How To Install Baseboard Molding without a Nail Gun like a PRO

A common question people often ask how to install baseboard molding without a nail gun. Or is it even possible to install a baseboard without a nail gun? You have the same question, right? That is why you are reading this article.

The answer is yes; you can install your baseboard molding without a nail gun. You can use glue or a hammer to install the baseboard. However, the best nail gun for the baseboard will surely save you time. But maybe you do not have it or do not want to buy one for this project.

With the right guideline and proper tools such as glue, hammer, or knife, you can get the job done. You need patience, a few tools you might already have, and basic skills to install the crown molding like a pro.

How To Install Baseboard Molding Without A Nail Gun- Step by Step

The process of how to attach baseboard without nail gun is described below.

TOOLS Required

  • Hammer.
  • Knife. 
  • Pry bar.
  • Measuring tape. 
  • Saw.
  • 1.5 to 3.5 inches nail. ( Nail size can be changed because of the thickness of the baseboard. Choose nails that are 0.5 inches longer than your baseboards’ viscosity).

Cost of installing baseboard

Installing a baseboard costs $2.5-$3 per linear square foot. But the cost to install baseboard varies with the baseboard size and type.

Baseboard typeCost
Composite Wood (2-4 inches high)$0.75-$1 per linear foot
Composite Wood (4-6 inches high)$1.50-$2.50 per linear foot
Polyurethane Baseboards$2-$6 per foot
Mid-tiered Wood (such as pine)$1-$1.75 per linear foot 3-4 inches high or $1.50-$2.50 per linear foot for 5-6 inches high
Premium Wood (such as cherry, mahogany, or walnut)$3-$8 per linear foot, greatly depending on height and style

TIME of Installing baseboard

10-14 hours, depending on the room size

Step 1: Remove old baseboard and buy new

The first step is buying the baseboard. You should buy the baseboard based on your choice and taste. But before that, you need to remove the old baseboard trim. A utility knife can help you cut through the top edge.

Then use a pry bar to loosen the baseboard and pull it to remove it. If installing it for the first time, leave this step.

Step 2: Measuring the baseboard

Measure the baseboard according to the wall of your room. Use a marker to mark 16 inches in the center to stud the baseboard. Keep some extra inches on the outside corner of the baseboard. Make sure to check if your room is level or not. Then place a baseboard to mark its height with a marker.

Step 3: Cut baseboard

After measuring, cut it down. You should carefully measure the room with the tape to get an accurate measurement and cut it properly.

Whether an electric power miter or traditional one, a saw will help you cut the baseboard. Make sure you are cutting it according to the room length. Consider the corner as well.

You get it online if you don’t have an electric meter saw. Also, you can use any manual saw.

Step 4: Adding glue to the baseboard

Put some adhesive or glue on the backside of the baseboards. They will keep the baseboards attached to the floor. As a result, you can hammer more effectively. Use a leveler to check whether you attached them to the proper level. In part, there might be some extra baseboards because of miscalculation. Trim them with a miter saw.

Step 5: Placing molding on the baseboard

Place molding on the top side of the baseboard. Level it perfectly. There should be no gaps. If you find any cracks, use a drop of construction glue and put them on the back of the mold.

Step 6: Nailing the mold

Now start nailing the molds. Use 8d nails and insert them with the help of the studs you marked earlier. Hammer them perfectly so the molds can attach faultlessly. The nails must go into the mold’s thickest part at a 60-degree angle.

Also, if you know how to use finishing nails without a nail gun, that will surely be an advantage in this step.

Step 7: Giving a finishing-touch

Now, check whether the baseboards and the molds are attached perfectly. Cut all the extra parts of the baseboards. Cope with the joining area of the two molds in the corner. Use sandpaper to give a finishing touch and eliminate any sharp edges. Now you can prime to print your baseboards and trims.


You are done.

You see, it is not that tough. Just follow these instructions.

