Although hardwood floors should last about 40 years, in the real world things happen to damage it over time and sometimes it becomes necessary to remove them. Whether you are interested in removing few pieces without damaging it or to go for hardwood flooring demolition, it will depend on a few factors such as the following:
-Was the original installation done well?
-Is it a floating hardwood floor or one that is glued down?
-What type of floor will you be installing after removing hardwood flooring?
List of Tools
Circular Saw – You’ll need a circular saw for when you need to cut into the floor.
Chisel – You never know when you’ll need to get into a tight groove or push through some glue.
Claw Hammer – When floor panels are stuck up next to a wall area, you’ll need a claw hammer to grab, pull, and rip them out.
Flooring Scraper – The only way you’ll get through a lot of glue is with the flooring scraper.
Pry Bar – These are a necessity when it comes to picking up floor panels that are stuck.
Sledge Hammer – When nothing else will get through, you can always count on your sledge hammer to bust things.
Before removing hardwood flooring It is important to understand what kind of flooring was used and how it was installed before you begin removing it. This will help you choose the right tools for the job.
If you aren’t trying to preserve the wood, do some pre-cuts with your circular saw to make it easy to get started. These should be 1-2 feet areas. If you were not sure how the floor was laid before, you should know after doing this. Make sure you don’t cut down into the foundation.
Steps for removing hardwood flooring
1. Hit each area of the floor with the sledge hammer enough to break things loose, but not so much as to break the foundation.
2. Use your pry bar to lift the panels and panel fragments up off of the foundation. You may find that it is easier if you use the tongued areas of the panels to pick them up out of the floor. Also, if you pull the panels out individually and stack them as you go, you will save a of of cleanup time and may leave the surface area better preserved for installation of the next floor.
3. If there is glue stuck beneath where the panels were, you need to scrape it up with the flooring scraper and the chisel as needed.
If the floor you have removed was glued down, it may be quite a task for you to get your mess cleaned up adequately. In this case there will be glue fragments and stuck pieces of glue that could take hours to clean.
Saw dust and tiny pieces of wood are usually everywhere. If you have a sturdy vacuum you can save some time, but you’ll likely be finding things to clean up manually that will take you quite a few hours to complete.