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I'm finally getting around to finishing my downstairs/basement. Drywall is complete and they are painting Monday. Carpet is already ordered, just need to give them a firm date for install.

So do I wait for carpet to be installed or do I install the baseboard trim first? The concrete floors are somewhat even but are not perfect. Also would you snap a chalk line for level or use a shim off the floor?

Thanks for your input as this is the first time I've ever ventured into trim work:flag_of_truce:
 

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Install your baseboard before having the carpeting done. If you don't they'll carpet right up to your walls and then your baseboard will sit on top of the carpet. If you ever need to take up the carpet, you'd need to remove all the baseboards to do it.

Back in the day we used a chalk line. Nowadays most guys use a laser level instead.
 

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I'm finally getting around to finishing my downstairs/basement. Drywall is complete and they are painting Monday. Carpet is already ordered, just need to give them a firm date for install.

So do I wait for carpet to be installed or do I install the baseboard trim first? The concrete floors are somewhat even but are not perfect. Also would you snap a chalk line for level or use a shim off the floor?

Thanks for your input as this is the first time I've ever ventured into trim work:flag_of_truce:
Years ago when I finished my basement, I used construction glue to secure the tack strips to the concrete. Trying to nail them makes a mess of the concrete. I just pulled the nails out of the tack strips before glueing. And yes, install your baseboard first. Use 1/4" to 1/2" shims to keep the baseboard off the floor, depending on the type of padding and carpeting you are having installed. Ask your carpet installer how much room to leave between the baseboard and tack strip. Hopefully LGM will see this post and chime in. He's our resident master finish carpenter.:good2:

Edit: When I said years ago, that was about 25 years ago. The tack strips are still holding very tightly.
 

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Before, and spaced 1/2" up, use scraps of sheetrock as spacers.
 

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Carpet company will be installing the tack strips. I'll call them Monday and see how much space they need btwn the floor and baseboard:bigthumb:
 

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Have you tried floor leveller? It's a thin concrete mix that you pour over your floor and it fills in the low spots and levels the floor area. After it dries you can put your hardwood, tile, whatever, on a perfectly level substrate. I've used it on plywood and concrete floors. Good luck.
 

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Have you tried floor leveller? It's a thin concrete mix that you pour over your floor and it fills in the low spots and levels the floor area. After it dries you can put your hardwood, tile, whatever, on a perfectly level substrate. I've used it on plywood and concrete floors. Good luck.
It's nothing fancy. Painted "regular" baseboard. The floor is not bad, probably won't notice over the span. If I needed to pour it out onto the floor, I'd need a tanker truck. Two bedrooms, full bath, and a huge living area. Roughly 1800-2000 sq ft.
 
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I don't think that it matters does it? I've put trim in after carpet, and had carpet replaced without replacing trim. If it's particularly nice baseboards (oak, or other nice hardwood,) though I'd put the carpet down first so that the baseboards don't get damaged during carpet installation.
Have you tried floor leveller? It's a thin concrete mix that you pour over your floor and it fills in the low spots and levels the floor area. After it dries you can put your hardwood, tile, whatever, on a perfectly level substrate. I've used it on plywood and concrete floors. Good luck.
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Agree can be done before or after carpet is installed.

Either way works , the upstairs carpet I installed after the carper was installed. Glad I did because molding was painted and it would have been all scraped up.

When carpet was installed downstairs I put the molding down first .. had a few scrapes on molding.


As Kenny d posted leave molding up a 1/2" off floor. , thinking of one time where 1/2" maybe to much if carpet has no pad, say a low pile kitchen type carpet.
 
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It's nothing fancy. Painted "regular" baseboard. The floor is not bad, probably won't notice over the span. If I needed to pour it out onto the floor, I'd need a tanker truck. Two bedrooms, full bath, and a huge living area. Roughly 1800-2000 sq ft.
There are gypcrete contractors that will pour it for you. I would definitely throw down extra padding under that carpet
 

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Before, and spaced 1/2" up, use scraps of sheetrock as spacers.

:bigthumb: do this......if you need a followup trim you use whats called a base shoe at the bottom of the baseboard....its like a 1/4 round trim that is taller than its thickness (every lumber yard will know what base shoe is) b
 

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All carpet guys I’ve worked with over the years want 1/4-3/8. With 1/2” being the max.
I’ve always went 3/8 with no complaints.
1/4 is getting low. Carpet guy will just cut carpet when needed if it won’t tuck under.
1/2” may give a floating look if it’s a thinner carpet or a decent dip in the floor.
Padding don’t really matter as it stops short of the tack strip
Shoe moulding or quarter round won’t be necessary. As that may sit on the tack strip and you won’t really be able to ever stretch or power stretch the floor if it does happen to come loose.
Just use blocks on the floor. No need for lasers.


Go baseboard first. So it can be caulked, puttied, and painted. You should have minimal touch up.
Baseboard first helps the flooring guys get Exactly where they need with their tack strip.
Carpet goes over the tack strip and tucked under the baseboard for a good snug fit.

Baseboard can be done after carpet but then you can run into the problem of the carpet guys putting some of the tack strip under the base(lots of carpet guys let the helper do the tack strip) and not being able to get the carpet pulled as tight as they would like since the base helps holds the carpet down on the tack strip.
 

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Where base shoe normally would come in to play is if you ever go to a hard floor or at hard floor areas next to carpeted areas...cabinet bases etc.
 

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I too am in the before camp, follow the floor and leave a space. Choose the right padding for your application, moisture can be tricky.
 
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We always set the baseboard 1/2" above the floor for carpet. That's from 40 years of experience!
 

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Looks like I'll be installing some baseboard this upcoming weekend. Then I'll give the carpet the go ahead. I like the idea of the carpet being the last thing in. Real clean that way.

Thanks GTT
 

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My carpet installers preferred 3/8" and that is what I've been setting base at for 20+ years. Do it before the carpet install and stay in the good graces of your bride. Also, if you have any bifold doors, you'll want to install them before the carpet, to secure the floor pivots. Once installed, remove the doors, but leave pivots, track, etc. If you wait and install them after the carpet, I can about guarantee there will be a tack strip where you need to secure a floor pivot.
 

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Baseboard is all finished and ready for carpet tomorrow. That will be the last time I do it. My back can't handle it.

This is the large living area. There's a 17'x15' bedroom, walk in closet, connected full bath, and a smaller 14'x10' bedroom. Plus and unfinished mechanical room.

IMG_20191117_202917.jpg

IMG_20191117_202859.jpg
 

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Looks good.

Does dog in picture one get through dog door in picture two?
It looks like a small dog/cat door but high enough to give them hell lol
 

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Looks good.

Does dog in picture one get through dog door in picture two?
It looks like a small dog/cat door but high enough to give them hell lol
:lolol:. No, that's one of our GSD's. She will not fit through that door. The stairs that go to the basement used to have walls on both sides and that door was at the bottom. We had a cat that my wife's sister took because I hate cats. The door was for it to escape the Shepard when we first got her. I didn't want to buy another door so I put it as the door to the mechanical room.
 
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