Is It Necessary To Remove Baseboards When Installing Hardwood Flooring?

Q. Is it necessary to remove baseboards when installing hardwood flooring?

A: It is not absolutely necessary to remove baseboards to install new hardwoods, but remember that wood floors require an expansion gap of 1/2 inch along the surrounding walls to accommodate expansion and contraction with changes in moisture and humidity. You will need to conceal the gap after installing the flooring, so if you leave the baseboards in place, you’ll need to cover the gap along the baseboards with additional floor molding. Since the extra molding will conceal part of the baseboards’ face, this method works best with tall baseboards. If you remove the baseboards during floor installation, you can replace the baseboards over the expansion gap without additional floor molding.

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