WHAT. HAVE. WE. DONE?!?!
This is what happens when serial renters suddenly become homeowners. We demo ALL THE THINGS! After years of renting and not being able to make any permanent changes to our homes, our trigger finger is a little on the sensitive side. #understatement
When we bought this house, there were three different types of flooring on the main level: dated, honey oak hardwood, builder-beige carpet, and dark laminate that was installed over ceramic tile (so I guess that’s technically four types of floors). We want to replace all of this mismatched flooring with one cohesive wide plank French oak hardwood, but before we install the new floors, we’ve got to demo the existing floors.
Big thanks to Dremel for sponsoring this project. We used the Dremel Multi-Max in both the demo and installation of this hardwood flooring project and it was the perfect tool for the job. Read on to see how we used the Multi-Max to remove stubborn baseboards!
How To Remove Baseboards the Easy Way
- Dremel Multi-Max
- Painter’s Tool
- Trim Puller
- Pry Bar
- DeWalt 4 lb. Fiberglass Engineering Sledge Hammer
- DeWalt Circular Saw
- Diablo 7 1/4″ 24-Teeth Demo Demon Saw Blade
- Husky Soft Cap Gel Knee Pads
- General Purpose Work Gloves
- Safety Glasses
- Dust Mask
- Hearing Protection
First, score the baseboards with the painter’s tool or a box cutter. Cut through any old paint, caulk, or drywall paper so that when it comes time to separate the baseboard from the wall, it comes off cleanly. We tried a bunch of different tools (a flathead screwdriver, painter’s tool, utility knife, etc.) to pry the baseboards from the walls. After slow-going success and more effort than we’d like to admit, we finally gave this Trim Puller a shot. It worked like magic! What’s that they say about having the right tool for the job? Yeah. Save yourself some valuable time and effort, and go ahead and get the Trim Puller. It’ll make your demo day go quicker and easier. You’re welcome.
Position the Trim Puller where you scored the line, then use a hammer to gently tap the tool down behind the baseboard. Shimmy it a bit and start pulling up, prying the baseboard from the wall. Continue moving down along the wall, using the Trim Puller every 8-10 inches. Because the head of the tool is wide and flat, it evenly distributes the pressure so as not to damage your walls.
There were several times when we just couldn’t separate the baseboard from the wall, so we used the Dremel Multi-Max with the wood and metal blade to cut through any stubborn nails – this worked like a charm! We wondered why we didn’t use this tool in the first place. What’s that thing they say about hindsight being 20/20? Yeah. That.
We’re being as gentle as we can to try and salvage these baseboards. Just in case we decide to reuse them, we’re labeling the baseboard and the wall, so we know where each piece goes. It’ll be easier than making all of those cuts again! If we do reuse these baseboards, I’ll give them a quick sanding and fresh coat of paint so they’ll be good as new. Who knows though, after the new wider planked floors are in, I may decide to go with chunkier baseboards… the jury is still out on that one.
How To Remove Hardwood Flooring
First, set the blade depth on your circular saw. Our flooring is about 3/4 inches thick, so I set the blade depth about 3/4 inches deep, so that the blade cut through the hardwood floors, without cutting into the plywood subfloor. Because we’re throwing out this old flooring, we weren’t picky about where we made our cuts. We just made a cut across the room, every three feet or so, running perpendicular to how the planks were laid. Running the saw perpendicular like this minimizes the risk of cutting through any nails. You’ll want to be more strategic about your cuts if you’re trying to salvage your flooring.
Next, position the pry bar as shown and give it a good whack with the sledgehammer to drive it under the floorboard. This is a great time to get all that pent-up aggression out! Demo is so fun. Then, push or pull the pry bar, leveraging against the subfloor. Pry up the flooring, board by board and continue this until all of the flooring is taken up. We also pounded the nails back against the back of the boards, so no one accidentally got stabbed by a stray nail.
Lather, rinse, repeat. Once we found our groove, the flooring demo went pretty fast. Finally, we pulled up the underlayment and removed any nails and staples in the subfloor to get it ready for the new floors. We can’t wait to get these brand new floors laid down, so stay tuned for that! We’ll be sharing the whole process soon!
Want to see all of the flooring choices we’re considering? Check out this post!
Ready to see how the new hardwood floors look? Check out this post and see how easy it was to install!
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Dremel. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this website! All efforts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links are used; to read my full disclosure policy, please click here.