Hardwood flooring is a beautiful addition to any home, but it may be difficult to deal with when it comes time to remove or replace it when the time comes.
When you strip hardwood flooring the wrong way, you might end up with hours of backbreaking labor, a large mess, and even irreparable damage to your subflooring as a result.
If you decide to do the flooring removal yourself, it would be beneficial to know how to do the project in a safe and efficient manner.
Begin by sawing the individual boards into more manageable portions, and then pry them up with a pry bar to remove them from the ground.
In the following step, you can either dispose of the items or repurpose them for other creative purposes around your home.
Remove Hardwood Flooring if You Are Not Keeping the Hardwood Flooring
- Remove the boards using your pliers. It’s usually better to begin near the middle of the floor, at one end of the room.
- Dispose of waste as you go.
- Remove nails and staples from the wall.
- Clear the area.
- There was only one board along the length.
- Pry each board one at a time.
- Remove all nails and staples from the surface.
- Sweep and sanitize the surrounding area.
Reasons Why You Need To Remove Hardwood Flooring:
Raise in the Laminate Floor
The reasons for the increase in the price of laminate flooring are very straightforward.
If the subfloor beneath the floor is not fully level, the pressure of walking across the floor will lift the boards at the end of the floor that is opposite the source of the pressure.
If your installation was done correctly, with staggered end joints between rows of tiles, the floor should be able to withstand this pressure most of the time.
End joints that are out of alignment, as well as a moving floor, can all contribute to the problem. In a glue-down installation, the glue itself might fail, causing the floor to rise or bounce, depending on the type of installation.
It is also possible that water on your floor will cause the boards to buckle, causing a plank to bend up in the middle and pull it out of alignment with the others.
The majority of them are floating installations
A floating installation is one that is supported by a foam underlay and does not require the use of glue or fasteners.
When it comes to floating installations, the solution is usually straightforward.
Lift the floorboards, beginning with one wall and working your way down until you reach the elevated portion.
If necessary, make repairs to the subflooring. In order to restore the floor to its previous condition, any broken boards should be replaced with new ones.
Make use of a woodblock and hammer to tap the rows together tightly so that they are less likely to separate in the future.
Living Proof Magazine suggests that you seek professional assistance with this repair.
Some Are Glued to the Floor
The glue-down method of installing flooring involves spreading a flooring adhesive across the bottom of the planks.
The planks are then forced to the floor, and the neighboring pieces are snapped onto the piece that came before them, then pressed down to ensure that the glue is evenly distributed throughout the floor.
This type of floor has a variety of solutions depending on how severe the lifting is.
Use a handheld rotary tool to drill a small hole down through the offending plank or planks and inject silicone caulk or adhesive under the floor if the laminate flooring feels bouncy but the joints are still tight.
If the joints are still tight, use a large syringe to inject silicone caulk or adhesive under the floor.
Fill up the hole with wood putty that matches the color of the wood.
It may be necessary to scrape and replace the entire installation if the condition is serious, as evidenced by big gaps or boards that have buckled.
How to Remove Hardwood Flooring
Demolition and removal of an old hardwood floor are straightforward, but it must be done in a systematic manner to avoid becoming back- and knee-breaking labor.
This is the initial phase in the procedure, and it involves determining how much you will remove.
You’re removing the entire floor, or just a piece of it, I’m assuming.
After that, you must decide whether or not you will save the wood or dispose of it.
If the wood is in good shape, you may be able to recycle it or donate it to a charitable organization.
The method you use to remove the hardwood will be determined by what you intend to do with it after it is removed.
Finally, you’ll need to put together all of your tools and set aside plenty of time for this project.
You can discover instructions on how to remove hardwood flooring, whether you intend to dispose of it or retain it in place in this section.
Tools that will be Required
In order to remove hardwood flooring, you’ll need two sorts of equipment: the tools you’ll use to pull it up and the protective clothing you’ll need to wear throughout the procedure.
The protective equipment is critical because the process will expose you to nails, staples, shattered wood, and a great deal of dust.
The following is a list of the tools and equipment you will require.
Protection from the elements includes the following: masks, protective goggles, thick work gloves, construction kneepads, and work boots.
Tarps and tape (painter’s tape works well) are also recommended.
• Circular saw, reciprocating saw, and other similar tools (optional, but really handy)
• Vice grips • Prybar • Mallet • Hammer • Nail claw • Chisel • Nail claw • Vice grips
• A powerful magnet (optional, but recommended)
• A broom and shovel, as well as a dust bin
A handful of observations about the tools:
– In place of a nail claw, the claw of a hammer can be used just as well, while the nail claw may be preferable for use along edges or in other tight locations you may find yourself in.
