How to Remove Baseboards without Damage (for Reuse)
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In this post: the quick and easy guide for how to remove old wood or MDF baseboards without damaging the wall or cracking the baseboards so you can reuse them again.
Removing baseboards can be a messy job – one that often ends with a pile of broken trim that is completely unusable. But what if you want to use them again? Here’s how to remove baseboards without damaging them (or the drywall) so that you can reuse them!
Finally decorate your own home – with confidence!
You’re so much closer to a beautifully-decorated home than you think. You just need a little help to get there!
Table of Contents
When and Why You Would Need to Remove Baseboards
You don’t necessarily need to remove baseboard or other floor trim for all home DIY projects. So, which projects do you need to remove it for and which do you not?
Installing New Floors – Yes, Remove
But if you’re renovating your home and you are installing new carpet or laminate, you will likely want to remove the baseboards first.
Removing baseboards for these projects will prevent the trim from being partially hidden by new laminate and it will make carpet installation much easier.
You could technically leave baseboards in place and install laminate that butts up against the baseboard. However, that is not the proper way to install laminate and I highly recommend removing baseboards before installing new flooring.
Painting – No, Not Necessary
While you could remove the baseboards to paint, it’s definitely not necessary.
You can simply cut in with a paintbrush or use painter’s tape to mask off the trim.
The Easiest Way to Remove Baseboards and Other Trim – Step-by-Step
It’s actually pretty simple and easy to remove old baseboards and trim. The trick is to take your time and not rush.
You also don’t need any special tools to take those baseboards off.
I mean, you could use a trim puller/baseboard removal tool, and I’ve listed a great one below. But, unless you’re going to be removing a LOT of baseboards, you can definitely do this project with common tools most homeowners have on hand.
Tools you need to remove baseboards
- Utility knife
- 3″ Putty Knife
- Pry Bar
- Optional: Trim Puller/Baseboard Removal Tool
You may also need:
- Screwdriver or Drill with Drill bits
- Needle Nose Pliers
1. Using your utility knife with the blade extended about 1/2 an inch or less, carefully cut down into the existing caulking at the top of the baseboard. Start at one end of the piece and continue to the end. Repeat if necessary to “unstick” the caulking from the wall.
2. Now, carefully slide your 3″ putty knife down behind the baseboard along the length of the board you are removing and wiggle the tool back and forth. Go slowly to avoid damage to the drywall. This will further detach caulking or any glue used to adhere the trim to the wall.
My baseboards have been screwed to the wall, what do I do to remove them?
- have been screwed in place, carefully remove visible screws with a screwdriver or drill.
- have been screwed in place, and you cannot see or access (maybe because of filler) the screw heads you may need to pry them out of the wall along with the baseboard in the next step and then remove them from the freed baseboard by unscrewing them.
- are too difficult to remove, you may need to cut the threaded portion off the back of the baseboard with a grinder and just leave the head in the baseboard (to be hidden with filler when the baseboards are reinstalled).
4. With the putty knife tucked between the wall and the baseboard, carefully slide the pry bar between the putty knife and the baseboard, as shown. Gently pull down on the pry bar to work the baseboard away from the wall. (The pry bar is doing the work, while the putty knife is spreading the pressure of the pry bar across a larger section of drywall to help prevent damage.)
5. Repeat along the length of the trim you’re removing, specifically where there are nails holding the trim in place, until the trim comes completely loose. Take extra care to pry carefully if your baseboards have been adhered to the wall with any type of glue.
6. Once it’s removed, if your trim has finishing or brad nails still attached, simply bend them back and forth at their base (nearest the back of the baseboard) with a set of needle nose pliers until they snap off.
If you have quarter round or other floor trim, it can be removed the same way, following the steps above.
How to Remove Glue and Clean up
Of course, now that you’ve removed the baseboards, you’ll need to clean up both the wall and the baseboards themselves.
- Utility knife
- 3″ Putty Knife
1. Use the putty knife to carefully and slowly scrape the wall where the caulking was previously located.
2. If any caulking stubbornly remains, use your utility knife to carefully cut it off the wall. It helps to keep the knife as parallel to the wall as possible for this step, so you are not cutting into the drywall.
