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hawks81 08-23-2010 08:42 AM

Should new baseboards go on top of carpet?
I am in the process of replacing all of my interior doors (7 pairs of bypass closet doors and 6 swinging room doors). I also, as I go, am replacing all the baseboards and moldings room by room. I am doing it myself.

I have existing carpet throughout the house. I plan on replacing the carpet when I am done since I can only afford the money (and the time) to do 1 set of doors and mouldings a week. Here is my question.

My existing baseboards, which are very plain and thin (height-wise), go down to the subflooring(I'm on a slab). The existing carpet only goes up to the edge of the baseboards. I have seen pictures in DIY books that shows the baseboards approx 1/2" off the subflooring and the carpet gets tucked under it. As I replace the baseboards should I allow for a gap for the carpet to be slid under? Or should I just installed the new baseboards down to the slab??

I apologize if this seems like a simple question. I am a novice DIY'er but want to do it right. :)

BTW I wasn't sure if this should be in the carpentry or flooring section.

epson 08-23-2010 09:47 AM

In many cases, the baseboard trim for carpet areas is installed either too close to the floor or too far from the floor. The former requires the carpet installers to butt the carpet edge against the baseboard and the latter leaves a space between the bottom of the baseboard trim and the top of the carpet. Both work but neither is ideal. By leaving a proper amount of space between the baseboards and the floor, those situations can be easily avoided.

My suggestion would be to cut some ’’ thick shims into one inch wide pieces to use as spacers. The spacers will keep the baseboard trim a uniform 1/4 inch off of the floor.Place the spacers on the floor in each corner and set a scrap piece of base board trim on top of them. Use a pencil to mark the top of the trim on the wall and snap a chalk line on each wall, using the marks as guidelines which will dictate where the top of the baseboards will go. Now spread several more spacers along the walls, roughly every 2 feet or so. Now place the baseboard trim on the spacers and nail the trim into the wall lining up the top of the baseboard with the guidelines. Once the baseboard trim is installed and secured to the wall remove the shims.

The reason raising the baseboard trim is done is. First, and especially with 4” or narrower Baseboard trim, you want the finished baseboard trim to get full exposure. Carpeting, including the pad, stands as high as ” to 1” in height. Second, the ” space allows the carpet to be tucked under the trim by the carpet installer. This helps keep the carpet secured to the tack strips as well as gives a clean and finished look to the Carpet.

rusty baker 08-23-2010 11:06 AM

Actually, different installers like it done different ways. I prefer the baseboard down on the floor. The carpet is then neatly tucked between the tackstrip and the baseboard. Some installers like it raised 3/8" or so and tuck it under. I think it looks better if the base is on the floor. Some people leave the base too high and then they have a gap between the carpet and the base. Of course I have only installed carpet for 38 years, so what do I know?

hawks81 08-23-2010 11:10 AM

Since my existing baseboards are to the slab...... should I stay with that? Will the new carpet installer utilize the existing tackstrips? If yes, should I go down to the slab?

rusty baker 08-23-2010 11:25 AM

If the existing tackstrip is in good shape the installer will probably reuse them. Taking them up tends to pop holes in the concrete. If they are rusted tho, they need to be changed. The rust can bleed thru in the new carpet. The base should go back where the old base was installed.

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