How to Install Quarter Round without A Nail Gun

Though installing a quarter round with a nail gun makes your task easy and quick, you can do it without a nail gun in two ways. Both methods have their own pros and cons, respectively. In this article, I went through all the perks and compromises related to each process to help you pick one over the other. 

How to Install Quarter Round without A Nail Gun

Install Quarter Round Without a Nail Gun

Generally, a quarter round is used for hiding the base defect created between the floor and the baseboards. In addition to enhancing looks, a quarter round increases strength and durability. You can install it to the stairway and windowsills to make the bondage strong as well. 

If you are not a professional carpenter, not owning a nail gun is natural. But the following two methods will make sure you don’t have to break the bank for a new nail gun. The first one is doing the job with a hammer, and the other is using glue or similar adhesive materials. 

Install Quarter Round with a Hammer

Though installing a quarter round with a hammer is an old-fashioned process, it is effective when you do not have a nail gun. Below is the step-by-step guide to hammering your way through a quarter-round installation.

Step 1: Cleaning the Place

Before starting the installation process, clean the place where you will install the quarter round. Then, brush the corners area and wipe along the wall edges of the room to get rid of dirt and debris.

Step 2: Cutting the Moldings

Cutting molding is an important as well as a crucial part of installing quarter round. You have to cut the molding according to the baseboard’s length. So, lay down the molding against the baseboard. After that, mark on the moldings at a point where it meets the edges of the baseboards.

Though there are many saws that you may use for cutting, a miter-saw is easy to use. So, cut the molding with a miter-saw where you had marked before. Make sure that you cut the molding at a 45-degree angle. Besides, cut the adjoining quarter round at the opposite 45-degree angle. 

Additionally, you can attach the two pieces without having any gaps between the moldings and the wall. Yet, do not worry if there are some gaps between them since you can later fill them with sealant.

Step 3: Placing Quarter Round Flush

Once you have gone through the first two steps, set the first flash of the quarter round starting from any end of the wall. Make sure that you place them appropriately at the corner of a room. 

Step 4: Nailing Quarter Round

Once you have placed a quarter-round flash, move to the fourth step. Usually, finish nails that are 1-1/4 inches long are suitable for this purpose. To nail a quarter round, hold a fastener from 2-inches of the edges just at the middle of molding. Alongside, try to point the nail parallelly with the floor.

Now, hammer the nail until it reaches the baseboard, passing the quarter round. When the fastener goes through about 1/8 inch deep, stop striking. By using a nail setter, make an alignment with the top of the stuck nail. 

Then, hammer the setter until it goes completely inside the quarter round. If you use a hammer in all the way of nailing, it will result in an ugly and bristly look. Using a nail set helps you achieve a well-finished look. 

Step 5: Keep Nailing On

In this step, keep on hammering the 1-1/4 inch long finish nails as described. Besides, keep in mind that you need to nail them by keeping at least a 2-feet distance from each fastener. Furthermore, keep clawing until the nails cover the whole baseboard length.

Other than that, the nails are for nailing into baseboards or walls only. Hence, do not nail the quarter round into the floor.

Step 6: Finish with Sealant 

If there are still some gaps between the molding and the wall, use an indoor or outdoor sealant. Don’t worry about its sloppiness if it is coming out of its tube. After applying the caulk to the molding, run your finger over the top to smoothen it out. You can then wipe the excess sealant off with a paper towel. Nonetheless, if the hole is large or roughly shaped, apply wood putty instead of a sealant.

Step 7: Filling Nail Holes and Cover Nail Heads

The entire quarter round, along with the nailing process, produces small holes in the molding. Despite using a nail setter, nail heads may still be visible. For making it invisible, you need to fill up those holes and nail heads with wooden putty. Finally, make sure to dry the wooden putty completely.

Install Quarter Round with Glue

You can install a quarter round with glue. Yet, there are a couple of issues that make this approach less favorable. For example, the adhesive may fail to stick into the painted walls. Or else, if you apply too many adhesive substances, it may spill over the floor and make an unpleasant sight. Besides, it may be difficult to remove the quarter round in the future renovation. Still, it is a way if you don’t have any nail guns. 

Step 1: Cleaning the Area

Before using the adhesive or glue, clean the floor surface precisely. Hence clean those areas where you will apply adhesive. Otherwise, the adhesive components will not stick thoroughly to the quarter round. 

Step 2: Measuring and Cutting 

This step is almost the same as cutting the moldings section from installing a quarter round with a hammer. Firstly, mark on the moldings according to the baseboards. Secondly, cut the adjacent pieces with a miter-saw at a 45° angle. Finally, make sure the cutting sections are precisely the same as the baseboards.

Step 3: Sanding

Before you start applying the adhesive process, smoothen the cutting piece with sandpaper. Be careful while you are sanding the molding piece. Nearly four or five strokes of sandpaper are enough to achieve the perfect texture of the quarter round.

Step 4: Applying Adhesive

Apply the glue only to the sanded side of the round. After applying adhesive, place the quarter round to the expected place of the baseboards and keep holding them for one or two minutes. It will help the glue to create a strong bond between the molding and the baseboard.

Repeat the process to attach the remaining quarter rounds to the baseboard. Once you have completed attaching all of them, wipe the extra adhesive from the ledge of the two pieces before it dries. 

Frequently Asked Question

Should You Caulk Around Quarter Round Molding?

Though caulk cannot fill up large or roughly shaped gaps or dents, you can use it for small holes while installing a quarter round. They are not necessary to use. But you may use them if there are visible thin lines on gaps between the quarter round and the baseboard. Caulk can also strengthen the bonds between them.

Which Nails Are Suitable For a Quarter Round?

Generally, for a quarter round, you need a well-finished look. In this case, 1.5 to 2 inches finish nails are the best option. The small heads of finish nails provide a neat look. Besides, it is strong enough to hold the molding, and you can drive them with a hammer.


Installing the quarter round with a hammer is the better option between the above two. Yet, both tasks require quite a bit of expertise. Anyhow, if you decide to use adhesive, try using high-quality glue. Otherwise, the bond between the quarter round and the baseboard may weaken.

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