Do I need to remove base or shoe moldings when my wood floors are refinished?

Posted by Aaron Schaalma

So you've made the decision to refinish your hardwood floors; you are anticipating the day that the project will begin, and perhaps even more so when it is completed and you get to enjoy your new space. It is a couple of days before we will arrive to begin the refinishing project, and you decide to start getting the rooms ready for our arrival. You start by removing all of the furniture, rugs, and decorative items, so that the rooms are empty. You are just about to relax for the evening, but decide to give the rooms one more final look to make sure they are ready, and that's when you notice it...the baseboard and shoe are still on. Multiple questions race through your mind; do I need to remove it? Can it stay on and not affect the refinish project? If it does stay on will it get damaged? Unsure of what to do, you try to relax, but that feeling of calm eludes you. [caption id="attachment_3258" align="aligncenter" width="300"]showing when you should remove the base when having your wood floors refinished Here is this picture we are showing you when we suggest removing base shoe or base[/caption]   Okay, now in reality, we know that you are probably not going to lose any sleep or have trouble relaxing over figuring out whether or not you need to remove the baseboards or shoe. However, it is a question that comes up a lot and we wanted to take the time to help you understand if and when you need to remove your base and shoe. Let's get started. As a general rule, we recommend leaving your base and shoe on when having your floors refinished, especially if it is painted. Depending on how the painters prepped your base, you can actually cause more damage to the base and walls by removing it. Often times paint from your base can adhere to the paint on your walls, and though we use a knife to score it, there is a chance that it will pull paint off of your wall leaving an unsightly blemish. This requires you to spend your time sanding and repainting, or to hire a professional to do it. Either way, it is an added expense that can be avoided, so we recommend leaving the base and shoe on. The only time that we would really want you to remove your base or shoe is if your floors have been refinished multiple times and the base was left on during that process. When this happens, you can actually get a build up of wood underneath the base and shoe from that wood not being sanded during the previous refinish projects. The other scenario where we recommend removing the base and shoe is in the cases where the floor is very uneven and needs to be flattened out. In this case, it is easiest if the base and shoe are removed so that we can make the floor level where the base and shoe will sit on the floor. You may still have questions, or be unsure of whether your base should be left on or taken off, and that's okay. We are here to help with that. This is one of the many things that we discuss during our consultation or free estimate and it’s something that we let you know ahead of time so that you feel prepared. We hope this answers your questions about whether you should remove the base and shoe during your wood floor refinishing project. If you have any questions feel free to contact us or comment down below and we would be more than happy to answer any of your questions.