Whenever you want wood flooring, the common question that comes to mind is- should I remove baseboards when installing hardwood floors? Removing baseboards is quite a hassle, and many want to avoid it. In the case of hardwood flooring, many think it is a must to remove the existing baseboard to cover the expansion gap. But this is not the case; one can skip this process if one wants to.
Removing baseboards when installing hardwood floors is not necessary. Remember that when installing wood floors, you must leave a gap of 1/2 inch. This gap allows the wood to expand and contract as per the weather. So, you can install a hardwood floor without removing the baseboards, but you must conceal the expansion gap with additional floor or shoe molding.
Whether to remove baseboards or not depends on the person's choice and situation. If you are in ar hurry and do not have enough time to remove the baseboards, you can avoid the process. Though it is not mandatory to remove the existing baseboards, it is best if you remove them. It will give a perfect finishing floor installation.
Before you decide not to remove the existing baseboard and install a new one, you must know what purpose a baseboard serves. We need baseboards to hide the gap between the wall and the floor. Along with that, it gives an excellent finishing to our house interior. Now, when we think of providing a new flooring to our home, in many cases, there is no need to remove the baseboards.
However, the situation with a new hardwood flooring is different. There is no pressure on removing baseboards, but it is best if you can remove them. Because it will accommodate you to cover the extra 1/2 inch gap that you left for the hardwood to expand, Installing a new baseboard will ensure proper floor positioning 'with the height of the new flooring.
Baseboard hooks up the vertical and horizontal surface of the wall and floor, respectively. You must have noticed that the base part of the wall and the side part of the wall are not smooth. Instead, they are rough and have an unfinished look. The job of the baseboard is to conceal the rough sides.
Now, if you have decided not to remove the baseboards, there are certain things you must follow. As you know, the wood expands or contracts. So, during hardwood installation, use quarter-round molding to cover the expansion gap.
You might not wish to remove the original baseboards that are currently existing on your wall. Here are some of the reasons that explain why you would prefer not to remove the existing baseboards.
If you are willing to laminate floors with hardwood by keeping the existing baseboards, here is the method that you should follow-
Tar Paper or plastic acts as a good moisture barrier. You can staple them to your old floor and wait until the material rises to fill the gaps in the barrier.
Choose the directions of the wall that you want your boards to run and start installing the first row of flooring facing towards that direction. Use 2-inch finish nails and nail them by facing each other to the subfloor creating 10-12 inch intervals. Then, using a flooring nail gun, nail the remaining part of the floorboards.
The new hardwood floor needs a gap of 1/4- 1/2 inches to expand. So, always keep a gap between the new wood floors and current baseboards. This gap will give enough room for the wood to expand.
Buy a quarter-round molding after you measure the maximum thickness of the gap with a measuring scale. The round mold will work best on your baseboard if it has a flat or straight surface. However, if you have a tampered baseboard, use straight molding by cutting them with a saw to nail the bottom part. Use 120-grit sandpaper to give a round finishing to the front edge.
Before attaching the molding to the baseboards, you have to paint them. Then wait until the paint is dry. After you finish this process, you can fix the molding on the baseboards. If a nail is inappropriate, cut the head off and drill nail holes of the exact size. Then use wood putty to cover the nail holes.
While installing new hardwood flooring, you might want to remove the baseboards. For example, you might want to change the height or style of your current baseboards. So, for this, you will need to remove your existing baseboards. Here are some suggestions that you can follow while removing baseboards
There are no fixed rules in case of keeping or not keeping the baseboards before refinishing hardwood floors. But generally, it would be best to put your shoes on and keep the base when refinishing a hardwood floor. If you remove the baseboards at the time of refinishing, it can damage walls as well as the baseboards.
No, it is not necessary to remove baseboards while you install flooring. Baseboards enhance the outer look of the flooring and give a top-notch finishing. So, you can choose to remove baseboards if you want to improve the interior of your house.
If you have sanded the wood floors with Bona Mega Clear HD, staying away from the floor for 2-3 hours is safe after finishing the project.
Use quarter round or shoe molding to conceal the gap between the wood floors and the baseboards. If you want to replace the baseboards, you can cover the gap by placing the baseboard on the gap. Therefore, if you choose to replace baseboards, you will not need additional shoe molding to hide the expansion gap.
Other than covering the gap between the walls and the floor, baseboards enhance the beauty of your flooring. However, not everyone goes after the beauty. That is why removing the baseboards while installing hardwood floors is not mandatory. If you do not want to remove the baseboard, just put in additional shoe molding to cover the gap that exists with the baseboards. On the other hand, you do not have to apply additional molding if you replace the baseboard.
If you are looking for the best hardwood flooring in Chicago, Improvix Flooring is the number one option. Call us at 773-345-9719 to know more about our services. Also, you can visit us at 3745 W Montrose Ave #1, Chicago, IL 60618.