Baseboard material for SW home.

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Old 02-25-17, 01:35 PM
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Baseboard material for SW home.

I am wondering what paint grade baseboard to use. Humidity is not a problem in Southern California. My choices are ultralight mdf, finger-joint pine, and poplar. I have a 16 gauge nail gun and have installed ultralilght mdf crown in a couple of rooms with no problems.
 
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Old 02-25-17, 01:54 PM
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Old 02-25-17, 06:33 PM
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Thanks, Chandler. I haven't bought materials yet and am leaning towards mdf. Meanwhile, I did a glue up some finger joint bb for a bullnose corner, using a corner piece and 22.5 degree miters, and I was shocked at how well the first attempt turned out as well as how quickly the sections set.

It looks like I have to be careful about tear out with pine and I am wondering if that would be a reason to go with mdf.

I used a rapid set glue with an activator. I was going to buy a pinner, but wonder if it is needed.
 
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Old 02-25-17, 07:11 PM
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You say you have a 16 gauge nailer. If it will take 2" nails, you won't need a pin nailer.
 
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Old 02-25-17, 07:20 PM
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It is a SENCO and takes 2", perhaps as long as 2.5". I was thinking of a pinner just to hold the glued up outside corners.
 
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Old 02-25-17, 09:28 PM
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I'm not a big fan of MDF. I think nail holes are harder to putty because the nail blows part of the surface away, leaving a chip around the nail hole that generally takes 2 coats of spackle to fill. You can generally pick out MDF trim by the poorly filled/sanded nail holes that (to me) stand out from a mile away. It also splits half the time if you try to nail your miters together.
 
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Old 02-26-17, 04:25 AM
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While I prefer real wood, MDF paints great! I've never had any issues puttying up the nail holes although often it helps to run a putty knife across the hole to remove any protruding material first. Spackling is for walls and shouldn't be used on woodwork. It's been my experience that MDF trim always looks sharper when finished ..... but then I am a trained professional Depending on whether or not the trim sees abuse - wood often looks better years down the road.
 
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Old 02-26-17, 04:30 AM
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I would never advise the use of MDF in high humidity areas like basements, but since the OP was in California, I would not see a problem. I don't paint, so I don't worry too much about nail holes
 
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Old 02-26-17, 04:56 AM
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One thing about MDF that a lot of people liked in VA. You could get it in all sorts of fancy profiles which would have taken 2 or 3 separate wood pieces built up to get the same look. And it was way cheaper. Girl I helped built a $400K house on the Bay and only top of the line windows and doors (Andersen), fancy steam sauna bath, whirlpool tub, NG 10K gennie, etc, but MDF baseboard for the looks, speed, and cost.

I don't know if it's changed somehow, but we had a small piece of MDF and a piece of pine in a jar, partially filled with water. You could see where the water had wicked into the wood, but not the MDF. IOW, it seemed very water resistant. Probably saved $.02 per foot by eliminating some water repellent chemical.
 
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Old 02-26-17, 06:57 AM
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Sorry for the confusion... I meant to use the word "spackle" in the sense of simply "filling a nail hole", not in the sense of actually using spackle to fill the nail hole. I was not advocating using spackle... but now that I reread it, it sure does sound like I was!
 
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Old 02-26-17, 07:07 AM
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You wouldn't believe how many diyers and non professionals [no matter what they call their self] use spackling Spackling or joint compound is prone to fall out when hit and when using preprimed wood - it needs primer.
 
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Old 02-26-17, 07:15 AM
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I have seen it too, unpainted dirty spots on the trim that maybe used to appear white but now collect dust... or if they did put one coat of paint over it, they usually didn't sand it or prime it and they appear as smeary areas of flat sheen as big as their finger.
 
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Old 02-26-17, 08:34 PM
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I may not be a professional, but I have stayed in a Howard Johnsons.
 
 

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