DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Flooring > Carpet installer asked me to install baseboards down to subfloor?




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-27-2009, 05:05 PM  
jef1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 14
Default

Hi, new here. I see this baseboard first vs. last dilemma all over and still no conclusive answer. Seems most recommend putting base down BEFORE carpet because (a)installers aren't 'fond' of coming back to do base; (b) makes it easier to replace carpeting later; (c) shoe molding covers any "oops" or gaps and looks neater (matter of opinion there.)

Having house repainted (for the last time most likely) and then doing carpet last. Believe me when I tell you that there is no, zero, nada chance of this new carpet ever being replaced by us. Trust me. As for worrying about 'installers frowning on coming back to do base', we'll be installing new base 3-1/4" base, prime & painting beforehand. Of course I know there'll be some touchups for nail holes, but that's no big whup. Oh, and I loathe shoe molding on anything but tile, wood or vinyl flooring.

So with those items off the table, I don't understand why base can't be done (again, by us) after new carpet is installed? Open to opinions always. Thanks

jef



__________________

Last edited by jef1; 11-27-2009 at 05:11 PM.
jef1 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-27-2009, 09:42 PM  
Nestor_Kelebay
Emperor Penguin
 
Nestor_Kelebay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 1,844
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Jef1:

All you have to do is understand that carpet installers use a "wall trimmer" to cut the carpet to the shape of the room. That's cuz the carpet trimmer can be adjusted to cut the carpet BEFORE, FLUSH WITH or even PAST the wall. If you cut the carpet before the wall, then the gameplan is to then stretch the carpet to the wall with a power stretcher (or knee kicker if you're not doing this kinda work for a living) to secure it onto the tackless strips. If you're gluing down the carpet, you want to cut it flush with the wall because it's not going to be stretched and you want the carpet to fit up to the wall, no further, no less. And, some installers prefer to tuck the cut edge of the carpet between the tackstrip and the wall so that they don't have to reinstall shoe moldings, so then you want to cut the carpet a bit past the wall so that you can tuck the cut edge of the carpet down into what's called the "gulley" (which is the slot between the tackless strips and the wall).



But, notice that the carpet trimmer has a shoe (which is closest to you in the photo) than slides along the wall. As you slide the carpet trimmer along the wall, those two razor blades (held in place by those two triangular nuts) cut through the carpet. The plate those razor blades sit in can be raised or lowered to cut the carpet shorter or longer. (The carpet goes under the body of the wall trimmer and folds up between the shoe and the body of the wall trimmer so it's cut by one of the two razor blades.)

You can install the baseboards first or after the carpet is installed. All that's really important is that you have a flat surface for the shoe of the carpet trimmer to slide on. If your baseboard has a contour on it's front so that there is no flat surface on that baseboard for the carpet trimmer to slide along, then the carpet trimmer may slide up higher on the baseboard, with the result that it cuts the carpet longer, and that can cause problems for the installer (who then has to recut it).

So, you can install the carpet either way, as long as you have a flat surface at the bottom of the wall to slide the carpet trimmer along. So, the answer to your question largely depends on what kind of baseboard you'll be installing. If it has a flat surface for the carpet trimmer to slide along, then you can install it first and either tuck the cut edge of the carpet into the gulley or install a shoe molding to cover the cut edge of the carpet. If your baseboard has a contoured front so that there's no flat surface on it, then (in my humble opinion) you'd be better off to install the carpet first, and then install the baseboard. This would typically be done by dropping a piece of sheet metal down in front of the wall (so the wall trimmer shoe doesn't go under the drywall), slide the wall trimmer on the flat sheet metal to cut the carpet flush with or before the wall, then stretch the carpet (or whatever) to install it, and THEN install your baseboard AFTER the carpet is installed.

PS: Notice the handle on the carpet trimmer is secured with a triangular nut. Notice how the opposite end of the handle connects to the body of the wall trimmer with a toothed joint (like a bicycle rack for a car). If that nut is loosened, then the angle of the handle can be changed. This is because when using the wall trimmer, you want to push down on it at a 45 degree angle (to keep it down in the corner where the wall meets the floor). But, also notice the handle itself is shaped like this: /\

Thats because not only do you want to be pushing down at a 45 degree angle to keep the wall trimmer in the corner between wall and floor, you also want to be pushing forward on it at the same time at about a 45 degree angle to make it slide along the baseboard and thereby cut the carpet. It's that pressing down at both 45 degree angles simultaneously that folds the carpet tightly into the corner and movest the trimer forward to cuts the carpet to a precise and uniform length relative to the wall. Without a flat edge for the carpet trimmer shoe to slide against, then it can't trim the carpet to a precise and uniform length, which is what you want for the installer to do a good job.

Here's a wall trimmer made by a different company, but with it's handle moved to vertical just for the picture. It wouldn't normally be used in the vertical position. Despite being made by a different company, it's essentially the same design.

__________________

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 11-27-2009 at 10:33 PM.
Nestor_Kelebay is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2009, 03:31 PM  
jef1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 14
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nestor_Kelebay View Post
Jef1:
So, the answer to your question largely depends on what kind of baseboard you'll be installing. If it has a flat surface for the carpet trimmer to slide along, then you can install it first and either tuck the cut edge of the carpet into the gulley or install a shoe molding to cover the cut edge of the carpet. If your baseboard has a contoured front so that there's no flat surface on it, then (in my humble opinion) you'd be better off to install the carpet first, and then install the baseboard. This would typically be done by dropping a piece of sheet metal down in front of the wall (so the wall trimmer shoe doesn't go under the drywall), slide the wall trimmer on the flat sheet metal to cut the carpet flush with or before the wall, then stretch the carpet (or whatever) to install it, and THEN install your baseboard AFTER the carpet is installed.
Nestor, What a tutorial! Thanks so much and for the pics, too. Helps me visualize things a bit better.

The base is 3-1/4 flat edge. So, based on your info re the trimmer having something flat to run along, we could put the base down first, and I'm fairly certain the drywall is just shy of the underlayment and ...uh...not exactly w/o waves, etc.

Shoe molding after isn't an option because I personally don't like the look (to each his/her own), and I've seen vacuum cleaners ding the heck out of them. Plus, my wife hates that "gulley" you mentioned - again for vacuuming reasons. It always seems to be a repository for dust and she winds up having to sweep all along the edge and then return w/the vacuum.

I'm leaning towards doing the base afterward. However, I'm not too crazy about the idea of putting a piece of sheet metal all around the perimeter of each room.

All of which means, I'm still not 100% sure of which way I go. A lot may also depend on what carpet installer I get and what they have to add to the mix.

Much appreciation, again, for your time and the very valuable info.
jef
__________________
jef1 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter DIY Home Repair Forum Replies Last Post
Pet urine smell in subfloor - carpet it out mjzraz Flooring 13 06-24-2010 03:47 PM
exterior walls condensating on inside and starting to mold baseboards christina Walls and Ceilings 1 12-31-2008 10:23 PM
Already asked 50 times today I am sure wolfenstien Flooring 15 04-03-2008 08:15 PM
Bathroom Installer Jimbob Introductions 7 11-15-2007 09:59 AM
Baseboards over carpet rzgary Flooring 2 08-14-2007 12:55 AM