To clean up baseboard for reuse: Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the removed baseboard too!
3. Hammer any nails heads that are sticking out of the drywall until they are flush with the wall.
4. Sweep up, you’re done removing the baseboards!
If your drywall suffered any noticeable damage, now is the time to patch it with drywall compound or wall filler. Follow the instructions on the packaging to do this.
How to Remove Baseboard Video Tutorial
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Tips for Replacing Baseboards/How to Install New Baseboards
Now that you’ve cleaned up both the wall and the baseboard you removed, you are ready to install them again.
The best way to install baseboards is to use a brad nailer and nail them in place. Then finish with a run of caulking along the top and in any corners. Finish with filler (for the corners and brad nail holes) and paint.
Click here to learn how to install baseboards, caulk and paint them.
Have you ever needed to remove your baseboards? How did it go?
How To: Remove Baseboard – Bob Vila
Photo: istockphoto. com
Whether you’re planning on replacing a floor or simply wanting to change up the style of trim in a room, your project to-do list will likely start with removal of the baseboard, that strip of wood or plastic that covers the joint between the walls and floor, as well as any shoe molding that may be present. Particularly if you want to save money by reusing the same baseboard over a new floor, it’s important to free the trim without damaging it—and without scratching, denting, or gouging the walls.
At one time, achieving such precision required a number of outmoded tools, hard work, lots of patience, and extra time and money spent repairing holes and replacing damaged trim. Now, with the help of an impressively simple new tool called the Trim Puller, obtaining a pro-quality job is a total snap, saving you time and money along the way.
Tools & Materials
- 6-inch utility knife
- Caulk remover
- Trim Puller
- Side-cutting pliers
Photo: trimpuller. com
Examine the baseboards and determine the type of wall paint used in the room. Latex paint creates a seal between trim and walls, so if that’s what was used, take a 6-inch utility knife (or, in a pinch, a 5-in-1 painter’s tool) and carefully score along the length of the seam where the baseboard meets the wall so that you avoid pulling off any wall color. Tip: If you notice caulking along the top edge of the baseboard, apply caulk remover to the seam before scoring.
Loosen the pins or finishing nails that hold the baseboard to the walls. In the past, this task involved inserting a putty knife between the baseboard and the wall and giving it a twist. Now, you can instead enlist the Trim Puller, an ergonomic new tool that incorporates a 15-degree center wedge that’s designed for easy, efficient extraction, just perfect for this delicate process.
Starting at one end of the strip of baseboard, position the Trim Puller’s front face against the wall with the sharp edge on the scored seam. Next, strike the top of the Trim Puller with a hammer or mallet, driving the device between the baseboard and the wall. You will notice that the integrated center wedge automatically begins separating the baseboard from the wall, minimizing the work and speeding the process along. The Trim Puller’s comfortable EPDM rubber handle absorbs the impact vibration of the hammer, making the job pain-free!
Once you’ve wedged the Trim Puller between the trim and the wall, gently twist or pull to slightly separate the two. Continue along the wall in 12-inch increments, increasing the gap as you move toward the end of the wall until the baseboard is free.
If you’ve ever damaged trim, wall, or flooring while using a chunky, clunky crowbar or pry bar to remove baseboard, or sweated to insert a shim just right to keep those dings and dents at bay, you’ll really appreciate the ease and efficiency of the Trim Puller. It features a larger, flatter, and wider contact area than offered by older tools used for removing trim, and it boasts three contact points instead of one to make the job quicker and cleaner.
Voilà! Three simple steps later, your walls will be in fine shape, and the freed-up baseboard—once you get rid of any remaining pins or finishing nails with the claw end of a hammer or side-cutting pliers—will be ready for reuse so you can wrap up your weekend project.
This post has been brought to you by Zenith Industries. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.
