How to Nail Oak Trim Without Splitting it


Oak is a very hard, dense and strong wood. For this reason it is quite popular for cabinets, furniture, flooring or in any situation where the wood will see heavy use. However, because oak is so hard, it can be difficult to nail or screw into. To prevent splitting fine pieces of oak by trying to force the grain open enough to accept a fastener, a little bit of extra work is necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Finish nails
  • Hammer
  • Nail set
  • Pre-drill pilot holes in your oak trim by placing the trim into position on the wall and drilling through the oak trim and into the substrate, stud or other material. It is easiest to drill at each end of the trim piece first.

  • Nail the ends of the trim into position using finish nails and a hammer. The pilot hole allows the finish nail to penetrate the oak without splitting the wood.

  • Drill each remaining hole along the trim, once the ends are nailed in place. In this way the nailed ends will hold the trim in position making the drilling process faster and easier. Complete by nailing all of the remaining finish nails into place.

  • Use a nail set to recess the finish nails beneath the surface of the oak.

Tips & Warnings

  • Oak will hold your nails and screws in a tight grip when it is properly installed. Add a daub of wood fill at your nail set holes, lightly sand and finish for a beautiful look.

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