How to Install Baseboard Molding & Leave Room for Carpet

How to Install Baseboard Molding & Leave Room for Carpet. There is a simple and inexpensive method to installing a baseboard evenly around a room, while still leaving enough room for your carpeting. One person can install a in an entire room in 2 to 3 hours or less. The speed with which you can install the baseboard is directly dependent upon the tools you have.

Things Needed

  • 6-foot-long 1-inch by 2-inch board
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Miter saw
  • Stud finder
  • Baseboard
  • Compressor
  • Finish nail gun
  • 2-inch finish nails
  • Hammer
  • Caulking gun
  • Caulking or color putty
  • Rags

Set Up Tools

Step 1

Set your miter saw on a flat platform. A miter saw is easier to use if you can set it on a table. Plug it in. Plug in the air compressor and attach the finish nail gun to the connection on the end of the compressor air hose. Insert finish nails into the nail gun.

Step 2

Use your tape measure and pencil to mark 24 1/4-inch sections on the 6-foot-long 1-inch by 2-inch board. These sections will be used as spacers.

Step 3

Set the miter saw to a zero-degree angle. Use the miter saw to cut the 1/4-inch sections that you marked. On the front of the miter saw is a set of numbers. The center number is zero. The numbers start in the center at a zero-degree angle. From the zero-degree mark, the angle numbers go to the left to 50 degrees and to the right to 50 degrees. .

Install the Baseboard

Step 1

Use your tape measure to find the distance on one wall at a time. Measure from corner to corner.

Step 2

Cut the left end of the baseboard first. Place the baseboard on its thick edge on the miter saw. Do not lay it flat. Set the saw to 45 degrees to the right of the zero degree.

Step 3

Use your tape measure to mark the length of the wall on the baseboard. Measure from the left end that you cut toward the uncut end. Make sure you measure from the longest point on the cut end.

Step 4

Set the miter saw to the left of the zero-degree mark at 45 degrees. Cut the right end of the baseboard.

Step 5

Place at least six 1/4-inch spacers next to the wall where the baseboard is to be installed. Space the sections at least 2 feet apart.

Step 6

Use your stud finder to locate the studs in the wall. Mark the stud locations with a pencil on the wall slightly higher than the height of the baseboard, including the 1/4-inch spacers.

Step 7

Set the baseboard on the 1/4-inch spacers. Hold the baseboard firmly to the wall and use the finish nailer to secure it. Press down on the baseboard as you are nailing to make sure it is not rising above the 1/4-inch pieces of wood.

Step 8

Remove the 1/4-inch spacers from under the baseboard when you are done installing it. You may need to use your hammer to tap on them enough to get them out.

Step 9

Insert the tube of caulk into the caulking gun. Cut a small hole in the pointed end of the tube of caulk. Caulk the top edge of the baseboard to the wall and caulk all corners and the nail holes. If the trim is stained, use color putty to fill the corners and the nail holes. Wipe smooth and clean with a damp rag.


  • When either end of the baseboard is butted up against a door frame, there is no need to cut that end. When cutting angled ends for inside corners you have to think backward. To cut the right end you set the saw to the left at 45 degrees, and to cut the left end you set the saw to the right at 45 degrees. To cut outside corners, set the miter saw to a right 45-degree angle to cut the right end of the baseboard, and set the saw to a left 45-degree angle to cut the left end of the baseboard. Always cut one of your angled ends first before marking the distance of your wall on the board. If you do not cut one end first, the baseboard will be too short. You can always cut the spacers larger or smaller to accommodate different thicknesses of carpeting.


  • Be cautious with electric miter saws and nail guns. They can cause severe injury when not used properly.