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I need to have my wood floors refinished and have had several quotes. One person says they have the tools to get right up next to the baseboards and he does not need to remove them. He has 45 years of experience. The other companies do not have as much experience and they want to remove the baseboard and reinstall it.

I am worried that if they take off the baseboard there will be a line where the drywall paper is removed and when they replace it I will have major work painting and fixing it.

My husband is concerned that if they aren't taken off that it will look like the baseboard isn't seated on the floor. He is also concerned that the floor will slope.

The floor has been refinished once before with the baseboards not being removed. Any expert opinions out there? What should we do?

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  • Do you have separate quarter round where the baseboard meets the floor? Apr 25 at 11:01
  • How did the last refinishing job work out?
    – crip659
    Apr 25 at 12:59
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    The guy with 45 years experience probably knows all the short-cuts and most people wouldn't notice the tiny bit of unfinished floor he would leave behind. Apr 25 at 14:35
  • No quarter round and the last job was bad. We have a groove/slope next to the kitchen island. Apr 26 at 9:49
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If this were my floor, I'd remove the baseboard molding so that the floor could be refinished properly.

Of course you can leave them in place but it will be impossible to get right to the edge with the refinishing equipment and the finishing products.

What you might do is ask your supplier who does not want to remove the baseboards to provide some references where you can go and see the end result if that's possible.

I'm not at all clear what affect either way would have on the slope of the floor.

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In all my 48 years of on working homes, whether it was building new or demoing old and renovating, I have never seen evidence of baseboards being removed for the sake of refinishing floors. The homes that I was overseeing the work in when it came to the refinishing, the base was taped so they were not damaged or smeared with stain, sanded right to the edge where the base meets the floor and razor sharp hand scrapers were used to get in places the sanders could not. There are even specialized sanders to go under toe spaces of cabinets. When it came to new floors going down that were NOT prefinished, the base went down first, then the floors were sanded and finished. This was to keep the carpenters from damaging the floors finish while working, any damage, if any could be removed during the finishing process. I would go with the finisher with the 45 years experience. Let him/her fill you in on your concerns.

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  • Removing the baseboards risks damaging the walls and the baseboards. If the baseboards are of good quality and finish, such damage would amount to a large extra expense. Apr 25 at 19:28
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I agree with @jwh20 and when I did my floor I removed them. The trick is to get a sharp box knife and score the top of the baseboard so when you pull it away from the wall, it doesn't pull the paper and or paint off along with it. Most equipment that gets that close to the baseboard would mare the surface and you'd have to touch up/repaint the baseboard. Finishing /staining the floor is difficult because there will be a buildup of material at those seams between the baseboard and floor. Either the floor gets blotched or the baseboard gets it. Then you wipe off the baseboard and mess up the floor. Removing the baseboard safes a lot of hassle.

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