What Size Nails For Baseboards? How To Install Baseboards

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Undoubtedly, baseboards amplify a house’s decoration. If the baseboards are scanty, a room looks dull, but when they are fancy, the same room becomes majestic. Baseboards used to be three-piece events consisting of a fancy cap molding, smoothed shoe molding, and a plane plank. Now, people use these boards to enhance their featureless, thin one-piece trim. So, do you know what size nails for baseboards you should go with? No, then keep on reading this!

What Size Finishing Nails for Baseboards?

The gauge or size of the nail depends on the type of venture you are going to take along with the material type. One should never work with long nails as they can penetrate through unseen piping or wiring. If you do not know what a baseboard is, we have come to your rescue.

A baseboard refers to a trim that moves along the finished inner wall’s bottom. These baseboards keep the junctions’ appearance tidy, which are between the wall and the floor. They even protect the wall bottom from damages. Here, trim nailers are classified by the gauge or thickness of the nails they fire.

what size nails for baseboards

Select the gauze size

The basic rule is that the larger the number of the gauge is, the smaller the nail they employ. Nailers that fire the largest nails are generally finish nailers and fall between 16 and 15 gauges. For baseboards, it is recommended to use the finish nailer with larger gauges, which denotes smaller nails. It features a smooth finish as small nails do not leave a hole behind. Hence, you do not have to carry out much filling.

Other factors

The next that you should consider is the material type. If you use a thick nail, then it could even split up the wood. Usually, baseboards are painted to match up the décor and interior walls. Therefore, it is best to employ the accurate gauge nail to diminish the quantity of sanding and filling that requires to be carried out after you are done with your venture.

In case, you are working with unpainted baseboards, employ a punch so as to descend the hole wherever there is stained wood. After that, you have to fill up the hole using putty or wood filler. It even offers a smooth finish and conceals the nail head.

As you know, baseboards do not serve any structural purpose. They are just there to cover and decorate the building behind them. Due to this reason, the nail has just to be enough long to keep the baseboard in place.

Top 3 Best Finish Nailer

These are top 3 best finish nailer comparison table which will help you to make the best choice for your woodworking projects easily:

Finish NailerImagePower SourceMagazine Capacity/ShippingEditor's RatingPrice
Hitachi NT65MA4 1-1/4 Inch to 2-1/2 Inch 15-Gauge Angled Finish NailerPneumatic100 Nails
FREE Shipping4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)See on Amazon
NuMax SFN64 Straight Finish Nailer 16 Gauge Ergonomic & Lightweight PneumaticPneumatic100 Nails
_4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)See on Amazon
Metabo HPT NT65MA4 Pneumatic Angled Finish Nailer, 15 Gauge, 1-1/4-Inch up to 2-1/2-InchPneumatic100 Nails
FREE Shipping4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)See on Amazon

What Size Brad Nails for Baseboards?

When you install baseboard trim, it protects the wall junction and frames the interior walls. Prior to installing baseboards, you need to leave those boards for acclimatizing for around 24-48 hours. The main reason behind this is that the wood swells and shrinks as per the climate. Hence, your house may have a diverse climate as compared to the one from where you have purchased the moldings.

One can fasten the moldings with the help of a power nailer or brad nail. However, you should not employ nails more than 2-inch length, unless you have an idea where electrical wires are placed in your home. To install baseboards using a brad nailer, go for nails that measure around 1½ inch.

If you are worried about the splitting of baseboards, you can pre-drill the nail holes. Choose drill bits smaller than the size of your nails. It offers clean-cut holes that can be filled with putty or glue. Leave it for a while to dry and sand it down for smooth finishing.

Moreover, the nail strength mostly depends on its diameter and length. If you like to have a powerful supporting all through the holes, you need to select a nail with a perfect length. But, when we talk about the strengthening of the nail position, its diameter comes into play. Hence, the thicker the nail is, the more wood fibers will be required to clutch all the materials.

Top 3 Best Brad Nailers

These are top 3 best brad nailers comparison table which will help you to make the best choice for your woodworking projects easily:

Brad NailerImagePower SourceMagazine CapacityShippingEditor's RatingPrice
Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad NailerPneumatic100 NailsFREE Shipping4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)See on Amazon
DEWALT DWFP12231 Pneumatic 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer KitPneumatic100 NailsFREE Shipping4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)See on Amazon
WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch 18-Gauge Brad NailerPneumatic100 NailsCheck on Amazon4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)See on Amazon

What Size Nails for Baseboard Trim?

Before you set out to buy a nail finisher, take some time to discern about what size finishing nails for baseboards you will employ. For trimming, it is best to go with gauges like 23, 18, 16, and 15. Out of these gauges, choose 16 or 15 gauge finish nailers as they are the most flexible ones for inner trim purposes.

Meanwhile, brad nails are comparatively thinner when it comes to cross-section. This allows them to place a neater or smaller hole that fills up easily. Hence, brad nails are great choices for all kinds of trim applications.

