Do You Have To Remove Baseboards To Install Laminate Flooring? (+ How To!)

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Last updated on February 27th, 2024 at 07:54 am

Can You Install Laminate Flooring Without Removing Baseboards? Find Out Here!

Wondering if you can install laminate flooring without removing your baseboards? Well, look no further because I have your answer!

Removing baseboard before installing laminate flooring makes installation easier and faster, hides plank edges from sight, and keeps the floor in place while still letting the floor float. Without removing the baseboard, quarter-round trim should be installed to hide the edges and keep them pinned in place.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s go over some of the reasons why you’ll want to remove the baseboards first in more detail.

Let’s dive in!

Quick Navigation: Baseboards & Laminate Flooring

  1. Benefits Of Removing Baseboard Before Installing Laminate Flooring
  2. Can You Install Laminate Flooring Without Removing Baseboards?
  3. How To Remove Baseboards To Install Laminate Flooring
  4. How To Install Laminate Flooring
  5. Other FAQs About Removing Baseboards To Install Laminate Flooring
  6. Final Thoughts
  7. Related Laminate Flooring Articles

Benefits Of Removing Baseboard Before Installing laminate Flooring

Removing the baseboard before installing your new flooring can seem like such a chore (why are the smallest tasks are always the most tedious??), but there are several reasons why it is in your best interest to get this task done before starting.

Laminate flooring is referred to as a “floating floor”. This means that the flooring is not glued, stapled, nailed, or screwed into the subfloor.

It literally sits or “floats” on top of the subfloor. This “floating” is crucial for laminate flooring because it needs to have room to expand and contract with humidity and varying temperatures.

Otherwise, the flooring can buckle, bulge, or bubble over time, thus majorly shortening the lifespan of your new floor. This is where baseboard comes into play.

Installing baseboard overtop laminate flooring allows the floor to move and flex as it needs to, while still keeping the flooring in place and hiding any cut edges or seams.

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In other words, the baseboard hides all of the ugly parts of laminate flooring while simultaneously letting it float as it should.

In addition, you’ll save money because you won’t need to buy additional quarter-round trim. The edges of the planks will already be covered by the baseboard.

This lets the flooring flow seamlessly under the baseboard and gives the entire room and clean and professional look.

Can You Install Laminate Flooring Without Removing Baseboards?

Laminate flooring can be installed without removing baseboards, but quarter-round trim should be used to hide the spacer gap and hold the laminate flooring in place. This trim is an additional expense that can be avoided by removing the baseboard and reinstalling it on top of the laminate.

In addition, your baseboard will appear shorter because laminate flooring is thick and will cover part of the baseboard. A shorter baseboard is one way to make a room appear smaller than it actually is.

However, if the baseboard is removed and re-installed on top of the new flooring, you will still be able to take advantage of the full height of the baseboard and can skip the quarter-round entirely if you don’t want it.

(Quarter-round trim is typically only used in remodels, not new builds, so if you want your room to look newer and more modern, skip the quarter-round whenever possible.)

install quarter round over laminate flooring if baseboards not removed

Related Laminate Flooring Articles

How To Remove Baseboards To Install Laminate Flooring

Removing baseboards is a relatively easy task, but you’ll want to be careful while removing them if you want to reuse the same baseboards after the new flooring is down.

Level Of DifficultyTime To Complete
Easy5 Minutes
Material ListTool List
Prybar or screwdriver
Utility knife

Step One: Cut Caulk Along Baseboard

First, check the tops and bottoms of your baseboards and see if they are caulked.

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If you have a white baseboard, then likely it has a bead of caulk between the top of the baseboard and the wall. (Other colors probably won’t have any caulk, but they could, so it’s best to check.)

Take out a utility knife and run the blade between the wall and baseboard to avoid damaging the wall while removing the baseboard.

can you slide laminate flooring under baseboards

Step Two: Gently Pry Baseboard Away From Wall

Next, take your crowbar or screwdriver and gently slide it between the baseboard and wall right next to a nail hole.

Gently pry away from the wall by tapping on the handle of the crowbar lightly.

do you have to use quarter round when installing laminate flooring

If you are gentle enough then your baseboard will come out undamaged and your wall will stay undamaged.

However, if you are too forceful, you will put a hole in the wall (AND the baseboard will still be stuck). So slow and steady wins this race.

Pro Tip: If you have something with a wider head than a crowbar or screwdriver and can still be slid behind the baseboard, then use that. The extra width will help spread the pressure on the drywall. So you will be less likely to punch a hole through it as you remove the baseboard!

(Yes, unfortunately, I’m speaking for experience on that part haha!)

If you stick near the nail heads and go slowly, you should be able to remove the baseboard will minimal damage to it or the wall.

Then you can reuse it once you have all of your laminate flooring installed!

How To Install Laminate Flooring

That’s about it! If you’re new to installing laminate flooring and want to make it look like a professional did the job, then check out my full laminate flooring installation tutorial.

It’ll help walk you through all the steps so you can avoid any mistakes and make the installation process a breeze.

Or if you just need help with calculating the laminate floor pattern, then check out my article here.

It’ll walk you through exactly how to calculate the best pattern to minimize the amount of waste you have and fit your room perfectly!

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Other FAQs About Removing Baseboards To Install Laminate Flooring

Here are some other frequently asked questions about removing baseboard while installing laminate flooring to help you with your project!

Can You Slide Laminate Flooring Under Baseboards?

Laminate flooring should not be slid under baseboards because there will be no way to leave a gap between the flooring and the wall. Instead, remove and re-install the baseboards overtop the flooring, or leave the baseboards and install quarter-round over the flooring to hide the gap.

Do You Have To Use Quarter-Round When Installing Laminate Flooring?

Quarter-round only needs to be used when installing laminate flooring if the baseboards are not removed before installation. The quarter-round will hide the gap between the flooring and the baseboard while still letting the flooring float. Otherwise, quarter-round is not necessary.

Final thoughts On Removing Baseboards To Install Laminate Flooring

There you have it!

You can install laminate flooring without removing the baseboards, but you’ll incur the additional expense of quarter-round to hide the gap and edges of the laminate. Removing the baseboard and re-installing it makes installing laminate flooring much easier and faster.

Good luck with your laminate flooring project!

Catch you in my next post!

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Do You Have To Remove Baseboards To Install Laminate Flooring? (+ How To!)

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