Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
If you want to fix a board in place, you’ll need something to hold it there. Nails are the traditional choice, but what if you don’t want to deal with sharp nails and hammering or don’t have the tools? Can you glue baseboards instead?
You can glue baseboards instead of nailing them. Depending on the project, it might be better than the typical hammer and nails. Whether it’s the best decision depends on what you’re trying to do and how you’d like it done. Sometimes, both nails and adhesive are used.
In this article, I’ll discuss when it’s appropriate to use glue over nails, how to glue baseboards properly, and some other information you might find helpful. You’ve come to the right place if you have a project planned and need to know what tools to use or how to do the process correctly.
Use Industrial-Strength Glue on Baseboards
You can’t use just any arts and crafts glue for this. You’ll need something tailored to your needs.
Even the strongest glue can have trouble sticking to some surfaces, and there’s the potential for the seal to deteriorate over time. When choosing an adhesive for any task, consider the environment in which you’ll be using it.
The most important thing is to find industrial-strength glue specifically made for the task that works with the material it’ll be sticking to. If you plan to install something in a bathroom or other area that could be affected by moisture, ensure the adhesive is also waterproof.
What Are the Downsides of Gluing a Baseboard?
If you try to glue something to a stick-resistant surface, it could fail to stay in place or fall off later, so be wary of such environments. Read your glue’s label to ensure there’s nothing you need to know about that can degrade it, like moisture or chemicals it could be exposed to. One unavoidable problem with these products is that they can do their job too well.
The main downside of gluing a baseboard is how difficult it becomes to remove it, should you need to. This usually isn’t a problem since baseboards are intended to stay where they’re fixed, but if you’re worried about removal, you may want to consider using nails.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use glue for something that might need removal. Just be wary that you may have to use a solvent to dissolve the glue seal, which means you need to be able to reach it.
Safety Risks of Gluing a Baseboard
Sharp nails and heavy hammers might seem more dangerous, but glue isn’t an entirely safe alternative. Practical risks aren’t all you need to be aware of, as safety is also a concern. Remember, you’re not just dealing with classroom glue; this is industrial strength made to last.
Here are some tips for handling glue safely:
- Read the label for the ingredients and health risks before use. The glue is likely a chemical mixture; While it’s usually harmless when used as intended, it’s still important to be aware of the ingredients in any chemical formula you use.
- Take caution to avoid getting any glue on you. If you get any on yourself, it probably isn’t coming off for a while. Be careful not to touch anything with drying glue, as you could get stuck and even hurt yourself.
- Avoid using glue in enclosed spaces and take frequent breaks. This is necessary if your glue has strong fumes so you don’t breathe too much of it in. Much like paint, it’s unlikely to hurt you in small amounts, but it could make you sick with too much exposure.
How To Glue a Baseboard
If you’ve read this far and glue is still your preferred choice, it’s a pretty simple process.
Consider wearing gloves to avoid getting any glue on your hands, and follow these tips:
- Break the seal when you’re ready to begin. The glue container likely has a seal that needs to be broken to open it; this is so it doesn’t dry out before you use it.
- Avoid using too much or too little glue on each board. Too much, and you could find it very difficult to remove the board later, should you need to. On the other hand, it may not stick properly if you use too little.
- Apply glue around the edges and in the middle of the baseboard. This is to ensure an even hold with no weak points.
- Apply glue to one baseboard at a time and put it in place immediately. Some industrial adhesives begin to dry within seconds, so you must place the board quickly after application. Ensure proper placement because you probably won’t be able to move it once it’s settled.
Other Ways To Secure a Baseboard
Glue is fast, convenient, and easy to use. However, it doesn’t work for everything and comes with some drawbacks. If you don’t think industrial glue is needed or can’t find any that suits your project, you may be tempted to try something else.
Caulking is a decent alternative, but be sure the caulk is made of something safe on wood and whatever other surfaces you may need to stick it to. Note that caulk can degrade faster than glue and might not create as long-lasting of a bond if used by itself.
Nail Gun or Drill
If it’s the whole process of holding a tiny nail in place while swinging a hammer at it, you could use a nail gun to remove the hassle. A drill could also work if you’re okay with using screws instead of nails. It’s also an option to use glue and nails together to ensure a board stays in place for as long as possible.
If you want to glue a baseboard in place, it’s a perfectly acceptable alternative to nailing in many cases. You can even use both if you’re looking for added security. Remember that industrial glue is still a heavy-duty tool and should be respected as much as anything else in your toolkit.
- SFGate: Attaching Baseboards to Walls With Nails & Glue
- DIYchatroom.com: Gluing New Baseboards to Walls?
- MedlinePlus: Household Glue Poisoning
- Home Depot: How to Install Baseboard
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