Thursday, April 30, 2009

Installing Baseboard Trim with Existing Carpet

By Mark J. Donovan

Question: I want to replace my baseboard trim in one of the rooms in my home, however I do not want to replace the existing carpet. I want to know if I can replace the baseboard trim without having to pull up the carpeting and have it re-stretched back into place after I install the new baseboard trim.

Answer: The carpet is held in place by carpet tack strips. The baseboard trim does not hold it in place. It is possible, however that when the baseboard trim was installed, it was installed prior to the carpet. Sometimes finish carpenters will install baseboard trim about a quarter inch off the floor if they know carpet is to be installed. This baseboard trim installation technique is mainly for aesthetics, however carpet installers use this gap to push any excess carpet material underneath the baseboard trim. The baseboard trim, again, is not holding the carpeting in place.

So you should be able to replace the old baseboard trim without having to lift the carpet. Simply use a nail punch to push the finish nails through the existing baseboard trim. Then remove the old trim from the walls. Next, pull out the old finished nails from the wall and your ready to install the new baseboard trim.

The new baseboard trim can sit flush onto the carpet edge and between the wall and the existing carpet tack strip.

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