I'll be installing some short lengths of base molding at one end of a room and then adding shoe molding along the base's bottom. It's a small job -- all of the base molding together will need just 16 nails -- so I'm not going to bother renting a brad nailer.

My question is if there's any reason I shouldn't glue the shoe molding to the base rather than nail it. It's small enough that nailing it by hand could be tricky, and it too will only need 16 nails so, again, renting a nailer isn't worth it.

I plan to partly nail on the base, apply the glue and position the shoe precisely, and then remove both and clamp together until the glue dries. (I'm looking at fast-grab construction adhesives, but I'm open to suggestions.) The result should effectively be a solid, single piece of molding with an exact fit that I can nail on the rest of the way. I'd think gluing would also make it easier to remove everything if I ever have to, with only one set of nails to deal with.

Thanks in advance for your feedback. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

  • Regular wood glue would be fine. “Clamp” it with blue tape. And you’ve obviously forgotten the first rule of diy: every job is an excuse for a new tool. (If your base or shoe is mdf, predrill the holes you’re going to hand nail.) Dec 31, 2023 at 4:38
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    I've just used caulking as glue to install baseboards many times. A tube is a couple bucks and you can do probably 100 feet. acrylic caulk can also be remove easier than wood glue. Dec 31, 2023 at 8:32
  • I remember when people built a whole house with just a hammer. Wonder what happen to make people think they need a power nailer for a few small nails?
    – crip659
    Dec 31, 2023 at 13:19
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    Thanks for all the input, I never would have thought to use caulk (which I already have). In the meantime, I tried nailing some of the shoe by hand and it worked OK, but between the care needed and the nail holes, caulk sounds so much easier! I'm just waiting for some paint to cure on the rest of the shoe molding and I'll give it a go! (Oh, and @Aloysius Defenestrate, there's a corollary to that first rule of DIY: "... unless you live in a small apartment with limited storage space and thin walls." :( ) Jan 1 at 21:58
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    @Huesmann I actually thought of that, and did what I said with a few pieces. I nailed the base only partway in, then flexed the shoe to fit the floor and nailed it partway in to lock it in position. Then I took the 2 pieces off together and nailed the shoe the rest of the way on a solid surface, and then fully nailed the combination in place. Much easier than trying to navigate next to the floor. Jan 4 at 2:12

1 Answer 1


I've used caulking as glue to install baseboards many times. A tube is a couple bucks and you can do probably 100 feet. acrylic caulk can also be removed easier than wood glue.

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    For the record, I went ahead and nailed almost all of it in by hand. A little more trouble than I expected, but nothing a little wood filler isn't fixing. :) But I will be putting the very last piece on with caulk, for the experience. Jan 4 at 2:15

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