Question of the Week #5 – Baseboards Over Travertine?

This week I had a question about reusing existing trim pieces, or baseboards, with a new flooring project.

Question: I want to keep the baseboards I currently have around my floor? Can I leave them and install the tile into right up to them, or do I have to take them off and reapply after the job? They are expensive pieces and I am worried they might break or get scratched.

Answer: I would strongly recommend carefully removing the current baseboards, do the floor installation, grouting, sealing etc, and then reapply the baseboards on the top of the new project. This will be the cleanest solution because it will allow you to cover any gaps between the walls and the edge of the tile, as well as giving it a more integrated look. My feeling is that you will probably even have less damage to the pieces. Imagine the scraping that would go on as you try and lay tile and grout. Besides, this really does give you an opportunity to repaint (in the case of wood) or reseal/refinish (in the case of stone) to freshen up the whole job.

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