How to: Trade tips on cutting and coving with Supercove

Roger shows you just how easy it is to cut and fit coving using SuperCove.

SuperCove lightweight coving is available from many good builders merchants and DIY stores throughout the UK and Ireland, in various length options up to 4 metres.

With super-light SuperCove, you can fix coving quickly and easily – adding value to your home with the minimum of effort.

SuperCove is faced with a high quality paper-board – ideal for painting, with no need to prime. The polyurethane core, unlike polystyrene, will not melt or drip if exposed to heat or flame.

Despite the fact that there are a lot of different styles of coving out there,  the plain concave coving that has been the standard product for many modern homes over the last 40 years is still in  big demand.   The big difference now is that there is a high quality alternative to the heavy gypsum based product that we all used to fit a few years ago. Supercove has a  polyurethane core that makes it exceptionally rigid and a white card/paper face that gives it crisp edges  with a finish that often needs no further decorating.
The lightweight coving means that you can stick it up with a minimal amount of adhesive and it genuinely does not need propping or pinning. There are still many die-hard plasterers out there who would rather use a gypsum coving because they can run the corners in with a bit of board filler and close up any mitres which are a bit gappy. I would not dream of taking away their fun but for me the cutting of accurate mitres is easy enough to achieve with the guides.
When it comes to cutting you have a choice of using the blue plastic Supercove mitre guide, your own mitre guide or a mitre box. The manufacturers recommend a sharp craft knife which produces a sharp line that doesn’t need sanding. I tried this but without a longer blade it is difficult to set the knife against the former. If you have a sharp blade that it long enough by all means try this.  The mitre box works well provided you remember to set it at the same angle that the coving will be fitted. That is to say that the top and bottom must be equidistant from the corner.  For me the easiest way to cut Supercove is with a fine tooth saw because it allows you to set the blade against the guide to produce the correct angle.

If you are new to coving here are a few tips.
1. It pays to mark the top or bottom of the cove so you know which way you are cutting. If you keep the bottom towards you on the bench you will find it easier to orientate and make the correct cut at the corners.  Internal corners have the long end at the bottom and external corners (around chimney breasts) have the long end of the cut at the top.  The guide allows you to do this easily.

2. You can buy Supercove in 3metre lengths but it is likely that you will need to join two lengths together.  Some people do this with a straight 90 degree cut but it is a lot better to cut a 45 degree cut with your mitre guide and joint the two bits together.  You can then run a damp sponge lightly across the adhesive/filler.

3 Always mark the wall and ceiling with a pencil so you get the coving evenly set between the wall and ceiling. If the corners of the room or chimney breast are not quite 90 degrees it is best not to try cutting the mitres to suit. Stick to the 45 degrees and gently roll the corners in so the mitre closes up.

4. If you are fitting around a bay with 45 degree angles you need to cut 22 ½ degree mitres.

About Roger Bisby

Roger Bisby is an English television presenter and journalist, known for his expertise in the British building industry.

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