How to remove the plinth from the floor (plastic, wood, MDF)? Video and photo
How to remove the plinth from the floor (plastic, wood, MDF)? Video and photo
In fact, any major repair begins with one or another dismantling work. If you need to repair the floor, then first of all you will need to dismantle the floor plinth. Of course, skirting boards can be pulled out “with meat”, that is, so that later they can simply be thrown away. But this is not always reasonable and rational, because very often skirting boards can be reused. In such cases, you need to know how to remove the old skirting board from the floor carefully without damaging it. The complexity of removing the plinth depends on the material of its manufacture and the method of fixing it to the floor (nails, glue, putty).
Contents of the article
- How to remove the plastic skirting from the floor?
- Removing a wooden baseboard nailed to the wall
- Removing a wooden baseboard nailed to the floor
- Crowbar removal – option no. omke
- If no nail heads are visible
- Removing the wooden baseboard screwed on with screws
- Removing the wooden baseboard with chopsticks
- Removing the MDF skirting board
How to remove the plastic skirting board from the floor?
Plastic skirting boards have a hidden fastening and are screwed to the wall, after which a special plug is inserted into the fastening place. When solving the problem of how to remove the plastic plinth from the floor, the fasteners should also be reached with a spatula. After the latch moves away, it remains to unscrew the screws.
Video on how to remove the plastic plinth:
If the plinth also functions as a cable channel, then another point appears in the installation sequence – you must first remove the bar that closes the channel and remove the wire from there. Then you can already begin to dismantle the plinth itself by simply unscrewing it from the wall.
Removing a wooden skirting board nailed to the wall
Removing wooden skirting boards nailed to the wall is considered the most problematic, since during this work there is a considerable risk of damaging the wallpaper and even the plaster. Such skirting boards predominate in old houses, so you should act with them like this:
- Insert a spatula between the skirting board and the wall and carefully try to widen the gap with it.
- Then insert a wooden wedge into the widened gap and lightly tap it with a hammer to drive even deeper.
At a distance of 30 cm from the wedge, repeat the procedure with a spatula.
- Insert a new wedge into the widened gap and also deepen it.
- After that drive the first wedge even deeper.
- Working in this way with a couple of wedges, they need to be driven gradually deeper and deeper until the nails come out of the wall.
Removing a wooden baseboard nailed to the floor
Most often, the nail heads protrude above the surface of the wood, so it is not so difficult to find them. But even if they are recessed into the plinth, then even then they are easy to find by the characteristic recesses.
Dismantling with a crowbar – option no. 1
- In this case, before removing the plinth from the floor, you need to drive the pointed end of the crowbar under it near the location of the nail holding the plinth.
- After that, pull the crowbar towards you.
True, if the nails are rusty and hold tight, the crowbar will leave a noticeable dent in the floorboard. To avoid this and increase the area of support for the tool, you need to put something thin enough, but strong (a piece of plywood, a thin board, a metal plate) under the crowbar. But if you apply too much force, the baseboard can break, so you need to be careful.
For the same purpose – not to damage the curb – it is better to start dismantling the skirting board from the edge. First, it must be raised above the floor in the area of \u200b\u200bthe first nail, then repeat the same for the next, then for the third, and so on, until the entire length of the skirting board is at the same distance from the floor. Then continue the operation until the nails finally come out of the floorboards.
The crowbar should be placed as close to the nail as possible, otherwise the farther it is placed, the more likely it is that the material will break.
Dismantling with a crowbar – option No. 2
You can do it a little differently: first, lift the plinth near the first nail, then near the second, then return to the first again, and then go to the third, then the second, etc.
Video how to remove an old wooden skirting board from the floor:
If the nails “do not give in” to the crowbar
If the plinth does not give in anyway, then it remains to cut a small depression near the nail with a chisel so that the nail can be grabbed by the head with a nail puller. After that, it will already be possible to pull the nails from their homes. Here you can pick up a thick wooden block as a support for the crowbar.
If the nail heads are not visible
Sometimes it is not possible to see the location of the nails on the wooden plinth – in cases where they were puttied before painting.
It can be assumed that the nails are 50-70 cm apart, and the first one is probably 10-20 cm from the corner of the wall. Here you should try to find nails, solving the problem of how to remove the plinth.
- First, you need to drive the crowbar under the plinth 10-20 cm from the corner of the wall and slowly and carefully try to lift it.
