Let’s face it, we live in Earthquake Country here in Northern California and even in a brand new house with brand new construction walls and floors are usually not perfectly true, square and correct. Baseboards help to hide these common irregularities in construction.
For a carpet project we don’t remove or replace your existing baseboards. They are usually installed by the builder with a small gap underneath them – they do not rest completely on the subfloor but are nailed or glued onto the walls with a slight gap underneath them. This “gap” has a technical term in the flooring world – it’s called “The Gully” and is where the edges of the carpet are tucked for a carpet install. Without baseboards you can typically expect a less than perfect edge, again due to the inconsistencies of your home and the way it was built. Or, in a 12’ wide room, what would happen if the roll arrived and it was only 11’ 11 ¾” wide? (On a large magnitude of scale, can you imagine how much money a carpet mill could save by doing an occasional run of product less than 12’ wide? Believe it or not, it happens! It is not uncommon for manufacturers to send out rolls less than their designated width.)
We recommend baseboards in your home and can install them for you, if you wish. There are three or four top products we see here in our area with a height of 3 ½” to 4 ½” as normal (sometimes higher) – depending on the structure and height of walls in the home. Usually they are painted to match the trim of your door casings to tie everything together and it would be a pleasure for us to create and estimate for you for new baseboards. Normally a fresh bead of caulk goes on the top edge of the wall base and nail holes are filled to complete the look. If you do not have baseboards or elect to not have them after a new flooring install, please note there is a high likelihood of the edges not maintaining their consistency of aesthetics as you look down the wall. Again, that’s why baseboards are there! To help make your rooms look uniform in the transition from vertical wall surfaces to horizontal floor surfaces baseboards are definitely necessary. Please note – we do not owe you a house full of new baseboards because you don’t like the look of the edges of your new flooring.
For a wood or laminate install it is normal (even for a tile install) to have new baseboards installed. If you wish however we can carefully remove and then re-hang your existing base with the understanding from you that something could happen to them during the removal process due to pre-existing conditions like damage or cracked baseboards, age and the material in which the existing base is made of. (Yes, some homes in our area have a hard foam-like base that can be brittle and break upon removal.)
Bottom line, baseboards are a critical item for consideration in most flooring installs – except in most cases of installing carpet. Keep that in mind for your project!
Call 925 595-3248 to discuss your flooring needs.
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