carpet and baseboard

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by gjacobsn, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. gjacobsn

    gjacobsn New Member

    Hi all,
    My contractor installed my baseboards flush to the floor of the room I will be having carpet installed in. I did a dreaded Google search and it seems everyone is recommending that the baseboards be 3/8ths inch offrom the ground to tuck the carpet under. I talked to my contractor who said don't worry it will be fine as is. Part of the floor is wood and part is bare concrete if that matters. Just wondering if I should have them moved up before the painters come sat....
  2. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Baseboard tight to the floor is not a problem. That is the old school way of doing it but the right way. That gives the locking mechanism for the tackstrip. Doing it with the base off the floor you just have the carpet setting on top of the tackstrip and not actually locked in. That is the way we used to have it way back when and I still prefer it that way 50 years later.


    • Like Like x 1
  3. gjacobsn

    gjacobsn New Member

    Thanks!!!! :D
  4. Jon Scanlan

    Jon Scanlan That Kiwi Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    And thats the way its done in New Zealand
    We even cut the vinyl tightly into the skirting boards
    None of this stuff about skirtings sitting on top of our flooring bar floating floors
  5. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With Elbows Senior Member Published

    Don't the edges curl, over time?
  6. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    I've had to cut a few jobs tight to the existing base. Gotta caulk it to keep it flat otherwise it likes to curl. Lino doesn't have the same curling tendencies but I usually pattern and caulk it anyways.
  7. Jon Scanlan

    Jon Scanlan That Kiwi Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Nah Nat domestic vinyls with the plastic type backings are made to be able to be loose laid not like the old days with the asbestos backings which would curl after 18 months
    Have a look at the samples of these vinyls and they are flat
  8. David Hunt

    David Hunt Charter Member Senior Member Published

    There is a lot of installers who prefer the base to be elevated above the substrate. WHY? Because it makes the install easier. And it does. However, as Daris pointed out, it does not make it better only easier for the installer.

    We have a local installer here telling builders carpet should go in before sheetrock.
  9. JPfloor

    JPfloor Pro Member

    I hope that guy gets to do a few of his own rip ups...:blink:
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    I'm not sure you can install carpet, linoleum or tile without lumps of drywall mud, dust and heavy coats of textured mud and paint overspray on the floor. Don't you need to scrape all that up so you can install flooring? If you put the carpet first I don't see how that's possible.

    Years ago we did a lot of corporate office space for IBM in Westchester County, NY with glue down carpet an carpet tile where they wanted the carpet first before any of the interior walls were built. We covered everything with plastic and ran Masonite down the corridor areas and then they built the walls overtop.

    It's a seriously stupid idea but it sure was nice being ahead of those schmucks instead of behind them wiping up their behinds.
  11. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    I was going to share a picture of a removed carpet, installed properly up against flush baseboards, but my memory was full :mad:........ it looked quite artistic.

    It was an apartment job I did 13 years ago. The description, is the last 1/2'' of the edge was permanently creased / curled, from the pressure it received between the flush baseboard and the tackless strip, this area is called the Gully.

    Heck, we use to remove all the tackless from old shag install jobs because the larger gully would have compromised the new, thinner carpet and its ability to stay put. Thank goodness we worked for high end retailers / contractors who would complain about the up fee but trusted us enough to give the due compensation.

    Boy times have changed :(
  12. Cerberus

    Cerberus New Member

    Hi guys,

    New here. I was looking for advice on whether to install baseboard flush with the subfloor or raised to accommodate the carpet. From what I gather above, it sounds like you guys would prefer the baseboard tight to the subfloor, and then the carpet installed up to the baseboard. Is that correct? And why wouldn't tucking the carpet under the baseboard be better, since it would hold the edges down.

    Thanks, in advance. Here are a couple of photos before I install new baseboard.

    2017-12-19 18.51.23.jpg 2017-12-19 18.51.50.jpg
  13. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    Most base I run into is held up 1/4” to 3/8” off the floor.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Holding the base board up is the new way and it works very well unless somewhere along the line it gets a little high and then you have a gap that shows, but easier on the installer.
    The concept of tackless is to pinch the carpet in at the edges, that is what we had when I started 52 years ago.
    Either way works.


  15. Cerberus

    Cerberus New Member

    Thanks guys.

    Should I hold the baseboard up by the thickness of the "mat" or is the 3/8" number I've seen posted the preferred height; or are they one and the same because the mat is generally a standard thickness?

    I'm refurbishing my house to put it on the market, so I'm pulling up carpet so it can be replaced. Ideally, I'd like to paint and install the baseboard before the carpet is installed. Assuming the carpet installer won't have a problem with it, or that he won't damage the baseboard during the carpet install. Maybe it is me, but it seems under the baseboard would give you a cleaner look.

    While I believe in letting professionals do the work, I've worked in construction for most of my life and plan on installing the baseboard, new padding and any missing tack-strip over wood sub-floor (no Hilti for concrete floors). I figure all those years installing single-ply sheet roofing membrane will come in handy with any pad installation. All the same, when I removed the existing pad (I have dogs in case you wonder why) I noticed it was stapled down along the seams and loose-laid along the tack strip. Is that correct, or what is the preferred/proper way? I bought the house new, so I don't doubt some things may not have been done exactly right.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  16. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I prefer base on Floor, this way of a different Floor say vinyl plank is going to go down there won’t be a need to put shoe mold to cover the gap.

    Stapled along perimeter is correct to prevent pad from overlapping/shrinking away from the tack strip when/if powerstretched.
  17. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    Staple around the perimeter and tape the seams in the field. When base is set tight to the floor, tack strip needs to have a specific size gap. Are you prepared to replace all the tack strip if necessary. Elevated base is much easier for the installer and I’d say less chance of dinging up your freshly painted base.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    While many of us oldtimers started out having to tuck carpet to flush-mounted base, a lot of younger installers have difficulty with the concept of pinching the carpet edge into the base. They can cut with much less precision because all they're doing is jambing it under the lifted base. In your case, I would leave it as-is and let the installers do their job, then you can install the base snug to the top of the carpet. This will make it a real pain in the ass removing the carpet the next time you change carpet, but you seem to be worried about base damage during installation.

    Pad is supposed to be stapled around the perimeter. I always stapled the seams too, then laid pad tape over that. Most installers don't want to pay for real pad tape. Some distributors don't even carry it anymore because so many installers either use nothing or use duct tape
  19. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    I would prime and one coat the bsbd before installing 3/8'' raised, then
    have the carpet installed and second coat afterwords.

    The only way a carpet installer can prevent scuffs is to blue tape everything and charge extra, unless ? you purchase 'Soft Back'
    carpeting......... then scuff marks are minimal.

    Have fun !
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Cerberus

    Cerberus New Member

    This is one of the things I had wondered. I don't really want to paint the baseboard once installed to avoid painting the new carpet. Then again, I'm using the upstairs as a work zone, so installing carpet first wouldn't work as far as me running saws, painting baseboards on sawhorses, etc., overtop the new carpet. So you see my dilemma.

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