base board installation

I'll be replacing my carpet and would like to replace the baseboards. Should I install the baseboards after the new carpet is installed (on top of the new carpet), or should I pull back the old carpet and lay the baseboard directly on the floor before the new carpet is installed?
I've heard arguments for both ways, but it makes more sense to me to install the base boards before new carpet is laid.
thanks for your responses ron
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That is the best way. Some day you may want to replace the carpet and not remove the baseboard. A good installer will bring the carpet right to the base for a perfect fit.
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It is best to install the mouldings first, This helps to seal any gaps between the floor and wall. This will prevent larger bugs (bigger than ants) from moving freely throuh the living space.
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Standard practice is to install baseboards first and leave them spaced off the subfloor 1/4 to1/2 inch depending on the thickness of the carpet. This allows the carpet layer to tuck the edge of carpet under the base. I almost always leave 3/8" which works for all but the thinnest or thickest carpets. As for bug infiltration, I once lived in a house on a shoddily laid slab that had bugs getting in under the baseplate. When I had carpets replaced I went around and put a healthy layer of boric acid powder on the subfloor under the baseboards before the new carpet went in. Seemed to work pretty well.
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Ive seen both ways work but if you have oak underneath then to the floor. You are painting or finishing it it is cleaner finishing it first on the floor and doing minor touch ups later after carpet. I have seen it slightly raised , just for subfloors or concrete and caulked for bugs. Least messy and quickest painting is base, caulk and paint then carpet.
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wrote:

Should
This would be correct.
For energy conservation and bug control you may wish to caulk between the bottom of the drywall and the floor BEFORE you install the base. Uses a lot of caulk but it sure slows down the drafts.
If you ever take out the carpet standard shoe base will cover the gap.
Colbyt
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One thing to keep in mind is if this is an old house with lathe and horse hair plaster, you will be replacing much more than baseboards if you try to remove them.
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