- It makes no sense to pay attention to the putty falling off during manipulations – this process is inevitable, and it will need to be updated later.
- Continue with the rest of the nails until the skirting board is completely removed.
Removing a wooden baseboard screwed on with screws
Usually the heads of the screws go deep into the wood, so you should look for them in the holes. But sometimes they can protrude above the surface, then they become even more noticeable.
Occasionally, the caps are masked with plastic plugs, which are also clearly visible. To dismantle the plinth, simply unscrew the screws with a screwdriver or screwdriver. Careless craftsmen sometimes drive screws into wood, then they need to be removed like nails.
Dismantling a wooden plinth with chopsticks
Occasionally there are skirting boards made of precious woods, which are fastened “sunk”, that is, a nail or screw is deeply recessed, masked from above with a wooden chopik, which is varnished. Chopiks can be found by the characteristic dark rim or other texture of wood (in the material of the plinth, the wood is cut along, and in the chopik – across). Such expensive skirting boards are usually fastened with screws or self-tapping screws to the wall, and to dismantle them, you need to use a screwdriver with a suitable sting. But if such a rare product turned out to be nailed, then it remains to take up the crowbar again.
Removing the MDF skirting board
MDF skirting boards can be fixed using a mounting bracket or special latches. If the first option is used, then the plinth is mounted on top, but the latches must first be screwed to the wall and only after that the curb itself should be fixed on them. To dismantle it, you need to use a wide spatula, which you need to insert from the bottom of the plinth and gently lift it. In another version, the spatula must be inserted between the wall and the plinth, and then pulled towards you. In both cases, the goal is to remove the plinth from the latch.
How do you prefer to remove the skirting board and why? Tell us about it in the comments – share your experience.
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How to remove a skirting board without damaging the finish?
Home » Miscellaneous » How to remove the baseboard without damaging the finish?
Thinking of a major overhaul, or renovation of the interior space? Then you can not do without dismantling work. Removing old coatings is a mandatory step before starting repair work. Difficulties are the dismantling of skirting boards, especially if the wall or floor covering needs to be preserved.
How to remove the skirting without damaging the walls, floor and ceiling? In this article, we will consider the main ways to remove baguettes (ceiling and floor) with our own hands.
- Features of dismantling work
- How to remove ceiling fillets
- How to disassemble the floor plinth
Features of dismantling work
There may be several reasons for removing skirting boards: their damage, unpresentable appearance, the need flooring, wall and ceiling replacements.
Dismantling works are divided into:
- simple – removal of old finishing elements with their subsequent disposal;
- difficult – dismantling of worn-out products in order to reuse them.
The cost of baguette removal is also determined by its material. It is easier to remove a product from plastic and polyurethane than from wood, gypsum, ceramics.
How to remove ceiling moldings
If you need to replace wall and ceiling finishes, the question arises: how to remove the ceiling molding? To do this, you will need the following tools:
- chisel, pry bar;
The dismantling of the ceiling plinth begins with clearing the paint on the sides of the baguette with a knife. Further, between the wall and the plinth, the sharp end of a chisel or spatula is driven in, separating the product around the entire perimeter of the room.
Note: Use a small piece of plywood to avoid damaging the wall.
Insert a crowbar into the holes and remove the plinth
Fillets made of polyurethane and foam, due to the fragility of the material, cannot be removed without damage. The dismantling of gypsum fillets is also difficult – when removed, they simply fall apart into pieces, forming a lot of debris.
Attention: when removing the molding from the false ceiling, be careful not to damage the drywall.
How to dismantle the floor molding
When changing the floor covering, the floor baguette must be removed. How to remove the plinth from the floor correctly?
Wooden planks are fastened with nails, which may rust during the use of the product. How to tear them off without damaging either the wall or the floor? First, the plinth is separated from the wall with a chisel, and then removed, pushing it away with a crowbar.
Attention: After dismantling, remove all nails.
Removing the wooden planks
How do I remove the plastic skirting board? Since the PVC strips are screwed to the wall, it is easy to dismantle them – you just need to remove the top strip, unscrew the screws and disassemble the structure.