What Are the Purposes for Different Lengths of Upholstery Nails? What Are the Purposes for Different Lengths of Upholstery Nails?

To choose the correct size upholstery nail it is crucial to understand a few manufacturing and construction features of the furniture that you are going to be recovering. Because furniture frames can be constructed of a few different types of woods and the thickness of upholstery can also vary you should be aware of the lengths of the nails and what your use is.

Logic Behind Different Lengths

Of course upholstery comes in different thicknesses and so each will have to be securely attached to the wood frame of your piece. Creating pleats and other additions like decorative piping will require a longer upholstery nail to ensure that the fabric stays where you have installed it. Also the use and wear of the furniture may dictate the necessity of using a longer nail to attach the upholstery. If the furniture is destined to be in a child's room or a heavily used piece of furniture then a longer nail will help to ensure that your material stays where you need it to be: securely adhered to your piece.

Decorative Upholstery Nails

A decorative upholstery nail is used for just that, decoration. There are so many different beautiful caps on these tacks but that is the least of your concerns when reupholstering your furniture. If you've chosen a thick and durable canvas with an accent pipe then you need to make sure that the tack is long enough to go through all the layers of fabric and a considerable measure of the underlying frame to get a good hold and reduce the chance of losing one of your pretty finishing upholstery tacks.

Flat Head Upholstery Nails

Many times you will not need to have the pretty decorative upholstery tack because you are attaching the fabric to a hidden part of the furniture. When recovering a dining room chair, a couch or overstuffed chair there are many hidden areas under the bottom and behind the back of the furniture where no one will see the connections. Just like with the decorative nails it is necessary to choose a nail length that will go through all layers of the upholstery and hold tight, at least 3/4 of an inch into the wood frame.

Types of Wood

In addition to considering the thickness of the upholstery layers that you are using you also have to consider the type of wood frame that is being used. Not all furniture is made of hard wood. Some less expensive furniture is framed by manufactured woods or layers of plywood that do not have the same strength of a solid wood piece of furniture. When you have the need to put upholstery on a composite material like MDF (medium density fiberboard) you would need a longer nail to ensure a better hold through the particle board construction. Framing using layered plywood is stronger than particle board construction however it may still require a longer nail in order to ensure that the upholstery does not pull free once the furniture is being used for sitting, or footstool.

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