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Should You Glue Or Nail Quarter Round Molding?

You may notice gaps between your floor and the baseboard as you walk around your house. You wonder then what you should do to hide these gaps. A home builder or the nearest home improvement store will tell you that quarter-round molding is your best option.

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Now, if you're contemplating whether to nail or glue the molding, you're in the right place! We did the research, and here's what we found out.

Quarter-round molding should be nailed to the baseboard. The molding will not only cover the gaps but also absorb the movement of furniture and the floor.

Over time, one may need to replace the quarter-round molding as well. The use of nails will also make this task easier. Using glue is not recommended as this is not easy to remove and can break your baseboard.

As we begin, we will cover everything you need to know about quarter-round molding. Whether you are new to this molding or struggling to attach one, we are here to help. Let's dive right in!

Carpenter installing quarter round molding on floor using nail gun, Should You Glue Or Nail Quarter Round Molding?

What Is Quarter-Round Molding?

Quarter-round molding, in simple terms, is one-quarter of a round piece of wood. The standard width and height of this molding equate to 3/4 of an inch.  Its length is 7 feet long, which can be easily cut to fit into the size you need.

There are several materials you can choose from for quarter-round molding. Choosing which material will help in the aesthetic look of the space.

Wood

This material is a go-to option for the natural wood look, but it can be expensive. But the durability of wood more than makes up for the price as it won't warp or crack once installed.

However, wood will not always have a smooth and clean appearance because of its natural imperfections.

MDF

The next best option is the medium-density fire board, or MDF comes in various paint colors. MDF can look like natural wood but is smooth and has no imperfections.

It costs the least among the different materials but is strong enough not to split when installed. In terms of ease of use, this material can easily be painted on if needed as it is pre-finished and primed.

PVC

For places with high moisture, polyvinyl chloride or PVC can be used as molding. This material is resistant to mold, mildew, and water.

It looks inexpensive, though, because of its texture and can make an area lose its elegance.

Here is what a quarter-round molding looks like when used with a baseboard. It covers the imperfections of the board and floor and, at the same time as it, enhances the beauty of the space.

Nail Size

Nail gun rack of nails in two different sizes

The materials mentioned can be best attached to the baseboard using nails. But what is the best nail size for a quarter-round molding?

Quarter-round molding is small but not enough to be used as the baseboard. It is considered a finish trim or the finishing touch on the wall. Thus, the best nail to use is a 1.5-2-inch finish nail.

This is long enough to go through the quarter-round molding and the baseboard. One may test it to ensure it goes all the way in the drywall.

Check out one 1/2-inch finish nails on Amazon.

Nail Gun Vs. Hammer

A nail gun or a hammer can be used in installing quarter-round molding. Both of these tools are easy to use and readily available.

A finishing nail gun is recommended for its ease of use and power. It allows you to finish the work faster as it offers speed and requires only one hand.

The other hand is free to hold the molding to ensure it is in place before nailing. Also, the effort needed is not as much as the power of a nail gun is stronger than a hammer.

A nail gun can be used for different purposes as well. Aside from installing quarter-round molding, it can be used to trim windows and cabinets and for other decorative purposes. So, a finishing nail gun is a good house tool to have.

A pneumatic nail gun

Check this angled finish nailer kit on Amazon.

You can still opt to use a hammer, especially if you only have a small area to cover. A hammer does not need a power source to make it work and will not easily break.

One only needs power arms to drive the nail into the molding.

You will need both hands when using a hammer. One hand has to hold the hammer; the other holds the nail. This makes installing the molding trickier as it can move while hammering in the nail.

As for the cost, a hammer will only be less than $25, but a nail gun can cost as much as ten times higher than a hammer.

How To Install Quarter-Round Molding

Follow these basic steps to install quarter-round molding:

  1. Choose the molding material you prefer to use. Pick the one that has the same finish as your baseboard or one that will require less finishing work after.
  2. Measure the area to be covered and cut the molding to size. The molding has to be cut at a 45-degree angle. To have the other end meet, cut the end the opposite way but still at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Once you have the sizes ready, nail them to place with 1 1/2 in the finishing nail and finishing gun. Make sure that the nail goes through the baseboard and not the floor.
  4. Remember to space the nails at least 1 to 2 feet apart to avoid them from splitting and cracking.
  5. Once done installing the quarter-round molding, you will notice the indentation that the nail left on the molding. Use wood putty to cover the nail hole and let it dry.
  6. The last thing to do is to sand the molding to even out the finish from the putty. If needed, paint the putty area, so the color is even on the whole length of the molding.

Do You Paint Quarter-Round Before Installing It?

Painter is using a paint brush to paint baseboard in a home

Some quarter-round molding comes pre-finished but needs to be painted to match your desired color. It is advisable to do the painting before it is installed.

The finish trim is small and can be tricky to paint once attached to the baseboard. As you work on the installation, the paint can chip off.  This can easily be fixed with minor touch up.

Can You Glue Molding Instead Of Nailing It?

The more appropriate way to install quarter-round molding is using nails. The nail secures the molding firmly on the baseboard.

Carpenter brad using nail gun to Moulding trim

The installation will take longer when the glue is used because it needs to dry. Also, when not applied correctly, you will see dried glue between the molding.

Lastly, chipping of the molding in wall corners happens because of low-quality adhesives.

Quarter Round Vs. Shoe Molding

Quarter round and shoe moldings are decorative trim to cover gaps between the floor and wall. Their difference lies in how it looks and the covered space.

Quarter-round molding is wider in size and larger. This molding is used to cover significant gaps between the wall and floor.

Shoe molding is slimmer and more flexible. This will make it easy to fill in smaller gaps. Shoe molding can be a more decorative option because it is thinner and less noticeable.

If you are still not sure which kind of molding to use, get samples of both materials. Place it in the area that has to be covered. See which one has makes the gap disappear, and use this in the rest of the site.

Does Quarter-Round Molding Need To Match The Baseboard Or Floor?

Aside from knowing which kind of quarter-round to use, one also has to determine the color of the molding. Should it match the wall or floor?

The quarter-round molding should blend well with the baseboard as this is its extension. Thus, it should be the same color as the baseboard, not the floor.

Pair of antic chairs in a classic interior setting

To Finish

Quarter-round molding covers any gaps in your floor and wall and helps make your space look more polished and clean.

The best way to install a quarter-round molding is to nail it on the baseboard. One just needs to determine which material will blend well with the baseboard, and installation will be easy.

Made it to the end? Check out these related posts below!

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