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Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: riley5108
Date: August 23, 2008 03:13PM
We are about to tearing up carpeting and vinyl flooring.

Going to replace them with tile and hardwood floors. Most everyone we
contact says it will look better if the baseboards are removed first, but no
one is willing to remove them because of fear of damaging or breaking
the baseboard. Wife thinks we can do it if we are careful, that's what
what she thinks --- her brother says she thinks too much.

Has anyone taken this project on and if so do you have any good advice
Pros & Cons?

Most say they would prefer to leave a gap along the edge and then put
shoe molding down --- wife doesn't like that idea.

Could use some advice good or bad.
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Re: Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: M>B>
Date: August 23, 2008 03:18PM
If you have to remove any nails from the baseboard, pull them through from the backside. Less damage to the surface that way.
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Re: Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: Carm
Date: August 23, 2008 03:40PM
Run a box cutter along the wall and baseboard to keep from pulling up the wall paint and caulk. I have seen it done both ways. I prefer to remove the baseboard very carefully if you want to reuse it. When the baseboard is removed, it is easier to sand and repaint before you replace it. Just remember to number each piece of baseboard section before you remove it to make sure you put it back in the right place. Also, consider going to a home improvement store and make sure they carry your specific baseboard.

Removing the baseboard makes more work, but it looks better in the end.
I would also recommend a brad nailer to drive in the baseboards.

Top info is from work I did on my old house and current work on my new place.
Another reason to remove the baseboards is that not all of your cuts are going to be perfect, so the imperfect cuts can be hid behind the baseboard.

Joe



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/23/2008 03:47PM by Carm.
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Re: Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: PeterW
Date: August 23, 2008 04:26PM
You do not want to run hardwood flooring right up to a baseboard. The floor will buckle the first time the humidity goes up. You need at least a 1/4" gap between the flooring and basebaord and that gap is covered with shoe molding. Listen to your brother-in-law.
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Re: Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: MikeF
Date: August 23, 2008 06:19PM
Baseboard goes on top of finished flooring (generally). You want to leave an expansion gap between hardwood floors and the wall and the baseboard on top covers the gap (like said earlier in the thread). And the casing around doors (and possibly the jambs) might have to be cut to fit the finished flooring underneath as well.

Is the baseboard that special that it can't be replaced with new? It's pretty tough to get old baseboard off -- especially if it's been there many years and many coats of paint. Pieces might crack or you might ding the wall trying to pry it off...
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Re: Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: iaJim
Date: August 23, 2008 07:08PM
Put a wide putty knife on the wall, and put your flat bar on top of that so you won't damage the wall. Push the flat bar down and carefully pull the baseboard off a little at a time and move down the wall to the next nailing point. Don't try to get it all off at once. You have to plan on ruining some of it. It's just going to happen.
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Re: Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: Don C
Date: August 23, 2008 08:07PM
Quote
riley5108
Could use some advice good or bad.

I can give as bad advice as anybody here!

Our neighbors are going through this very issue. Baseboards were pulled but there was lot of damage to both baseboards and walls. The homeowners and the guy doing the work have not ... let's say they've not come to an agreement about what fixes are required and who will pay for them (let alone DO the fixes).

They are adopting a baby and have a home visit looming so they need resolution quickly.
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Re: Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: JoeH
Date: August 23, 2008 08:38PM
My advice would be very different for baseboards done in any kind of quality material like oak or maple as compared to run-of-the-mill painted wood. In the second case it might be quicker and cheaper to remove them and replace with new baseboards. With any quality wood, or in older homes with dimensions for the baseboard wood being thicker or hard to match, leave them in place. There are ways to trim off the bottom in place after taking off the shoe molding if needed. In any case, getting removed pieces to match back up exactly is not always easy. In a finely fitted job they may have been custom fitted to get close fitting miters and may not meet as closely moved up a bit.

