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fieldmarshall 04-19-2006 08:16 PM

Baseboard before Hardwood?

I am getting conflicting information from my various subcons.
Two guys are advising me to install my baseboards first and have the hardwood installer cut to fit (within a 1/16") around the edges. They both (independently) insist that they do
this regularly to eliminate the gap that appears underneath
the baseboards due to the floor being even slightly uneven. They state that the hardwood doesn't need any more expansion area as long as you let it sit in the room for a week before installation.

The references and floor guys insist that the hardwood needs to be in first, with a 1/2" gap, and baseboards set on top. This allows for wood expansion.

Any advice? Direct experience?


Bud Cline 04-20-2006 02:20 PM

Anybody that doesn't think hardwood needs room for expansion is badly mis-informed. Sounds to me like the guys wanting the base installed first are the guys that are installing the base and they don't want to wait to finish the job and be paid.

Then.........there's the question of the rooms being perfectly square...which they aren't.:)

Floorwizard 04-20-2006 07:49 PM

wood first.

never did it any other way.

fieldmarshall 04-23-2006 04:01 PM

Thank you for confirming my beliefs.


jbfan 04-24-2006 11:30 AM

Would you do the same thing for a laminate floor? I was thinking of putting the base borad first then using the spacers to install the floor. On top of that I was putting quarter round.

Teetorbilt 04-24-2006 01:14 PM

I detest the look of the 1/4 rd./'shoe' mould although sometimes you got to do it.

MoJoe 04-25-2006 07:31 PM

If you have the choice, put down the baseboards last. Paint them first and make sure the bottom is planned even, not perfectly but just so there are no dried paint drips that would make a gap between the bottom of the baseboard and the top of the laminate.

Watdocnc 05-07-2006 10:05 AM


Originally Posted by Teetorbilt
I detest the look of the 1/4 rd./'shoe' mould although sometimes you got to do it.

I agree very much, Teetorbilt, and I take it up whenever I can. Besides which, I often thought it was going to look weird as your floor layers get higher and higher and your baseboards get narrower. LOL


DIYer with many trials and errors along the way.

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