Skirting Board Nails and Adhesive Guide

For the uninitiated, choosing the right nails for skirting board can seem a little daunting. The reality is that you may not even need nails at all and with a few minutes of planning you can ensure you have everything you need to install your new skirting boards as soon as they arrive.

There are times where nails or screws should be used for attaching skirting boards to walls. The need for nails really comes down to what you are fixing your skirting on to and how even the walls are. 

If you have masonry walls then the best option is usually going to be to use a mixture of adhesive such as Gripfill (we supply standard and solvent free Gripfill) and masonry screws or nails.

For plastered walls or plasterboard with timber studs, then you can use either an adhesive on its own or a mix of adhesive and oval wire nails – ensuring that you nail these in line with the timber studs.


Masonry Nails or Screws

When fixing your skirting board to masonry walls you will need to make sure that you use masonry nails or screws. If using the latter, you should start by drilling pilot holes in to the masonry wall before inserting wall plugs that the screws will be fed in to. For nails, you should simply hammer these in around every 50-60cm.

nails for skirting boards

Choosing the right drill bit is important when drilling in to masonry

If you have a dry lined wall with masonry behind it then be sure to use screws that are long enough to penetrate the inner masonry wall – usually around 80mm screws will suffice. 

Top Tip: To ensure you drill holes deep enough measure the depth on the drill bit and mark it with a piece of masking tape. Then you just ensure you drill to that depth each time.



Strong adhesives such as Gripfill are without a doubt the easiest way to attach your skirting to the wall but they can be troublesome with walls that are not even – which is a common problem even in modern homes.

If you find that your walls are not particularly straight then you should use adhesive along with nails/screws. 

When applying your adhesive you can either apply blobs of adhesive to the rear of the skirting or use our preferred method of a zig-zag application all the way across the back of the skirting (this provides more even coverage).

The use of nails or screws will help the skirting board to match the shape of the wall as there will be enough strength to flex the board in to position. This will give a better finish and will prevent the skirting from making the wall look more uneven.


Advantages of Using Nails For Skirting

Using nails in addition to adhesive will allow for a more secure fix. It also eradicates the need to use props to hold the skirting in place while the adhesive sets.  

Using a nail gun can significantly increase the speed at which you fix your skirting to the wall but it is not strictly necessary as a good old fashioned hammer will do the job just as well. 

Top Tip: Use a pipe and cable finder to check you are not drilling or nailing in to a hidden pipe or cable within the wall.


Using Nails For Joining Mitres 

The use of pin (small diameter) nails can also be applied when joining two mitres together. You should apply a small amount of adhesive or PVA glue when joining the two angled pieces but using a couple of small nails will help create the perfect join.

If you are unsure about the accessories you need when placing your order feel free to get in touch with a member of our friendly Metres Direct Skirting Board support team using our online chat, our free phone number or via email.

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