When it comes to the prybar, a mallet is more gentle than a hammer, although both are effective.
– Although a reciprocating saw is not required, it can be used in difficult-to-reach areas more effectively than a circular saw.
However, because of its “play,” it should be handled with extreme caution because it can make it impossible to control the depth and straightness of a cut.
Floor Preparation: Preparing Wood Floors
Make a note of the location.
You should measure and mark the length of the wood flooring portion you intend to remove before you begin working.
You’re probably familiar with the ancient proverb, “Measure twice, cut once.”
If you are removing all of the wood floorings in a room or house, it is not necessary to mark the areas where you will be working unless you feel the need to divide your job.
Make a Vacant Space
It is impossible to anticipate the amount of sawdust and wood chips that will be sprayed on you and everything else in the room unless you have previous experience removing hardwood flooring from your home.
You should wear a mask and glasses to protect your eyes and face from harm.
Don’t forget to shield your furnishings from the elements as well!
Remove all of the objects from the room. Covering all of the objects that can’t be moved with tarps and tape is recommended.
Before removing hardwood flooring, make sure that any devices are entirely removed from the room to avoid any potential harm.
Cover any vents in the flooring, walls, or ceilings.
It will make cleanup a lot easier, and it will keep you and your property safe at the same time.
Don’t forget to complete this step if you want to remove the hardwood flooring.
You could inadvertently destroy your walls, and they were never responsible for any damage that occurred.
Run a razor blade along the top of the baseboard to remove any excess glue.
Make certain to cut through all of the paint layers.
It is possible to use your pry bar to pull the baseboards out from this position; however, a trim puller is built expressly to offer broad and even pressure in order to avoid damaging the wood.
The use of a pry bar or vice grips could potentially cause the board to break.
This is critical if you intend to retain your baseboards in their current condition.
Preparing to Cut a Hardwood Flooring Surface
The quickest and most straightforward method of removing your wood floors is to split the floor panels into smaller pieces.
If you plan to repurpose the hardwood flooring, cutting it into smaller chunks will prevent the panels from snapping and splintering as they are lifted.
Even if you intend to dispose of the wood in a dumpster, splintered timber makes the project potentially hazardous.
Ascertain that the depth of your saw is correct in order to avoid damaging the subfloor beneath the wood.
Consider the following example: if your floor panels are 5/8-inch thick, you should set the height of your saw to 5/8-inch.
We’ve cleared out our space and are ready to go. The scene has been completely sealed up, and the baseboards have been securely removed.
Our protective gear is in place, and our tools are prepared for use.
Consider the most expedient method of removing hardwood flooring.
Step-by-Step Instruction On How to Remove Hardwood Flooring
2 Methods for Removing Hardwood Flooring if You Don’t Want to Keep the Hardwood
To get started, if you plan to keep any of the floors, indicate the spot on the floor where you will stop using tape.
Perhaps a line should be drawn on the floor?
It is possible that it will get lost in the shuffle.
After that, tape plastic over all of the doors and windows in the house to prevent dust out of the other rooms (as much as you possibly can).
Now it’s time to take out the hardwood flooring.
Step 1: Divide the boards into manageable portions
This phase will be completed with the help of your circular saw.
(A reciprocating saw may be useful in this situation, depending on the size of the space, but it is not required.)
It will be necessary to make cuts that are perpendicular to the direction of the wood boards.
Make the first cut on the floor where the tape has been placed to indicate the area that will be left.
Set the depth of your circular saw to match the depth of the hardwood flooring you’re cutting.
If it’s 3/4″, adjust the depth of your saw to 3/4″.
You will not be able to cut through the subfloor as a result of this.
Make the cuttings every 12-24″ to ensure even distribution.
Shorter boards may be easier to pry up, but you’ll be prying them up a lot more than longer boards.
Step 2: Remove the boards using Pliers
It’s usually better to begin near the middle of the floor, at one end of the room.
Grab your pry bar and mallet and get to work.
Get the prybar underneath a section of the floor with the help of a partner.
Pulling back on the board should cause it to come loose.
Pry the wood planks in the direction in which they are running for the best outcomes.
Breaking and splintering should be reduced as a result of this.
The chisel can be used to tap beneath the board to make space, then the prybar can be put in position if the screws are stubbornly stuck in place.
Step 3: Dispose of garbage as you go
Make every effort to maintain the space as clean as possible.
As you work, keep a few trash bags or containers nearby, and put the wood and other waste into them as you go.
