How to Install Quarter Round without a Nail Gun

Having the best nail gun for quarter round will ease the installation a lot. But maybe you do not have a nailer right now. Or maybe you have the wrong nailer. You can, of course, rent a nail gun. But you are willing to do it without a nail gun. Then How to Install Quarter Round without a Nail Gun?

You can install quarter round without a nail gun by two ways

  • Using hammer
  • With glue

But which one is better? We will guide you through everything. Read the guide until the end.

Should you glue or nail quarter round?

Nailing is better option since it offers better holding and does not look sloppy. Besides, gluing looks somehow sloppy. And the next guy who wants to remove the quarter round will curse you since it is a hassle to remove a quarter round installed with glue.

So if you want to make changes or adjustment after installation, nailing is the only option.

On the other hand, if you do not want any visible nail heads or holes in the woods, using adhesive is a good option. Moreover, you should use glue for small projects or delicate woods that can split with nails.

How to Install Quarter Round without a Nail Gun Using a hammer

Required materials

  • Quarter-round molding: you will require at least 40 linear feet of quarter-round molding for a 10 by 10 square-foot room.
  • 1 sufficient long enough measuring tape
  • 1 miter saw.
  • Sufficient nail sets for installation.
  • At least a 16-ounce hammer.
  • At least one tube of wood filler.
  • 80-grit sandpaper.

It’s always a good idea to wear protective eyewear and gloves when using power tools and handling sharp objects.


For a 40-square-foot room, users may need to spend money on quarter-round installation without a nail gun and with a hammer.

Material cost:

  • Quarter-round molding: 0.50 dollars per linear foot × 40 feet = 20.00 dollars.
  • Finishing nails: 2 dollars per box × 2 boxes = 4.00 dollars.
  • Wood putty: 3.00 dollars per tube of wood putty × 2 tubes = 6.00 dollars.
  • Sandpaper: 0.50 dollars per sheet × 8 sheets = 4.00 dollars.

Total material cost: 34.00 dollars.

Required tools cost:

  • Hammer: 10.00 dollars.
  • Measuring tape: 5.00 dollars.
  • Miter saw: 50.00 dollars.
  • Nail set: 3.00 dollars.

Total cost for tools: 68.00 dollars.

Overall cost: 

102.00 dollars approximately.

Nails for the installation process

Finish nails are typically used for quarter-round installation because of their tiny size and thin diameter. 18-gauge, 1-1/4-inch-finish nails are frequently employed for this purpose. If users’ baseboards or walls are thicker, they can alter the length of the nail. 

Users must drive one nail into the quarter round every 10 to 12 inches for flawless installation. When putting nails in the quarter round, be sure to drill pilot holes. For optimum installation, pick a location for nails that is at least half an inch away from the top and bottom.

Measuring the quarter round

It is always important to measure the area where you will install the quarter round for precise installation. To do it,

  • Use a measuring tape to measure that area.
  • Always measure each section separately so that you can understand the size of the area, especially in those tough corners or areas where the quarter-round will get installed.
  • Use a pencil to draw lines for precise measurement and cutting.
  • While marking, add 1 or 1/2 inches to that measurement to draw lines so that you can make adjustments if necessary.

Cutting the quarter round

For cutting quarter-round, you will require a saw. However, different types of materials require different types of saws. Usually, professionals use a hacksaw or coping saw when they are using PVC or plastic quarter rounds, whereas a miter saw or hand saw is used when dealing with wood quarters. 

To cut the quarter round,

  • Place it properly against the wall or floor where you are attaching it.
  • As you have marked previously in the first step, you can just use the saw to trim the excess length.
  • Make sure to wear safety glasses while trimming, or pieces of the quarter round may enter your eyes accidentally.

To decrease the saw’s motion, professionals use a workbench or saw horse. You may use them if necessary.

Hammering the quarter-round

To install the quarter round without a nail gun, you will need to hammer it. To do it,

  • As you have already placed the quarter round in its suitable position, now put a nail on it.
  • Using the claw of the hammer, tap the nail in that place lightly so that it gets inserted a bit.
  • Now, switch the side of the hammer’s head and gently tap the nail to penetrate it into the quarter round.
  • Make sure to insert a nail every 6 to 8 inches for better installation.

After penetrating the nail properly, sink its head below so that you may use wood filler to create a flat and steady surface.

Use wood filler to provide a finishing touch

After attaching a quarter round with a hammer, apply wood filler into the small gaps or holes to get proper finishing. There are three types of wood filler available for this job.

Water-based wood filler

It can be applied easily and dries faster than the other two. It can also be painted or stained if necessary.

Solvent-based wood filler

It is popular for its excellent durability and perfect water resistance. However, it takes a long time to attach and can release potent fumes when in contact with fire.

Epoxy-based wood filler

It also provides great durability and water resistance. However, as it is made with hydrocarbons, users need to make a proper mixture before applying it to suitable spots, which consumes time.

After choosing your best wood filler, you need to apply it.

To do it,

  • Hold a putty knife and get some wood filler on it.
  • Now insert that knife into the gaps to insert the wood filler in the gaps and holes.
  • Let the wood filler dry.
  • After it dries, use 80-grit sandpaper to sand it properly to get a smooth surface and an excellent finish.

How to Install Quarter Round without a Nail Gun Using Glue

To attach a quarter round with glue, you have to follow the first two steps of the previously mentioned process. Then you have to choose the best glue to use for quarter round. For installing quarter-round, usually, professionals use construction adhesive. 

Different types of construction adhesives, like liquid nails, gorilla glue, Loctite, etc., are used for this purpose. To attach glue, make sure to use a caulk gun for precise control and proper installation. Also, for best results, read the glue manual thoroughly.

Attach glue to the quarter round

To do it,

  • Take 1/4 to 1/2 inch of a thick layer of glue in your hand.
  • Make sure to wear hand gloves.
  • Now attach the glue to the back side of the trimmed quarter round.
  • Attach glue to all the areas of the quarter round properly by following the previously mentioned process.

Attaching the quarter round to the suitable spot

After attaching glue to the back side of the quarter round, you need to attach it to the place where you want to install it. To do it,

  • Get a leveler or straight edge.
  • Now put the quarter-round by the side of it so that it gets attached properly and vertically.
  • Make sure to hold the quarter-round for at least 10 to 20 seconds so that the glue underneath it gets attached to the floor or wall.

After installing all the pieces of the quarter round, keep them for at least 24 hours so they can get attached properly.

Install quarter round with silicone

To provide a finishing touch, you may use caulk in a caulk gun and apply it to your project area. Usually, professionals recommend silicone or acrylic caulks for this purpose, as they are paintable. To apply caulk,

  • Insert caulk into the caulk gun.
  • Start applying it on the top and bottom sides of the installed quarter round.
  • After applying the caulk, let it dry for an hour or two.

After they get dried properly, you may paint or stain the caulk so that its color matches your existing, installed quarter-round color.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may have some more questions. If so, check out our FAQ section below.

Can you hand nail quarter round?

Yes, you can easily hand nail quarter round.

Can you manually hammer finish nails?

Yes, it is possible to manually hammer the finish nail. We have a complete guide for how to use finishing nails without a nail.


Now you know how to install quarter round without nail gun. The process is straightforward. But you need to follow the guideline and maintain the safety measurement while performing the process. Safety is always important.

By using a hammer or glue, you can easily install the quarter round without using a nail gun. It is common not to have a nail gun. But that does not mean you will stay away from installing quarter round.

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