How To Install Baseboards

Earlier, there used to be a dull and thin one-piece trim, which runs from floor to the wall. Now, it is very easy to swap modern moldings with thicker, taller, and three- or two-part baseboards. To perfect carpentry skills, running baseboard is great. So, if you want to know how to install baseboards, then keep on following. The installation process is defined as:

what size nails for baseboard trim

Step 1: Get to know better

In the first place, you should go with a base that features ¾ -½ inches thickness, and 6 inches height. If you are thinking of creating one, you should discern the quantity of the material you require. For this, measure every straight wall section and round up to the closest whole-foot dimension that shows divisibility by two.

Step 2: Cut the baseboards

Next, you have to measure the baseboards for every wall ad cut them. The baseboards for exterior corners should be a bit longer for miter cuts. It is best to note down the number on the back of boards, where the same number goes on the wall. After this, mark studs in your wall as they will provide a firm base for the baseboards while nailing them.

Step 3: Mark the height

To mark the height, you can place a 4-foot level against the wall from the floor. At this mark, you have to place a baseboard scrap piece to the wall using a nail. With the help of this benchmark, you need to craft horizontal marks after every foot at a similar level all around your room. Place a chalk stripe between the marks around the room perimeter to see where the baseboards’ top edge would land after the proper installation.

Now, begin with the installation process. To start off, you should begin with inside corners. Hold the board against your wall and then, level and tack that board in place with the help of two nails. Mark the compass points so as to mark the vertical space between the top corner of the board and the chalk line.

Step 4: Inscribe for tight-fitting

Now, there is no need to modify the legs of the compass. Hold your pencil on the board and the mark against the floor. Next, slide off the compass against the floor over the length of the board while keeping the points vertically aligned.

Using a round saw set for 2-degree to 5-degree bevels, cut the scribe stroke so that the cut face will appear on the area toward the wall. Now, use a block plane to trim off the beveled edges. After placing the scribed board on your wall, the top edge will be snapped with the chalk stripe.

Step 5: Nail the board

You are all set to secure the scribed board in place. After every stud location, you have to hammer two 8d nails all the way through the board at a downward angle around its bottom and top edges. In order to avoid smudging the wood, employ a nail set that will drive the nail heads just beneath the surface of the wood.

Step 6: Mark the joints

Next, fit one of the board ends against the casing or inner corner. At another end, mark a vertical stripe up the baseboard back, where you can use the exterior corner’s edge to lead the pencil. Now, mark the board top in order to depict the miter direction.

Get rid of the marked board and set the one that will go up against the other half of the miter against the adjoining wall. Carry out the marking procedure in the same way.

Step 7: Cut the corner joints

Position the compound miter saw at 45 degrees and cut every miter up to the outside line. In this way, you can fine-tune the joint. Set both boards against your wall and observe the joint. If the joint is not tight enough at the top or side, take up the saw and choose the block plane. Now, trim your wood until it does.

Step 8: Cut the slots

In order to make sure that the miter joint on the outside stays tight, adjoin the two halves using glue or wood biscuits having number 10. Initially, hold both boards tightly alongside the exterior corner and mark the spots over the joint with a pencil.

Make sure the joints remain equidistant from one another and even from the baseboard edges. Once done, remove both boards and place the joiner vertical to the cut face. Modify the fence depth so that the cut remains close to the boards’ backside.

Next, align the centerline of the tool using a mark and cut out a slot into the cut face. Perform the same step for the next mark.

Step 9: Assemble the joints

Put in glue into the slots and also over the miter cut’s half faces. Now, insert the biscuit into every slot on the board and adjoin the boards together. Set the boards on the wall and hammer 8d finish nails on the miter’s each side into the wall. Amid these nails, hammer 4d finish nails throughout the joint and even into the opposite piece’s end grain.

Using a nail set, tap the nail heads beneath the surface of the wood. Create scarf joints where two boards come together in a straight line. For this, miter the ends in different directions at a specific spot, where there is a stud. Now, glue the miters and overlap them.

After this, hammer a nail through the material that plasters the joint as well as one into the stud. When it comes to interior corners, adjoin the ends of the boards together and nail the same to the wall.

Step 10: Place the cap molding

While employing the cap molding, position it against the base. Here, you have to examine whether the molding back fits against your wall. Next, secure the molding using 8d nails in a downward direction through the molding’s thicker parts.

In case, you come across any gaps at the back of the molding, you can squeeze a bit adhesive and nail it afterward. This is to be done when there are no studs available to nail the molding.

 Step 11: Sand the molding

To construct tight joints at the point where molding adjoins, handle those joints. For this, adjoin the exterior corners using miters and glue the miter joints. Please note that adding nails or biscuits could cause the molding to split if too narrow.

At the spot, where two caps come together on your wall, create scarf joints. Lastly, you need to sand the mitered corners using fine sandpaper. This will eliminate sharp edges if any. Now, your baseboard trim is all set to be painted and primed.


Now, you know what size nails for baseboards you require. Here, we have provided all the answers to your answers regarding the baseboard installing project. It is clear now what size finishing nails for baseboards or what size nails for baseboard trim you have to choose. If you still have any query or question, do not hesitate to ask in the comment section below. We would try our best to help you out!

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