Adding new carpeting, baseboards and molding to your room can add instant value and a design upgrade to your home. Carpet provides a soft foundation for your tired feet and rambunctious children while the baseboards and molding add architectural details to your room. These upgrades will make a room feel finished and comfortable. Completing the work yourself saves hundreds of dollars off the cost of a professional installation and most of the work can be completed with a few supplies and some sweat equity.
- Tape measure
- Table saw
- 3/4-inch thick scrap wood
- Finishing nails
- Tack strips
- Carpet cushion
- Staple gun
- Seaming tape
- Seam iron
Installing Baseboard and Molding
Remove any existing carpeting and baseboards. Remove everything until you reach the subfloor.
Measure each section of your room that will require baseboards. Provide detailed measurements for every corner, doorway or angle.
Place baseboards onto a table saw. Use baseboards that have a decorative molding design on them. Mark the required measurements on each baseboard.
Cut the baseboards with a table saw. Use a 90-degree cut for baseboards that you will install on the outside corners and a 45-degree angle for inside corner pieces. Any baseboards that will be placed on a long wall that is greater than the size of one baseboard will require a 45-degree cut to match up with another baseboard.
Cut wooden spacers to account for the height difference you will have once you install your carpet. Use a thickness of 3/4-inch, which is the average width for a carpet and padding. Place the wooden spacer under the area where you will install your first baseboard.
Install the baseboards. Place a baseboard into position and nail it in place with finishing nails. The nails should go into the studs to keep the baseboards in place. Install the baseboards around the room, being sure to use the mitered edges in the corners and when a wall uses two baseboards next to each other.
Add molding to the top of the wall if preferred. The installation for molding will work the same way as baseboards. Measure and trim the molding to size. Install with finishing nails.
Sweep and vacuum the subfloor.
Measure the length of each wall. Include detailed measurements for each wall, including any areas where there are corners, doorways or other breaks in the baseboards.
Cut tack strips so that they will fit around the perimeter of the room. Leave 3/8-inch between the location of the tack strip and the baseboard. Nail the tack strips to your subfloor. Add nails every 8 to 10 inches.
Roll out the carpet cushion. Cut the cushion into strips and trim the strips at the tack strips. Staple the cushion every 2 feet.
Cut your carpet at the appropriate measurements. Add 6 inches to the longest side of the room your carpet will cover. Mark this measurement with chalk on the carpet. Use a utility knife and straight edge to cut your carpet in a straight line. Leave 6 inches of excess carpet if you will use multiple pieces of carpet in the room. The additional inches will help you make subtle seams between the carpet pieces.
Lay the carpet down. Some excess carpet should be near the walls. Overlap any areas that will require seams by 6 inches. Place a board below the carpet strips to provide a straight line. Use a utility knife to cut the carpet. Place seaming tape under the two carpet strips. Use a seaming iron to activate the seam and quickly pull the two strips toward each other onto the seaming tape.
Attach one side of the carpet to the tack strip. Pull the carpet in the opposite direction to move toward the wall. Use a hanmer head to push the carpet into the tack strip. Use a utility knife to cut the excess carpet by the baseboard. Tuck the remaining carpet under the baseboard.
Continue stretching the carpet toward the other walls. Connect the carpet to the tack strips and tuck the carpet under the baseboards.
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