What Size Finishing Nails for Baseboards?


Choosing the accurate nail size or gauge depends on the kind of project you’re working on and the type of material being used. In this article, we are discussing the best type of nails for baseboard. Using the wrong size of nails on any material especially trims can either damage the wood or pierce hidden wires or pipes. Baseboards are an important part of the room’s finish; they give the room a professional appearance.

Baseboard is the trim that runs along the lower part of the finished wall if a room. It is used to protect the bottom of the wall from damage and to decorate the room. Trims are very thin, and they use very small nails and are usually painted to match the interior wall. This nail size improves the durability and strength of the trim. Selecting the best nail size for baseboards begins with choosing the perfect gauge number. This is guided by the rule of thumb, which is that the bigger the gauge number, the smaller nail it uses. The finish nailers shoot the biggest nails which are usually 15 to 16 gauge nails.

Nails with bigger gauge ranging from 18 to 23 gauges are the ideal nails for baseboards because they provide a finer finish. These smaller nails have small heads that leave behind small holes that can easily be covered by wood filler or putty. Baseboards are usually painted immediately after installation, and using the ideal gauge nails eliminates the need to fill or sand the baseboard after the project. If the baseboard is not painted, you can use a punch to sink up the hole. A punch makes it easier to drive nails into baseboards, and they make the nail heads invisible.

What Size Brad Nails for Baseboards

Baseboard trims are installed to cover and protect the junction between the wall and the floor. Before you install your baseboards, you should know that the size of a piece of wood can change depending on the climate. When the wood is carried to another environment, it swells or shrinks due to the climate in your home. For this reason, it is important to leave the wood to acclimatise for 24 to 48 hours before you install it.

Brad nails can also be used to fasten baseboards because they are small-sized nails. The small size of brad nails makes it the most recommended nails for trims and mouldings. Although brad nails come in different lengths, you should not use nailers that are longer than 2 inches.

The perfect brads for installing your baseboards are 1 ½ inch brads. If you are worried about splitting your wood, you can pre-drill the nail holes. Use a drill bit that is smaller than the nail size to leave small holes that can easily be filled by the wood filler or putty. This pre-drilling method provides a smoother and professional looking finish to your room. Also, keep in mind the diameter of the nail being used determines the strength of the nail placement.

What Size Brad Nail for Trim

There are different sizes of nails that are specifically used for different projects. When trimming, the best nail size to use is either the 15, 16, 18 or 23-gauge nails. 15 and 16 gauge nailers are mostly used for interior wall trimming because it gives a smoother finish to your interior wall. Brads leave small and neat holes on the material because they are thin and have small nail heads. The size of these nails makes it easier to fill up the holes and smoothen it down. The size of brad nails makes them the perfect choice for your trimming projects.

Types of Nailers Used for Trimming

15 Guage Finish Nailer

The 15 gauge nailer is used for trim pieces that are about ¾ inches thick. This is because they have enough power to hold larger pieces of trims together. They can be used for heavy-duty jobs that require 15 gauge nails. The size of the nailer and the piston enhances its ability to handle tough projects. Some 15 gauge finish nailer feature angled magazine that allows it to be used in tight corners and spaces with ease.

16 Guage Finish Nailer

The 16 gauge finish nailer is similar to the 16 gauge nailer. It uses 16 gauge nails which are thinner than the 15 gauge nails. Although it can be used for thick baseboards, it can’t handle large trims as well as the 15 gauge finish nailer.

18 Guage Brad Nailer

The 18 gauge brad nailer is a very handy nailer that works with short and thin nails. It is used to shoot short brad nails that are about 1 1/5 inches long. This nailer is preferred when using thin, delicate trims. They are very thin and leave small holes that require less filling. Not only can the nailer be used for trimming purposes, but it can also be used to make furniture and for other small projects. Also, see Best Brad Nailers in 2020

How To Install a Baseboard

Installing a baseboard is not a hard task. Below are the steps you can follow when installing a baseboard trim.

  1. Prep the baseboard by placing it against the wall and cutting it to fit the length of that wall. If there are no mitered edges at the end of the baseboards, you’ll need to make one. These edges allow the fit into the interior and exterior corners of the wall.
  2. Push an end of the baseboard into the interior corner of the wall and make sure it lies flush against the wall and on the floor. Attach each end of the baseboard to the wall, using your hands to hold it in place.
  3. After shooting the first nail, push the baseboard hard against the wall to make sure tight against the wall and straight on the floor; you can now shoot the second nail at the other end of the baseboard. Drive more nails into the trim to make sure it is held tight against the wall.


Choosing the best nail size for any project majorly depends on the type of material being used. Baseboards are thin and delicate materials that need to be handled carefully. The ideal nail sizes for baseboards are 15 to 23 gauge nails that are less than 2 inches long. Selecting the perfect size of nails for your trims goes a long way into producing a professional and attractive finish to the room.