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Old 02-09-2011, 06:21 AM   #1
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Level Line for Baseboard installation


Hi all.

I am getting ready for carpet in my never ending basement reno and the carpet installer wants the baseboard on the wall prior to what he has to do.

My floor is not level and has several high and low spots. He wants the baseboard 3/8" above the floor.

What is the best way to get a nice level baseboard line?

Find the highest spot of the floor, measure up 3/8"+the width of the baseboard to get my top line.
Then measure from cieling down to that line and carry that meaurement around the room continuing to measure the same distance from ceiling down.

Would that work?
Or, what is best practice?

Thanks.
Will

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Old 02-09-2011, 06:36 AM   #2
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Level Line for Baseboard installation


I would make a 3/8" thick shims and place your baseboard on them; then nail them off. You can't alter the floor level now so all you can do now is maintain the same visual gap between baseboard and carpet. If you try to level your baseboard, that gap will likely be 3/8" at one spot and more or less at others. My 2 cents.

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Old 02-09-2011, 07:40 AM   #3
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Level Line for Baseboard installation


Ditto
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:07 PM   #4
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Level Line for Baseboard installation


if your floor has high and low spots, I wouldn't be surprised if your ceiling did too. So measuring down from there for a level line may not be your best plan.

But yeah, the easiest thing to do would be to use the 3/8" spacers/shims and install your baseboard on those as suggested above.

(However, if the the spots were high or low enough to make the baseboard look "wavy" I'd attempt to split the difference (within reason) to make it look better.)
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:38 PM   #5
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Level Line for Baseboard installation


that's what I thought would be said..

I'll cut me some spacers and call it a day.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:01 PM   #6
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Level Line for Baseboard installation


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Originally Posted by williamwiens View Post
Hi all.

I am getting ready for carpet in my never ending basement reno and the carpet installer wants the baseboard on the wall prior to what he has to do.

My floor is not level and has several high and low spots. He wants the baseboard 3/8" above the floor.

What is the best way to get a nice level baseboard line?

Find the highest spot of the floor, measure up 3/8"+the width of the baseboard to get my top line.
Then measure from cieling down to that line and carry that meaurement around the room continuing to measure the same distance from ceiling down.

Would that work?
Or, what is best practice?

Thanks.
Will
I don't know why you would listen to the carpet guy. He should lay the carpet and the molding should be installed on top. This way it sits where it needs to sit and not where you think it needs to sit.
Ron
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:22 PM   #7
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Level Line for Baseboard installation


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I don't know why you would listen to the carpet guy. He should lay the carpet and the molding should be installed on top. This way it sits where it needs to sit and not where you think it needs to sit.
Ron
That is rarely the way it is done. The trim guy (and also the painter) is usually long gone and done before a job is ever carpeted. On a professionally done project you will never see trim guys working after carpet's done. Common practice is to use scraps of the baseboard itself to space it above the floor. Whether the base is spaced off the floor as suggested or put right down onto the floor, the carpet guy will be able to make it look good.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:25 AM   #8
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Level Line for Baseboard installation


Many years ago I laid miles and miles of carpet. The base always goes down first.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:44 AM   #9
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Many years ago I laid miles and miles of carpet. The base always goes down first.
Mike
And when it's installed first, it's on the floor, not suspended off the floor. That's done when the wrong size base is installed and you're trying to compensate for the lost space due to the height of the carpet and padding.
Using skimpy base molding in a room looks inappropriate. How many developement houses use door trim as a base molding? Looks out of place. A proper proportioned base anchors a room. And it's installed on the floor.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:53 AM   #10
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Level Line for Baseboard installation


In my basement, I purposely installed the baseboard about 3/8" off the floor in case of water intrusion (hasn't happened thankfully). Carpet install looks good with this spacing in my situation.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:26 AM   #11
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Level Line for Baseboard installation


Ron it just goes to show that different people do things differently, and perhaps differently in different regions.

In the thousands of homes I've worked in over the years, the trim carpenter almost always installs the base a bit above the floor if the room is getting carpet. Makes sense. What's the point in paying for 3-1/2" base if you're setting it on the floor and losing a good inch or so to the part getting covered up by the full depth of the carpet. Then you've got what appears to be 2-1/2" base, which looks more like door casing, which you and I agree looks awful! At least by shimming it up about 3/8"-1/2" you get more reveal. Not to mention you don't have to worry about humps in the floor, etc.
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:12 PM   #12
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Level Line for Baseboard installation


I have done it either way... It all depends on the schedule you setup for the job to be done. If I am doing it were I am done weeks before the carpet is coming in then yes I set the trim and leave. IF it is a good customer and they ask for me to come back and install it I can do that too. Now On big construction tract homes the trim is always in first then the carpet comes in later. Carpet is normally the last thing to go in a house.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:50 PM   #13
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Level Line for Baseboard installation


I work for a tract home builder, and trim 30-50 houses a year. cutting spacers would just be an extra step and take too long for us, so we use the next best thing, our fingers. The tip of your finger is a pretty good gauge of how high up base needs to be set, now of course this depends on how fat you fingers might be too, but works well for me and that way you can work along nailing down the base and raise or lower it along the way. I'm also assuming you're using an air nailer and know how not to nail your finger at the same time. And besides if you were to carpet first, painting would be a HUGE pain to make sure it's all covered up.
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:32 AM   #14
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I work for a tract home builder, and trim 30-50 houses a year. cutting spacers would just be an extra step and take too long for us, so we use the next best thing, our fingers. The tip of your finger is a pretty good gauge of how high up base needs to be set, now of course this depends on how fat you fingers might be too, but works well for me and that way you can work along nailing down the base and raise or lower it along the way. I'm also assuming you're using an air nailer and know how not to nail your finger at the same time. And besides if you were to carpet first, painting would be a HUGE pain to make sure it's all covered up.
He's a DiY'er doing one basement reno.

I don't think he's worried about production work here... just sayin'
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:51 AM   #15
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Level Line for Baseboard installation


Do it this way. Tell your carpet guy to install the carpet first or your going to hire somebody else that will. There is really no right or wrong way to do this. It is more on preference. Your the customer, your paying the bill, along with your doing the work and if that is the way you want it then it really is not that hard lol. I would maybe make a stand if I was doing work at your house and you were going to try and put the "cart before the horse" with it costing you more money. On this matter before or after carpet is in is good maybe you could talk him into letting up put the trim down as he is setting the carpet LOL.

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