Also, with any hard surface flooring, you should use shoe molding. The baseboards are supposed to float just above the flooring surface to allow expansion and contraction, the shoe molding covers that gap. You don't need the shoe molding with wall-to-wall carpet.



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Re: Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: Sam3
Date: August 23, 2008 09:30PM
I just got done doing a similar project for my sister-in-law, but we put laminate flooring in over top of the vinyl. We took the baseboards off like iaJim suggested, carefully and slowly. The wall was not damaged and the baseboards remained in one piece. In any case, you will need quarter round, as the baseboards usually are 1/4" wide and may not cover up the float completely.
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Re: Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: Michael
Date: August 23, 2008 09:59PM
I've done both. If the baseboard is relatively tall, then I'd put the tile up close and cover with shoe mold. If the baseboard is short, I'd remove it since it will look strange if it loses more height due to the increased height of the tile, particularly if you are going to use a backer board.

If the hardwood is going where carpet used to be, it depends on whether you're using 3/4" or a plywood type. The baseboard is probably 1/2" above the floor to allow the carpet to be tucked underneath. If that's the case and you are using plywood flooring (that is less than 1/2"), I'd cut it to fit to the edge of the baseboard and then use a shoemold to cover it. If you are using 3/4" hardwood, I'd remove the baseboard since it will expand and so you'll have to hold it far enough back from the baseboard that the shoemold might not cover the gaps.

I've been able to remove baseboard from relatively new houses easily and without damage, using the ideas of others, above. In older houses, it's proven to be more difficult. In one case we were able to determine where the nails were by looking for indentations every 16 inches. In that house, we sunk the nails through the baseboard using a thin nail set and then cut the paint edge and it came right off. The nails then had to be pulled from the wall. When you cut a paint edge. be careful to not let your knife run into the baseboard and follow the grain and cut into the baseboard. Finally, let me reinforce the very first piece of advice--pull nails from the back. I usually use one of those big-jawed plumbers pliers. Grab it at the wood and just roll the pliers back and out it comes.
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Re: Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: slbett
Date: August 23, 2008 11:19PM
Everyone above is right. Here are the tools I use and I do this all the time.

I use a painters 123 or the 5 in one putty knife with the curved edge that you can use to clean a roller. It has a stiff blade and use it as a sort of chisel to get the base loose so you can use a small to medium sized bar with a thin end along with a wide blade putty knife as said above. I use a 123 with a metal end so I can hit it with a hammer if needed. Before you start, use a utility knife at a 45° angle to protect paint or paper. On long pieces, I start in center and work both ways. As for the nails, I use a pair of wire cutters or nippers that have the cutter on the end and has a curved end. I grip the nail just hard enough to pull it from the back side without cutting and the just roll the nippers in a lever like motion. You might have to repeat this. A helper to hold longer base from wall while you move your way down can help. Just go slow.
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Re: Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: Kiva
Date: August 24, 2008 12:24AM
absolutely do *not* but the tile or flooring against the baseboard...will look like crap...

what kind of baseboard are we talking here? Did you price it out? don't ever by trim at HD or Lowes - huge markup. Go to a local door or trim shop..

kiva



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Re: Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: olnacl
Date: August 24, 2008 06:05AM
I just did my entire house in tile and had the same situation you do - my place is 25 years old and had 3" baseboards. An friend said to go with 5" which I did and I haven't looked back. Installed price was around $800 for wood. Way cheaper if you do it yourself, but I had it done professionally. Worth every penny! Other advice above is good - put the baseboard on top of the floor without a doubt. Go for real wood (finger jointed) to eliminate any moisture issues.



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Re: Need advice on removing baseboards when installing new tile and hardwood floors
Posted by: riley5108
Date: August 25, 2008 05:56AM
Wow,

Thanks everyone. Been out of town this weekend and hadn't had a chance to look at your replies.

Sounds like taking the baseboard out first is the best way to go. Appreciate all the good advice on how to go about that task.

Thank again --- a lot of good/great advice.

Riley
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