To Base or Not to Base
by Ron Call
Often when people are looking to upgrade their homes with new hardwood or laminate flooring they often overlook the details like base boards and trims. They will spend many hours shopping and comparing prices on the net or drive from store to store. But they seldom give much consideration to the moldings. You can purchase an inexpensive floor and install new base boards and the job will look awesome. You can also install a high-end beautiful floor and remove and replace your existing base boards and if they don’t look good or they’re not wide enough to cover the required expansion gap you will be disappointed.
If your existing base board is in good shape and you want to keep it you have two choices: 1) You can remove it and replace it after the flooring is installed, or 2) You can leave it on the wall then leave the proper expansion gap between the floor and the base and cover it with quarter round or base shoe molding. Either method works fine. It’s all a matter of the final look you want.
Here are a couple photos of an install with just base and one with base board and quarter round. It’s really up to you as to which method you choose. Just be sure to figure the extra cost into your budget. If you try and remove and replace the existing base board and a piece or two should break be sure that style is still available so you can purchase replacements.