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Nail size for molding


panewhomeowner's Avatar
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11-20-14, 05:57 AM   #1  
Nail size for molding

Hi All,

I'm replacing some drywall in parts of the basement and looking to get a nail gun for the molding - both baseboard and vertical parts. The molding is about 2-2.5", probably about 1/2" wide. I was thinking of using 18g brad nails, but I've seen some mixed comments on using 16g or even 15g finishing nails. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

 
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11-20-14, 06:01 AM   #2  
I use 18 ga brads when I can go directly into structure and 16 ga nails when I have to go through drywall to get to structure. Hence, with baseboard, I use 16 ga nails.

 
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11-20-14, 06:10 AM   #3  
Thanks Mitch. Does that mean 16 ga brad nails or finishing nails?

 
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11-20-14, 06:13 AM   #4  
A good rule of thumb is that the nail should be long enough to go into 1" of the wood framing. With a 1/2" thick moulding and 1/2" thick drywall, a 2" long brad nail would be fine.

But when the moulding is 3/4 thick, that same nail is no longer long enough, which means you have to step up to a bigger nail... 16 ga or 15 ga. They don't make 2 1/2" 18 ga brad nails.

The word "brad nails" refers only to 18 ga nails. 16 ga and 15 ga nails are called "finishing nails".

IMO you will be fine using brad nails as long as your molding is only 1/2" thick. You generally try to use the smallest nail possible, since they are less noticeable and leave a smaller hole.

 
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11-20-14, 06:21 AM   #5  
Also depends somewhat on where it is (IMO at least). If it might be kicked or grabbed somehow...I'd want more than a 18ga brad nail holding it.


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11-20-14, 06:29 AM   #6  
Thanks guys. I'll measure the moulding again to confirm its thickness. The moulding will be in areas that are not likely to be kicked or grabbed, so I will make a decision based on the thicknesses involved. Would be nice to use the 18 ga nails since it would be a smaller job to cover them up, if necessary.

 
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11-20-14, 06:41 AM   #7  
IMO it's no big deal to putty up nail holes ..... but then that is part of what I've done for a living
I'd recommend getting a 16 or 15 gauge nail gun as it will be more versatile down the road when other projects come up.


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11-21-14, 06:35 AM   #8  
Follow up question. I'm replacing some baseboard moulding in a basement bathroom. Due to moisture issues, I'm considering using PVC baseboards. I'm guessing the nail sizing works the same for PVC?

 
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11-21-14, 07:33 AM   #9  
Yep

 
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11-21-14, 08:22 AM   #10  
Depending on the PVC....

Is it the hard white stuff or the cellular "pre-finished"? The hard stuff can shatter if close to an end, the flexy cellular stuff, not so much.

Other than that...same nail sizes and recommendations from me.


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