When remodeling a home, baseboards are one of the things that are installed mainly for aesthetic reasons. While this is the case, baseboards also protect walls from damage and add design value to your home. If you are remodeling and you'd like to add baseboards, you might be wondering the best way to install them.
Most contractors install baseboards using glue, but nails secure baseboards better against the walls. This prevents the boards from moving and flexing and it is a lot easier to remove in the future. However, to make your baseboards as secure as possible, a combination of nails and glue is best used.
Having properly installed baseboards in your home is important to prevent unsightly lines and damage to your walls. Continue reading to learn more about the best way to secure your baseboards, as well as other information you should know about them.
Should You Glue Or Nail Baseboards?
Baseboards are planks of wood that are attached to the lower interior wall. It typically goes all throughout the room to provide an aesthetic purpose by covering unsightly edges from where the wall meets the floor.
It also protects walls from scuffing and other damage caused by shoes, vacuums, or even furniture hitting them.
Securing baseboards can be done in multiple ways, the more popular ones being glued on or nailing it on the wall. Either method works well, but they do have certain advantages over the other.
For homes that prohibit nailing on the wall directly, using construction-grade glue is the best option to secure baseboards to your wall. The baseboards that you should use should also be lightweight so that the glue can adhere well to both the wood and the wall.
One advantage that you can get from gluing baseboards is that it saves time. Simply clean and prepare your wall prior to installing your baseboards. After which, simply apply a good amount of construction grade adhesive and secure your baseboards properly to your wall to provide good fixation.
Using glue to adhere to the baseboards is quick, easy, and it looks cleaner because there are no nail heads visible. Gluing your baseboards is also safer when remodeling your home because it does not require tools like hammers or nail guns.
On the other hand, nailing your baseboards is another way to secure trim to your walls. Using nails on your baseboards prevents your trim from flexing and it is easier to remove should you remodel your walls.
Nailing baseboards is also easy with the use of a regular hammer and nails, but a quicker alternative is using a nail gun. When nailing your baseboards to your wall, make sure that all sides are flush with each other and that you nail your trim to a wall stud to ensure stability.
Can I Attach Baseboards With Both Nails and Glue?
While it is possible to attach baseboards with either nails or glue, the best way to secure them to your walls is to use a combination of both. Installing baseboards using both materials ensures that your trim will have a tight connection between the wood and the wall.
The adhesive will help your baseboards from bowing and the nails will keep your baseboard locked into place while your glue sets.
How To Install Baseboards with Adhesive and Nails
- Baseboard of choice
- Damp cloth or tack cloth
- Stud finder
- Tape measure
- Construction adhesive
- Hammer (or nail gun)
- 16-gauge finish nails
- Nail set punch
- Caulk gun
- Wood filler
- Painter's tape
- Sandpaper and sander
- Primer and paint
- Make sure to accurately measure and cut your baseboard trim according to size. Make sure that there are no awkward gaps and inaccurate cuts once you glue them to the wall. Do this by dry-fitting your trim and laying them back-side-up against the wall where you will be installing them.
- Using a damp cloth or a tack cloth, wipe down your cloth on the back of your baseboard and on the wall to remove any dust that may weaken your glue. Allow to air dry.
- With a stud finder, locate the center of each wall stud in your room. Mark the locations with a pencil about an inch higher than your baseboard's height.
- Load your adhesive cartridge on a caulk gun.
- Apply a wave or S-pattern of construction adhesive on the entire length on the back of your baseboard. Make sure to keep the adhesive away from the top and bottom edge, as well as the sides.
- Install the lower end of your baseboard and press it against the wall. When the baseboard is on the correct position, firmly press it against the wall and hold it in place for a few seconds and allow it to set lightly.
- Using your pencil marks as a guide, hammer nails into the center of your baseboard through the studs. Use a nail set punch to push the nail even further.
- After allowing the adhesive to set, dab a nail filler over the nail heads and allow it to dry. Once dry, sand it smooth and wipe the dust away.
- If you see gaps at the top of the baseboard, fill it with caulk. Use painter's tape above and below the area in order to ensure a smooth and even finish on your baseboards.
- Prime and paint your baseboard to finish.
What Is The Best Glue To Use For Baseboards?
When gluing baseboards to your walls, the best adhesive to use is construction-grade adhesive. These adhesives are very tough and it often works for most surfaces. They come in different forms and all of them are used to adhere baseboards to the wall.
Gorilla Heavy Duty Ultimate Construction Adhesive
This construction adhesive is very popular because it works for most materials and it grabs surfaces instantly and sticks to surfaces immediately. It comes in a cartridge so you can load it using a caulk gun to apply on the back of your baseboards.
This adhesive is also paintable and gap-filling so it lessens the need to use caulk after installing your trim.
Loctite Construction Adhesive
Another popular choice for construction adhesive is one from Loctite. This adhesive is compatible with a vast number of materials from PVC to wood, and it immediately bonds strongly with the surface. One of its advantages is that it is solid and resists material movement so it is perfect to use on baseboards.
EZLifeGo Heavy Duty Double-Sided Tape
If you have a smooth wall and your baseboards are on the lighter side, then another option to secure it is to use this heavy-duty double-sided tape. This tape is made of acrylic-gel material and it is compatible with many different materials, making it a prime choice to apply on smooth walls.
This is easy to install and does not require so much prep work.
What Kind Of Nails Are Best Used For Baseboards?
The best nails to use on your baseboards largely depend on the thickness of your trim. Ideally, finishing nails are used to secure baseboards to the wall. They are available in packets with about 50 pieces and you can use either hammers or a nail gun when installing your baseboard.
When choosing nails for your baseboards, the best ones are usually 15 to 16-gauge nails. On average, you should be able to use nails in between 15 to 18-gauge for most baseboards. You should also be able to find nails up to 2.5 inches long which is the ideal length for baseboard nails.
Do You Caulk The Baseboards?
If you have installed your baseboard properly and you do not see any gaps or small spaces in between the wall and your trim, then caulking your baseboard is not necessary. However, you can still do so just to provide added protection to your newly-installed trim.
Ideally, it is best to caulk baseboards for several purposes. It makes your trim look more polished and smooth and it helps prevent the possibility of water damage. It also protects your home from insect infestations that may enter through these small gaps.
Installing a baseboard when remodeling your home is important because not only does it add design value to your space, but it also protects your walls from scuffs and possible insect infestation. Adding a baseboard to your home is easy with the use of either nails or construction-grade adhesive, but it is best to use a combination of both.
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