Baseboards, moldings, and other trim serve as a transition between the flooring and the walls. If your rooms currently have carpeting, it probably abuts the baseboard without additional trim molding. If you are replacing the carpeting with solid hardwood flooring you will be leaving a gap around the floor’s perimeter, eventually covered by molding. In any case, consider whether you will install molding or other trim as you remove the existing trim. How neat do you need to be? Are you removing molding that you will refinish and reinstall around the new flooring?
The easiest way to remove molding is to slip a metal putty knife behind it near a nail and carefully pry it away from the wall. Larger molding may require that a small pry bar be inserted between the wall and molding once the putty knife has widened the gap. Remove vinyl cove molding or ceramic tile by scoring the top edge, then carefully inserting a metal putty knife between the wall and molding. Finally, remove any residue adhesive behind the molding.
If you plan to reuse a threshold or trim, turn it over and write its location on the back side so you know where it went. Even if you didn’t plan to reuse it, you can use the old thresholds and trim as templates for the new materials. For easier handling, remove (or have your assistant remove) any nails or fasteners for storage.