This will decrease the likelihood of obtaining splinters or being entangled with an old nail or staple.
Step 4: Remove all nails and staples from the wall
Prepare your tools, including a hammer, nail claw, and vice grips.
Remove any nails or staples that may still be present around the room.
You can save time by keeping a small bucket next to you to collect nails and staples as you pull them.
This will also save you time when it comes to cleaning up after yourself.
If you come across any nails or staples that are simply refusing to come loose, you can use a hammer to pound them flat into the flooring with a hammering motion.
Step 5: Clean up after yourself.
Remove as much debris as you can from the area and dispose of it.
For any staples and nails that remain after the removal process, you can use a strong magnet to assist you; otherwise, use your hands or a shop vacuum to remove them.
How to Remove Hardwood Flooring if You Want to Keep the Hardwood.
Okay, so you’re going to maintain the hardwood flooring in place.
This will take time, attention, and patience to ensure that the wood remains in good condition throughout the process.
Here’s how you go about it.
Step 1: Saw one board down the length of the length
When you sacrifice one board, you acquire access to the length of each and every board after that.
Choose one board that is in the middle of the pack.
For the removal of other boards, you may need to lose more than one board in order to gain access.
Set the circular saw to the depth of the wood (and no deeper, so order to avoid damaging your subfloor) and cut the wood lengthwise with the saw blade.
You may need to sacrifice a number of boards if you have thin planks and cutting doesn’t make sense.
In that case, skip to Step 2 and start from there.
Step 2: Pry each board one at a time.
Remove each board one at a time using the prybar and extreme caution. Prying slowly at the place of each nail will help you prevent bending or splitting the boards.
Gently lift up the board by positioning the prybar beneath the wood at one end of the board.
If you hear anything that sounds like strain or cracking, immediately stop!
Once you’ve elevated it to your desired height, move the board down 6-8″ and lift to create additional space.
When you reach the next nail, gently pry it out of the way.
Continue this process all the way around the board until you have freed it.
This procedure should be repeated for each piece of wood.
If you have a second person to assist you, the process will go considerably more quickly.
Step 3: Remove any nails and staples from the surface
After all of the boards have been removed, it’s time to remove the nails and staples that held them in place.
Pull out staples and nails that have been left on the floor with the vice grips, nail claw, and hammer.
After that, carefully remove any staples or nails that may have been left in the wood.
Some nails may need to be pounded loose; only do this if it is absolutely necessary to do so.
A garbage pail or bucket should be kept handy for the collection of the staples and nails.
Step 4: Sweep and thoroughly clean the area around the vehicle.
Sweep the area thoroughly to remove any debris.
Then, if you’re using a magnet, go around the room gathering any nails or staples that may have escaped your grasp.
Sweep the area once again, and then use a shop vac to gather any leftover debris.
Step 5: Clean and store the hardwood flooring (optional).
Cleaning the wood is as simple as wiping it down with a moist towel.
Clean each component with a damp cloth. Keep it in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to reuse or recycle it again.
Our Final Thoughts
We’re going to try to be as gentle as possible with these baseboards in order to save them.
We’re naming the baseboard and the wall, just in case we decide to reuse them and want to be sure we know where each piece belongs.
It’ll be a lot less work than going through all of those cuts again!
If we do decide to repurpose these baseboards, I’ll give them a fast sanding and a fresh coat of paint to ensure that they look as good as new as possible.
Who knows, after the new wider plank floors are installed, I might opt to go with chunkier baseboards instead of thinner ones… It appears like the jury is still out on this one.
Frequently Ask Questions
Is removing hardwood floors a difficult endeavor?
If you are not planning on reusing or donating the wood, breaking it into little chunks will make it easier to remove from the ground.
Flooring that has been glued down as well as nailed down will be the most difficult to remove.
Set your saw to a blade thickness that is slightly less than the thickness of the flooring to avoid damaging or cutting through the subflooring.
Is removing hardwood floors a costly undertaking?
Hardwood floor removal costs a lot of money.
According to RemodelingExpense, the cost to remove a hardwood floor is around $353, with typical rates ranging from $195 to $865 in the United States for 2020.
Expect to pay more to remove an old hardwood, laminate, or tile floor that requires more time and effort to disassemble and remove than normal.
Does it take how long to get glued down hardwood out of the way?
In a few hours, the average person can remove the glue from a room’s wood flooring and refinish it.
It is possible, however, that the process will become more difficult and time-consuming if your flooring extremely adheres to the subfloor or concrete beneath it.
It can take up to 85 man-hours to completely remove the hardwood and adhesive from some projects.