How to replace baseboards without a nail gun

To replace baseboards, first remove the baseboards. Then attach the new baseboards. So if you ask how to put baseboards back on without nail gun, here is how.

Required tools

  • Hammer,
  • Knife
  • One utility knife.
  • A small pry bar.
  • One plier
  • A pencil

The cost of replacing baseboard

The cost of replacing baseboard is $70 to $360. But it varies with the time required to replace it.

Preparing old baseboards

First, check all the corners of the molding. If you see any glue, caulk, or adhesive there, remove it. As a result, the walls and wall paint will be safe and undamaged. Now use a utility knife to cut that baseboard. Also, check how the corners of the boards are attached. 

The corners are attached in two ways: by coping with them or mitering them. You can pull off a mitered corner with a pry bar, but you must first pull off the coped side from the nested side with bare hands. After the attached area gets loose, use a pry bar to disclose it. 

Detaching the baseboard

Insert a putty knife into the free space between the wall stud and the baseboard back. Try to detach the baseboard but don’t provide extra pressure. If you see a crack, insert a pry bar there. Now use it to detach the baseboard. Follow the same process for all the baseboards in your room.

Finishing the removal job

Check all areas and remove all nails with a plier. Now mark the area of the baseboard with a marker so that you can attach the new baseboard without any hard measurement. It also decreases the cost of replacing baseboards. 

Attaching the new baseboard

Put the new baseboards where you marked them with a marker. Use a leveler to check whether they are perfectly attached or not. Now attach some glue to the baseboard’s backside and assemble it to the wall. Hold two 2 inches long 8D nails and hammer them on both sides of the baseboard. 

Attach two baseboards with 1.5 inches to 2 inches long 4D nails. Make sure to use multiple 8D nails on the corners. After all, the baseboards are attached, so cut all unnecessary pieces to give a finishing touch.

How to install shoe molding without a nail gun

Clean your attachment area first. Now attach some construction glue to the back side of the shoe molding. Lay down the molding on the attaching area. Now insert some liquid nails with a hammer to attach the molding to the wall.

How to Attach Baseboard to Drywall Without a Nail Gun

  • Measure the working area.
  • Cut baseboards according to the size.
  • Put some glue on the back side of the baseboard.
  • Hold it on the drywall.
  • Insert two 8d nails on the side of the baseboard.
  • Use a 4D nail to connect two baseboards.
  • Use these processes to attach the baseboards to all areas of the drywall.

How to install floor trim without a nail gun

  • Lay down the trim in the installation area.
  • Hold 15 or 16-gauge finish nails with a 1/32-inch nail set. You can use a finish nailer for that.
  • Place the nails on both sides of the trim.
  • Hold a hammer at least 0.125 inches above the nails and drive the hammerhead.
  • Don’t put extra pressure on the trim.
  • Check if the nails were inserted perfectly or not.
  • Now follow this process to attach the trim to all the working areas.

Can you install trim without a nail gun?

Yes, you can install trim without a nail gun. You can install it in two ways: using nails or without nails. If you don’t want to use nails, glue baseboards instead of nail

When you want to use nails to install trim, use finishing nails. The process is simple if you don’t know how to use finishing nails without a nail gun. Use a hammer to drive them inside.

Frequently asked questions

Can you just glue baseboards?

You can glue the baseboard. For that, pick strong adhesive such as Gorilla Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive, 9 Ounce Cartridge. However, nailing will be better for sure.

Is it better to glue or nail baseboards?

Though many people like to use glue for baseboard molding, nailing always delivers better holding power.

Wrap up

If you’re looking for a way to install baseboard molding without a nail gun, there are a few options available to you. You can use a hammer and nails, or you can use a screwdriver and screws. You can also use a pneumatic stapler, which is a tool that uses compressed air to drive staples into the wood. Whichever method you choose, be sure to pre-drill holes for the nails or screws, and to countersink the nails so that the heads are flush with the surface of the molding.

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