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.
Installing baseboards can be a challenge for the novice home builder or renovator. Simplifying the installation process can make your task more manageable and less prone to errors that might require extra effort and expense to rectify. One possibility to consider is using a high-strength adhesive glue instead of conventional nails.
You can install baseboards with liquid nails. Liquid Nails can be used together with conventional nails or by themselves alone. However, before you choose to go exclusively with Liquid Nails, you should be aware of the pros and cons involved.
This article will cover the key factors you need to consider before using Liquid Nails to install the baseboards in your home. I will also describe how to go about the actual installation itself.
The Function of Baseboards in Your Home
Baseboards are the strips of skirting that cover the lowest part of the interior walls of your house at the points where they meet the floor. They are usually made of wood, vinyl, or engineered wood products such as Medium-Density Fibreboard (or MDF).
The primary purpose of baseboards is to protect your walls from damage. Without baseboards, your walls will deteriorate over time from the action of abrasive feet, children, pets, moving furniture, or even aggressive vacuuming.
Baseboards also serve a decorative function. They can be simple or elaborately detailed and come in various colors, finishes, and styles. Together with crown molding, baseboards harmonize the esthetic qualities of your decor, giving your home a uniform appearance.
How Are Baseboards Traditionally Installed?
Baseboards are traditionally installed using conventional nails. However, even professional builders frequently use adhesive glue to secure skirting at corners or in other places where it is hard to hammer.
In practice, a combination of nails and glue often offers a more robust fix than either nails or glue alone.
To securely hold baseboards in place, you must nail them to the wall studs inside your interior wall. Wall studs are the series of parallel, vertical running frame components of your interior wall that lie behind the drywall. They are usually made of wood and may or may not be load-bearing. You will need a wall stud finder to locate them.
The nails used to secure the baseboards need to be thin enough not to splinter the baseboard and long enough to go through the baseboard, the drywall, and the wall stud behind it. I recommend that you use 16 to 18 gauge finish nails depending on the thickness of your baseboard.
The Benefits of Using Nails
- Nails are sturdy. You get the most secure, long-lasting installation by attaching baseboards directly into wall studs. They grab into the wall, keeping the baseboard in place for many years without coming loose.
- Nails are easy to remove and replace. Prying up a nailed-in baseboard is simple and doesn’t require much skill. So, they make changing out your baseboards very easy.
The Drawbacks of Using Nails
- Installing baseboards using nails demands a certain degree of skill and precision. The process can be challenging for anyone with limited ability or experience in home renovation. The improper use of nails can result in poorly aligned or chipped baseboards or injury and require additional time, effort, and expense to correct.
- Using nails to secure your baseboards can also be time-consuming. To securely fasten the baseboards, you will need to locate wall studs and individually hammer in every nail. You will also have to paint over your baseboards so that the nails hammered into them are not visible, and the entire board has a uniform color and appearance.
- Nailing baseboards also requires the use of some essential tools. Ideally, you will want a wall stud finder to locate the points where your nails need to go. Similarly, although a regular hammer will do the job just fine, a nail gun can significantly speed up your work.
- There are several cases where using nails may not be a practical option. The baseboard in question may be too narrow or the room too small, requiring a lot of intricate work in a cramped space. Likewise, plumbing or electrical wiring inside your wall may not allow you to hammer nails into a wall for safety reasons.
- You can see nails on the baseboards. Unlike adhesives, nails go all the way through your baseboards, leaving a small metallic dot on the board where the nail’s head is. You can cover these nail heads with paint or spackle, but they still leave a little bump that might make the baseboards look less seamless.
How Do You Install a Baseboard Using Liquid Nails?
Liquid Nails are a quick way to secure baseboards to your interior walls. As construction-grade adhesives, they are strong enough to hold baseboards in place for a very long time.
Applying Liquid Nails to a baseboard is also easy, even for novices.
To install baseboards using Liquid Nails, ensure you spread the Liquid Nails in an even layer along the baseboard and don’t apply too much adhesive. The baseboard will fit snugly with the wall and can easily be removed without damaging the wall if you need to do so in the future.
Once you cut your baseboards to size, you do not need other complicated tools to apply your adhesive. Although a caulking gun would be helpful, a nail gun or a wall stud finder is not required to install baseboards using Liquid Nails.
For further instructions on installing baseboards using Liquid Nails and recommendations for specific Liquid Nails products to use, consult this article on the Liquid Nails website.
Although it is traditional to use conventional nails, you can also use adhesive glues like Liquid Nails to secure baseboards to the interior walls of your home.
Using Liquid Nails is easier and quicker than using conventional nails. However, it would help to ensure that you do not apply too much adhesive and spread it evenly along the baseboard.
- Architecture Lab: What Are Baseboards & Architectural Skirting & How They’re Used Today?
- The Spruce: What Is Behind Drywall: Guide to Wall Studs and Framing
- Home Decor Bliss: Should You Glue Or Nail Baseboards?
- Santa Luzia Mouldings Blog: Why glue works better than nails in baseboard and trim installation
- SFGATE: How to Attach Baseboard Trim to Drywall
- Liquid Nails: How To Install Interior Trim Molding Using Construction Adhesive
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