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Install & Replace

Chair Rail Installation


I have a few questions regarding chair rail installation:


1) I understand I want to nail the chair rail, using finishing nails, into studs. I live in a Florida block home - do the exterior block walls have studs for me to nail into in the same configuration as interior walls? My trusty stud finder isn't so trusty on these walls - getting weird readings.


2) Do I need to pre-drill holes in composite chair rail moulding if I'm using a 16ga 2.5" finish nailer?


3) What is the advantage of running a bead of caulk on the top of the chair rail once it is installed? To prevent gunk from getting between the wood and wall over time?


4) Is it necessary to put wood glue or any other adhesive between the chair rail and wall?


Thanks in advance!

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Posted 2012-12-06T04:11:36+0000  by GoUSFBulls GoUSFBulls

Hello GoUSFBulls, and welcome to the community!


I work for the Home Depot in the Chicagoland area as a Door & Window Specialist. The building code in our neck of the woods is far different than yours in Florida--your building requirements are far more stringiest and more elaborate due to your location. 


Depending on when your home was built will indicate how thick the block is, what size studs were used and insulation usage. Once you have determined what you have, then you should use the appropriate fastener for the job.  


More than likely you have drywall, if so, then you have studs or furring strip behind it. When you use the stud finder, mark off the indications where it tells you there is a stud, you should get an indication every 16 inches, if there is no consistent pattern, then you might consider investing a newer stud finder.  


There is no need to pre-drill when installing composite chair rail with a finishing nail gun, it should counter sink the nail head for you--just use a little putty, let it dry and sand it extra fine sandpaper. 


In regards to caulking the top of the chair rail, yes it does prevent debris from getting behind it, but it also give it a clean look, as if the chair rail was built into the wall. 


It is not necessary to use adhesive behind the moulding, only if you plan to use fewer nails. If you use a nail on each stud or every other stud, you will be fine. 

Posted 2012-12-14T17:13:29+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI
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