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I want to install laminate over my existing tile floor. The problem is that I have small 3¼" baseboards. If I don't remove the base moldings and install quarter rounds I think it will look ridiculous buried in the new flooring.

I've gotten several quotes from installers and they all want to charge a lot for removing and replacing the baseboards.

So my questions are: is there any solution for leaving the baseboards on the wall and maybe using a tiny shoe moulding to hide the gap? All shoe mouldings or quarter rounds seem to be too big. If I try to remove them myself do I have to have a miter saw to cut them down to reinstall them? How hard is that? I really am not a 'handy woman'. Any ideas?

Also, they want to charge a lot to install the laminate in the kitchen because they would need to move the appliances. Is there any way to install laminate everywhere else but something different (easier) in the kitchen and have the floors be the same level? Meaning laminate in my living room, dining room then transition into vinyl or tile or something else in the kitchen that doesn't require moving the appliances?

  • Do you have a couple pictures? Also they have click lock laminate available. – DMoore Feb 24 '15 at 15:41
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    First. Installing laminate over tile, can lead to the joints showing through the laminate over time. Second. Laminate is not well suited to "damp" areas, such as kitchens and baths. Third. In my opinion, baseboards should be removed every time flooring is installed. – Tester101 Feb 24 '15 at 15:53
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    You should have no problem removing the base molding yourself. The only tools required are patience, a couple small pry bars, a (plastic) taping knife, and possibly a razor knife. When you remove a piece, use a felt tip marker to write a small number on the back of the molding, and a corresponding number on the wall where the molding belongs. Installing the molding is easy if you have a nail gun and compressor, but can be done with a hammer and finish nails. – Tester101 Feb 24 '15 at 16:00
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    I'd echo that base is easy to remove. Critical is cutting the bead of caulk at the top so that it doesn't damage your drywall when you remove it. With a bit of extra height from the floor, that cut up joint will disappear. And while it's true that you can hammer and nail trim, I'd strongly suggest you rent a compressor/gun. – Aloysius Defenestrate Feb 25 '15 at 1:53
  • Note that you can keep the existing tile in the kitchen (if you are happy with it) and deal with the different floor heights by using what are called "reducers" between the floors of different heights. – Jordan Reiter Mar 22 '15 at 0:50
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For my basement laminate floor install I did not remove the base moulding. Instead i used spacers to place the flooring 1/4 inch away from the moulding. Then I used 1/4 round to cover the gap. It looks great and what a time saver it was.

I would not install laminate floor in a kitchen or bathroom due to water concerns.

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I'm going to run counter to the grain here:

  1. Leave the baseboard in place, leave a 1/4" gap around the perimeter of the new flooring, and cover it with quarter-round "shoe" moulding. I've done it many times and it looks fine.

  2. Posters are correct to caution about laminate in kitchens and baths, but I do it in my own home quite happily. I know going in that I'll be replacing the floor in about 8 years or so, but based on the low cost and ease of installation, I'm ok with that. And based on my wife's decorating tastes, I know that whatever "timeless/eternal/expensive" flooring I put down will only be timeless/eternal until she doesn't care for it anymore, and I'll just have to rip it up anyway! So if your expectations are realistic, then put laminate in your kitchen and bath if you wish.

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