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nailing window and door trim - finish or brad?

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  • nailing window and door trim - finish or brad?

    I'm replacing my patio door and side casement windows. I pulled the trim so I could measure the rough opening on each, and I discovered they were nailed with what looks like 1 1/2" brad nails. I have a brad nail gun and finish nail gun. I was planning to use finish nails. Should I use brad nails? Does anyone have any idea why brad nails were used to install the trim initially?

  • #2
    Possibly because the brad nails are so small that you can get away without filling the holes in many cases.
    I replaced all of the interior trim in my house using my brad nailer, you would realy have to be a nit picker with great eyes to find a brad hole.


    • #3
      Use finish nail. If the original nails were brads, the installer probably took short cuts. Brad nails will hold the trims in place (at least for a while). However, finish nails are stronger and are ideal for trim work. Filling the holes is no big deal.
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      Last edited by newbie2wood; 09-15-2011, 06:10 AM.


      • #4
        My understanding is that finish nails should be used for casings.
        "All things are difficult before they are easy"


        • #5
          you could use brads and glue, or just finishing nails. I prefer the first method.


          • #6

            I have both a 16 gauge nailer and a 18 gauge brad nailer. When I was doing my basement, I nailed the outside of the casings, where they are thicker, with the finish nailer and the inner part of the casing where it is thin and goes directly to wood with the brads. 16 gauge nails will hold better but when the moulding is only about 1/4 thick, I don't think it makes sense to put a big nail in it. If you do, you may split it. On the other hand, on the outside of a casing you have to go through at least 1/2 of wood plus 1/2 of drywall just to get to the stud. You need a 2 inch or longer nail which you can do with a brad but it is the limit. If you trim is more than 1/2 inch thick, you would have to go to a finish nail. On the inside, an 1 1/4 brad may be adequate which is within the capability of nearly any brad nailer.



            • #7
              Thanks so much, guys, for the great feedback. I was tempted to use my 18 gage brad nailer, but it's limited to 1 1/4" long brads. Like Jim said, I'll need to go through 1/2" thick trim and 1/2" drywall, leaving only 1/4" in the stud. I could buy a brad nailer that allows 2" brads, but I'd rather use what I have.
              Thanks again,