Installing a Baby Gate into Walls with Molding

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Baby expansion gate with rubber stops
Tape measure
Various lengths of screws
Baby gate with mounting kit

A spring-compressed baby gate is lightweight, movable and can withstand pushing and kicking by a toddler weighing up to 25 pounds. To install this type of baby gate into walls with molding, you can use one of 2 methods: adjust the length of the screws securing the rubber stops to the frame, or build a separate baby gate frame using a gate that comes with a mounting kit. Follow the tips given here to install a baby gate into walls with molding.

Step 1: Measure the Location Where You Will Install the Gate

Measure the width of the doorway, entry or stairway base where you will install the baby gate. Be sure to record where there is baseboard molding or a chair rail. If you do not record them, your measurements will be off and your gate will not be secure.

Step 2: Purchase a Suitable Baby Gate

If you decide on a spring-compression gate, purchase one with rubber stops at 3 different levels - top, bottom and center. The baby gate should have mounting bars that can be easily released so you can take it on visits. Be sure to buy one that has a central swinging section so your baby or toddler will not see you climb over the gate. Babies and children are great imitators and your child could be injured trying to climb the gate. Purchase a gate that has vertical panels set less than 2 inches apart so that your baby or toddler will not try to get their head through the gate.

Step 3: Set Up the Gate

Compress the spring-compression gate to its narrowest width and place one side firmly against the wall with molding. Extend the gate to the far side and measure the differences in where the rubber stops are short of the wall. Change the screws that hold on the rubber stops by 1/2 inch or 1 inch so they reach the wall molding and hold firmly. For the gate with mounting brackets, mount the brackets inside the width of the widest piece of molding, and affix the screw plates firmly to the drywall on either side of the doorway. Screw the vertical support bars to the screw plates and attach the gate into the vertical bars on either side.

Step 4: Test the Gate Fastenings

To test the gate, lean on the top rail and push as hard as you would to move a sofa or large table. Test the gate at both ends to ensure the rubber stops do not pop loose from the wall edge, or that the gate itself does not release from the vertical support bars. Test the gate at the bottom as well at both ends to check that repeated kicking will not dislodge the gate.

Step 5: Test the Security of the Center Gate Panel

Check the lock or latch on the center gate panel to ensure it will not slip open under slight pressure from a child's hand. Also ensure that it fastens in such a way that tiny fingers cannot get caught in it.