4 posts / 0 new
Last post
what wood is best for baseboards

trying to decide what type of wood to use for baseboards. Since they take the most beating, I'm thinking of using maple BUT, is there a risk that maple will split from trim nails? I plan to paint the baseboards rather than stain them so the grain is not an issue (except for ruling out oak since paint does not cover its porous grain). I am using a pneumatic nailer.

A. Spruce
Re: what wood is best for baseboards

Generally, trims come in pine or MDF for general purpose installations. When you start getting into specialty wood species the selection of trim is drastically reduced.

Because you'll be painting everything, either pine or MDF will be fine for low traffic areas. In high traffic areas where the base gets bumped or abused, pine will be the better choice.

Re: what wood is best for baseboards

another option for a more durable paint grade trim yet stil hardwood is poplar. it is used heavily in really high end projects where the homeowner requests no mdf.

mdf and pine are cheap options for paint grade. depending on the species of pine it can dent easily, mdf can flake and chip at the edges of outside mitres on baseboard

as for using a air nailer for nailing trim and the issue of splitting. air nailers are far less likely to split trim than hand nailing plus it requires no predrilling in hardwoods. the only thing you may have to do with an air nailer is have a test piece set up to set up the proper air pressure on the nailer so it will set the nails to the correct depth. just note with lower end compressors they may not deliver enough air to sink the nail even though correct pressure is set. the same goes for the nailers themself, not all nailers are strong enough for baseboard.

personally when im installing baseboard, especially thicker mdf or hardwood i will up to my 16 gauge nailer with 2" nails or a 15 gauge. both guns shoot a heavier nail and the gun itself has more driving power. 18 gauge nailers are good for thin baseboard and softer woods

Re: what wood is best for baseboards

For paint grade I would go with poplar. It is harder than pine, and won't disintegrate in the presence of moisture like MDF.


Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.