how-to

Should You Install Baseboards Before Carpet?

Andrew Grill

Baseboards before carpet? Carpet installer carefully removes tack strip against white baseboard with a claw hammer and small mallet.

Which comes first, carpet or baseboard?

Generally, the installation of carpet or baseboard is easier for whoever installs first. Some professionals may have a strong preference, but ultimately baseboards can be installed before or after carpet. Ask your carpet installer their preference to begin the discussion.

Do baseboards have to be removed to install carpet?

No, baseboards do not need to be removed. When installing baseboards before carpet, ask the installer how large of a gap to leave between the floor and the trim (e.g., ½’’). The carpet installer can run the tack strip up to the trim, then roll excess carpet under the trim. For most installers, this is not a problem and can be done easily. However, consult with your installer to be sure they have no concerns. They will need to be careful not to damage the baseboard when installing the tack strips. Try adding painters’ tape over the baseboard for protection.

When installing baseboards after carpet

The carpet installer can run the tack strip and carpet right up next to the wall. However, when installing the baseboard later, painting and applying caulk can be a more tedious task to avoid mixing it in the carpet. If the tack strip or carpet is uneven in the areas where the baseboard is installed, the baseboard could be difficult to install leveled.

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