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Old 01-27-2012, 03:49 PM   #1
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Should I remove the baseboards and/or shoe molding before refinishing hardwood floor?


Should I remove the baseboards and/or shoe molding before refinishing hardwood floor?

Also what kind of sander is best to use?

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Old 01-27-2012, 03:55 PM   #2
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Should I remove the baseboards and/or shoe molding before refinishing hardwood floor?


Personally, I would at the least remove the shoe, probably both.

For sanders, rent a floor sander. Unless this is a very small room, then you can probably get by with an orbital sander.

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Old 01-27-2012, 04:30 PM   #3
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Should I remove the baseboards and/or shoe molding before refinishing hardwood floor?


I would only remove the shoe molding. I worked at a rental store for years and we rented a floor sander and an edger that was basically a heavy duty orbital sander and it got about 1/4" from the trim
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:56 PM   #4
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Should I remove the baseboards and/or shoe molding before refinishing hardwood floor?


I know you didn't ask this but it's a chance to put in a "plug" for my favorite product at HD. it's called "Howards" (in the paint dept.) and I re-finish EVERTHING with it,especially baseboards. it's fantastic! (use 0000 steeel wool to apply it)

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Old 02-01-2012, 01:46 AM   #5
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Should I remove the baseboards and/or shoe molding before refinishing hardwood floor?


Orbital floor sanders are nice because they get up to the edges. They are also a little safer for novices to use. A drum floor sander can carve nasty gouges if you are not accustomed to using one. The only drawback to the orbital sander is that it is slower and you progress through a fair amount of increasingly finer grit papers. Pretty hard to screw things up with one though.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:00 PM   #6
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Should I remove the baseboards and/or shoe molding before refinishing hardwood floor?


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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Orbital floor sanders are nice because they get up to the edges. They are also a little safer for novices to use. A drum floor sander can carve nasty gouges if you are not accustomed to using one. The only drawback to the orbital sander is that it is slower and you progress through a fair amount of increasingly finer grit papers. Pretty hard to screw things up with one though.
yeah,I remembber how bad my floors looked in a previous house when I let some "jackass" who thought he knew what he was doing,sand the floors using a big floor sander. once the floors are gouged,there's no going back!

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Old 02-01-2012, 02:16 PM   #7
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Should I remove the baseboards and/or shoe molding before refinishing hardwood floor?


You only remove the shoe moulding when you refinish floors. Typically you use a drum sander on the majority of the floor and then the orbital along the edges and in tight spots where you cannot get the drum sander. You can use an orbital sander for the entire floor but it will take ages and you risk an uneven result.

While a drum sander can be difficult to manage for the first timer because it is big and heavy and powerful, and there are risks involved, if you use common sense and view some web tutorials it can be done with minimum risk. Foremost is *practicing* on a section of your floor with a fine grit paper to get a feel for how to handle the sander before you begin the real work of taking down the floor with an aggressive grit paper.

All that said, if you're not confident of your ability to do the job without damaging your floor, hire a professional to do it.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:36 AM   #8
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Should I remove the baseboards and/or shoe molding before refinishing hardwood floor?


Did a total remodel with a friend of mine once a long time ago... We added a full second story to a story and a half house in Richmond, VA the upper half already had a run of hardwood already down and we added to both sides upon completion of the above addition.. Well my friend decided to rent a drum sander and edgers and sand the existing to match the new in order to stain it all to blend in.. Well after one run of the drum sander down the middle he stepped back, looked at the floor and said "you reckon they'll notice"? He had taken the 1950's hardwood flooring down to the grain left one helluva groove.. After 2-3 coats of stain (golden oak) and poly that floor looked flat out horrible... So bad in fact the homeowner literally cried when we were finished after seeing how he had ruined the once beautiful flooring... So if in doubt call a pro cause like someone has already mentioned once you start there's no going back
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:44 AM   #9
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Should I remove the baseboards and/or shoe molding before refinishing hardwood floor?


Oh yeah to answer your original question unless you are looking to replace the base for whatever reason, your adding a lot, a whole lot of extra unnecessary work to yourself...
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:44 AM   #10
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Should I remove the baseboards and/or shoe molding before refinishing hardwood floor?


I should add if your flooring is older and there is any significant uneveness, sloping, or bounce in the floors, DEFINITELY hire a professional. Those conditions create challenges to using a drum sander properly and you WILL destroy the floor during your learning process.

Years ago I watched a friend of mine refinishing floors in an old 19th century loft in NYC. The floors were just soft enough that the weight and the action of the sander set up vibrations in the floor which caused the sander to jitter and bounce imperceptibly during the sanding, resulting in a wavy surface. He was able to correct it later, but only an experienced floor refinisher would have known that there was a potential problem and how to deal with it.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:51 AM   #11
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Should I remove the baseboards and/or shoe molding before refinishing hardwood floor?


Oh yeah to answer your original question, unless you want to add a whole lot of unnecessary work to yourself I wouldn't suggest removing the base. Unless of course it's stained also, in which case it is probably a two piece base... a 1 by 6,8 or maybe even a 10 inch wide board with a piece of base cap attached to the top of it... But if it's a more modern style house with painted speedbase... I would leave it, it's a whole lot easier to touch up the scuffing as opposed to removing and replacing the entire room of base...

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Old 02-08-2012, 06:13 PM   #12
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Should I remove the baseboards and/or shoe molding before refinishing hardwood floor?


Without taking off the molding you're going to have that 1/4" unfinished strip around the baseboard. While it's more work, removing at least the corner round should make for a much more professional-looking job. If you're careful during removal, you should be able to re-use the same trim or take this as an opportunity to change the trim style like I did

I tried avoiding removing the molding myself when i refinished the floors in my old house and at my parents. I did one room at my place and saw how bad it looked to have that wedge of old finish and immediately started popping off the baseboards. I tried similarly at my parent's as their finish was much lighter but again I wound up taking it off as it just looked half-done.

As for a drum sander vs orbital, The others are right. I rented a drum sander on my old house and you can see every single divot where i messed up which can include but not limited to: dropped the head too fast causing it to hop, raising the head to fast, not moving fast enough while lowering the head, tripping a circuit breaker and forgetting to turn the drum motor off before resetting the breaker (DOH!).

Anyway, I rented an orbital sander for my parent's floors and it didn't take much more time and the quality of the end-job was much better as well. Due to the method in which it sands, you can get away with fewer steps in grit as well as it makes a much smoother sanding pattern.

Good luck!

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