How Do You Install Crown Moulding or Baseboards With Steel Studs?

How to Install Baseboard or Crown Moulding With Steel Studs

There are three basic ways to install crown moulding or baseboards, you can glue them with construction adhesive, you can screw them into the studs, or if you install wood along with the steel frame to install them as you would usually.

Steel-studded homes are growing in popularity, and they offer several advantages over traditional wood homes, but the idea of installing trim to metal studs can seem daunting. It’s not! With the proper tools, it’s as easy as wood. Here we present three alternative ways to install baseboards and crown moulding with steel studs.


The easiest way to install baseboards and crown moulding with steel studs is to avoid the studs altogether! Trim isn’t load-bearing, it’s purely aesthetic, so it’s not cheating to employ construction adhesive here.

To keep the planks tight to the wall while the glue dries, you’ll want to hammer in a pair of perpendicular finish nails at 45-degree angles every few feet. The shallow angle allows the nail to penetrate just into the drywall, and not the stud, while the perpendicular aspect gives the nails holding power in the drywall while your adhesive dries. Unless you’re using a nail- gun, you’ll need to use a nail setter to countersinks the heads before filling.


You can still screw into steel studs; it just takes the proper tools and a bit of elbow grease. Your best bet is a 1?” #1 Robertson self-drilling trim screw. The square head makes it almost slip-proof, and the self-drilling feature will come in handy when you encounter the stud—though regular trim screws can still be used—just keep applying pressure to get through the metal. Install a pair of screws (one on top and one on bottom) every two feet or so.

Pre-drilling is at your discretion. Before deciding, be advised that medium-density fibreboard (MDF) baseboards and trim don’t always cooperate with screws. The material is so hard that it can interfere with the countersinking ability of screws, causing them to strip before the head is hidden.

If going this route, you may consider pre-drilling countersink holes.


If you have access to the project before the drywall step, you may choose to install wood either between or within the studs. This can make the installation of baseboards and crown moulding a more familiar process with finish nails or trim screws but adds to cost and time spent to install the wood.

We hope we have demystified the process of installing moulding with steel studs. It's not hard--just different.

Turner Bros Contractors Ltd. has been providing steel-stud framing, drywall, and acoustic ceiling services for residential and commercial applications in the Vancouver area since 1932. The company is family-run with four generations of the family represented in the business.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about your residential or commercial project, please call us at (604) 532-1991 or email us at

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