What Size Nails for Quarter Round?

What Size Nails for Quarter Round?

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It’s no secret that trim carpentry can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to use the right tools and the right size nails.

Quarter-round trim is used for a range of jobs, including beading and covering gaps between skirting and new floors. This article will talk about the best nail sizes you should use when installing quarter-round. So to find out how the professionals install this trim, keep reading.

What Size Nail Should You Use for Quarter-Round?

Quarter-round nails need to be small, with heads that can bury easily. Finishing nails and brad nails are most frequently used if using the quarter-round for trim and beading. However, you might want a longer nail if you’re using this material for a project that will place additional stress on it.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing Quarter-Round Nail Gauge and Length

There’s a lot to consider when choosing nails to install your quarter-round with. Below we’ve listed five of the most important factors: the type of material, the thickness of the material, the nail gauge, the nail length, and the type of head.

1. Type of Material

The type of material you are installing the quarter-round on will determine whether you can use nails and what type of nails to use. For example, if you try to nail through the quarter-round into stainless steel, the nail won’t pierce the metal and it won’t fix the beading. Similarly, if you tried to nail the beading onto a glass panel, the glass would smash.

The ideal material to fix the quarter-round onto is wood, but it’s also possible to install it on plasterboard.

2. Thickness of Material

If the material you want to nail the quarter-round onto is not very thick, chances are it’s too weak to support the beading and the nail piercing it. You need to consider the thickness of the material to make sure everything can be installed securely.

3. Nail Gauge

The gauge of a nail refers to the thickness of the shank. The thicker the nail, the stronger it is. Usually, for trim and quarter-round, you want a small gauge. The quarter-round shouldn’t be under much stress, so a thinner nail is capable of holding the trim in position.

4. Nail Length

The length of a nail is very important. We’ll discuss the risks of using nails that are too long or short further down this article. But you must get a nail that goes through the quarter-round and far enough into the material beneath to secure the trim.

5. Type of Nail and Nail Head

Nails come in a range of different shapes. Trim carpentry is part of the final touches in a project, so the work must be neat and tidy because not many trades will be in after you to cover up unsightly mistakes. For this reason, you should use a brad nail or a finishing nail. These nails have smaller heads that can get buried into the wood with a nail punch and remain hidden easily.

What Are the Risks of Using Too Small Nails to Attach Quarter-Round?

Using nails that are too small can be problematic when installing quarter-round and trim. Below we’ll discuss two main issues that can come from this.

1. Quarter Round Not Fixing In Place

A nail fixes pieces into place by sandwiching the quarter-round in between the nail head and the material beneath the trim. If the nail is not long enough, it won’t go through the quarter-round enough to secure it.

2. The Nails Breaking Under Stress

Usually, a small finishing nail or brad nail is enough to secure a quarter-round without issue. However, depending on your project, the trim might come under more stress than usual. In these situations, a thinner nail might break, causing the trim to come loose.

What Are the Risks of Using Too Large Nails to Attach Quarter Round?

Along with using nails that are too short, there are also problems associated with using nails that are too large on quarter-rounds. Below, we’ll discuss four of the most important risks to be aware of.

1. Splitting the Timber

If you use nails that are too large on quarter-round, you have a higher chance of splitting the trim along the grain. A nail wedges itself through the wood grain, so the larger the nail, the more the grain is pushed. You can counteract this risk by pilot-holing the trim before nailing it.

2. Ugly Aesthetics

Quarter-round and trim require delicate carpentry. When you use a large nail on them, it’s extremely obvious and unsightly. Most of the time, you want to bury the head beneath the surface and then fill the hole. If you use too large a nail, burying the head creates a large hole that is difficult to fill and may not match the wood exactly.

3. Piercing Entirely Through The Material

The main danger of using a nail that is too long is nailing through the sub-material. For example, if you are creating a picture frame and use a quarter-round to finish an edge, the last thing you want is to nail all the way through the frame and for the nail to protrude out the other side.

4. Pipes and Electric Cables

This point builds off of the previous risk, but it’s so important it needs its own section. If a nail pierces entirely through the material, there’s a risk of it damaging whatever is on the other side. In construction, pipes and wires are hidden within walls and beneath floors. If you pierce a water pipe, a leak could occur. If you pierce an electrical wire, you are in danger of a shock or causing a fire.

Can You Attach Quarter-Round Without Nails?

Nailing quarter-round is the most common way of installing it, however, there are other methods that people use. Below are some other techniques you can use to attach quarter-round without nails.

1. Glue

Wood glue will fix quarter-round into position extremely well. In furniture and frame making, gluing the quarter-round in position is frequently done. It’s important to hold the material in position long enough for the glue to set. The downside is that when the trim is glued, it’s hard to go back and correct mistakes.

2. Screw

In some circumstances people will screw trim into position, however, this isn’t advised generally. A screw head is unsightly and should be countersunk and filled.

3. Mounting Tape and Double-Sided Tape

Mounting tape and double-sided tape are both types of adhesive. You can attach the tape to one side of the quarter-round and stick it in position. It’s a quick and easy way of securing your material and in some situations, it will be adequate. However, with time, the tape will lose adhesion and the components will fall apart.


Using the right size nails for quarter-round is really important. If you use the wrong size nail, the material might not install properly, it could look ugly, or you could even damage other parts of the project. However, with the right size nail, you’ll quickly and easily have the quarter-round secured in position.

You might also want to learn about the right size nails for crown molding and baseboard.