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Pro Blog

Carpet Installers!! Save Your Trim (and Your Reputation)

By Scott Summers, (291 words) Posted in Carpet on March 24, 2009
There are (89) comments permalink

Example of carpeting being installedAnyone who’s been in the construction business a couple of weeks has heard contractors or homeowners complain about a carpet installer who scratched-up their new wood baseboard when installing the carpet. Most installers like to have the base installed first, so they know exactly where to put the tack strip. This also makes sure that if you happen to be the installer who replaces the job down the road, you won’t have to worry about the base making tear–out difficult.

Use blue painters tape to protect base boards during carpet installingHere’s an easy solution to help minimize damage: If the base is clear–coated wood, (dark woods such as walnut show scratches the worst) just take an hour or so and run 2 inch blue tape along the bottom of the trim. Leave about 1/4 inch of the wood exposed at the bottom so you don’t have to fight the carpet to remove the tape. It’s also a good idea to apply the tape several inches up the door jambs and newel posts if the carpet is likely to come in contact with them as you’re laying it in. If you’re worried about the extra time, talk to the contractor or homeowner first and explain the risks. I have yet to find a customer who wasn’t willing to pay an extra hour’s labor to save thousands of dollars in wood work. I actually have one contractor who uses only me now, simply because on the first job I installed for him, I took the time to tape-off his expensive wood trim.

Save the trim, (and your reputation.) It will pay-off in the long run.

Icon: author blog About the Author:
Scott has several years experience in the flooring industry
image: blog cloud comment

Comments (89)

Jim posted on: March 29, 2009

I dont mean to be a naysayer but one time I put blue painters tape on the wood work (cabinets and base) to protect it and when I removed the tape the finish came off the wood with it. Also. when you have stained based with a clear coat you can remove the scratches created by carpet installation with Pledge furniture polish.

Stacey posted on: March 31, 2009

good to know

Scott Summers posted on: April 1, 2009

Yup, it does happen, although it is most often the fault of the painter if it does. I have only had the finish come-off once and it was at the nail holes. The painter had used a non-paintable putty to fill the holes. The contractor didn't even question me on it when I showed him what was going-on. You can also use "chapstick" or vegetable oil to cover scratches. The problem is you're just covering-up your damage. Eventually the pledge, chapstick, whatever, will wear-off and the scratches will be visible again. I guess we should clarify though; on trim that was not properly finished, the blue tape could peel-off some of the finish. Over-all, I have had very positive results and I still recommend blue tape.

Scott Summers posted on: April 1, 2009

I should offer one word of caution on this; Blue tape should only be left-on as long as necessary to complete the job. If the tape is left-on for more than a day or so, the risk of leaving residue on the wood work or damaging the finish increases. I typically only mask what I can complete in the next couple of days.

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