Q: Do you need to remove molding to lay a hardwood floor? Can the molding be kept in place? Can I butt the floor up next to it considering that all the instructions says to allow 1/2″ for expansion? What would be the pros/cons of leaving the molding in place?
A: You can leave the base board in place. Install the floor up to the base, leaving an expansion gap and install quarter round to cove the gap. It is a good idea to leave a small gap because even high humidity in the home can put a lot of pressure on the floor without the gap. You don’t want your floor to buckle.
Related Q: For a new room addition, should the base molding be put down before or after the wood floors?
A: It is certainly ideal and better to install that after the floor.