How to Adjust a Baby Gate to Uneven Moldings

By Erin Ringwald
BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Baby gates are one of the many safety devices parents use to keep their children safe. They are also often used to keep pets out of certain rooms as well. One common problem you may encounter when installing a baby gate in your home is uneven molding on your walls. When using a pressure-mounted baby gate, the most economical style of gate, you will have a problem if the walls are not flush. The gate will not stay steady. You will find there are ways you can adjust your gate to help account for the uneven molding in your home.

Step 1

Install your baby gate so you can view the spaces of the molding that are uneven.

Step 2

Determine if the baby gate can be adjusted by the placement of a shim. A shim is a wedged-shaped piece of wood often used in construction to adjust uneven spacing. They can be purchased at your local home improvement store. Another option is to make your own version of a shim by folding pieces of paper to fit in the gaps the uneven molding is leaving.

Step 3

Raise your gate to a higher level. Sometimes if you lift the gate up 1 or 2 inches, it will be flusher with the wall. You can avoid the unevenness found at the bottom. Raising up the gate to 2 inches off the ground will not be high enough to allow your baby to crawl under it. If you are using the baby gate to keep smaller animals out of certain areas of your house, the 2-inch gap you create may be large enough for the animal to fit through.

Step 4

Purchase a new gate. Certain styles of baby gates, such as the wooden ones with the plastic netting in them, have no allowance for anything other than a perfectly straight wall. Look for a baby gate, such as the Perfect Fit Gate by Safety 1st, which has an automatic adjusting side for uneven molding. The benefit to these style gates is that you do not have to do anything for the gate to adjust to your walls' contours. You could also opt for a swinging model. These allow you to mount the gate directly to the wall. In this case, neither side will use pressure to secure the gate.

Step 5

Install your new gate, according to the manufacturer’s directions.