don't let dried caulk put a stop to your scotia plans

Use leftover flooring and weights to hold it against the wall. Wait the recommended amount of time (written on the tube of caulk) before removing the weights.

Using weights to hold scotia in place while the glue dries
Weightlifting can wait until the scotia is done

Enjoy your finished floor! 😃

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