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Do I Need to Remove Baseboards Before Installing Flooring?

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As you prepare for professionals to install your flooring, you’ll clear out trinkets, wall hangings and maybe even furniture. But as you look around your room, you may notice a small detail on your walls near the floors and wonder if you have to remove the baseboards before installing floors.

When Should You Remove Baseboards?

Baseboards are boards installed along the lowest part of interior walls, directly next to the floor. The purpose of baseboards is to hide the joints between the wall and floor as well as add visual appeal to the space.

Most flooring applications do not require you to remove existing baseboards. However, you may choose to remove the baseboards and replace them at the same time as flooring installation if you want to switch to a different baseboard height or change the style to match the overall look of your remodel.

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When installing hardwood floors, you can detach the baseboards if you prefer. Removing and reinstalling the baseboards during this process can:

  • Help cover the half-inch expansion gap along the walls that hardwood needs.
  • Allow you to get new baseboards or repaint your existing baseboards before they go back on the wall.
  • Ensure your baseboards are positioned properly considering the new height of your floors.

Can You Install Flooring Without Removing Baseboards?

Installing hardwood floors without removing the baseboards is possible, and it’s a suitable option for other types of flooring as well. If your baseboards have been glued to the wall and would cause damage if you tried to remove them, it may be best to leave them. Your project may also be on a short timeline, meaning you won’t have time to remove the baseboards — this is perfectly fine.

If you decide to leave the baseboards on, use quarter-round molding to cover the expansion gap left during hardwood installation.

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Tips for Removing Baseboards

If removing your baseboards for new flooring is right for your project, a professional can provide advice or complete the task for you. If you’re handling the process alone, use these tips to make it easier:

  • Remove the baseboards the day before the flooring installation so you can move furniture away from the walls.
  • Number the walls and corresponding sections of baseboards to easily match them up later.
  • Use a utility knife to slice any caulk that secured the baseboard to the wall.
  • Place a piece of scrap wood behind the pry bar you use to prevent damage to your walls.
  • Pry the length of the baseboard to remove everything at the same time and avoid breaking the baseboard.

Get New Flooring With 50Floor

If you don’t have new flooring in mind for your project, we at 50Floor would be happy to help. Our at-home consultation process lets you see what flooring option would be best for your home. Our experts can answer any questions you have about the flooring installation process, including whether you should remove baseboards before your new floor goes in.

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Schedule an appointment today for an at-home consultation with 50Floor and see how we’ll transform your home with new flooring.

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