How to Remove Hardwood Flooring

How to Remove Hardwood Flooring

New flooring makes a wonderful addition to any home and provides homeowners with a pretty great ROI. However, getting rid of your old floors can seem like an intimidating chore if you’ve never done it before. 

Removing your hardwood floor is a task that any home-improvement beginner can accomplish but without the right information, your do-it-yourself project could take a turn for the worst. 

Before you get started, check out this simple step-by-step guide on how to remove your hardwood flooring.

Before You Start

Always wear the appropriate safety gear when doing any kind of home renovation. When removing hardwood flooring, everyone involved should wear safety gloves, protective eyewear, and puncture-resistant work boots. Remember to review how to handle all of your work tools safely. 

It’s also important to consider the interior climate of the area you want to renovate. If your flooring is exposed to high humidity, you may have a difficult time executing a clean hardwood floor removal job. Keeping indoor humidity between 30-50% will ensure your flooring is stable enough to pull without extensive breakage. 

1. Remove moldings and baseboards

For the most part, removing your baseboards and moldings is an easy task. First, score the seams of your molding or baseboard with a painter’s tool to cut through any dried paint or caulk holding it up to the wall. Then, use a hammer to wedge a trim puller behind the molding, and pry it from the wall. Use your trim puller on every eight to ten inches of baseboard, so as to not damage your walls. If you plan on reusing your baseboards or moldings, be as gentle as possible to avoid breakage.

2. Use a circular saw to cut the flooring

Measure the thickness of your wood floor and adjust your saw accordingly. It’s important that your saw cuts deep enough to get through the flooring but not deep enough to cut through your subflooring.

3. Begin cutting avoiding nails in the flooring

Cut across the room, perpendicular to the length of the floorboards, leaving three feet of room between each cut. Cutting in this fashion helps minimize the risk of running into nails, and creates small, easily pickable portions of wood to lift. If you want to salvage your old flooring, you’ll need to be more precise with your cuts.

4. Use a pry bar and hammer to pull up flooring

Get a pry bar and use a sledgehammer to drive it under your floorboard. Then pull the floorboard out by leveraging the pry bar against your subflooring. Repeat until your entire hardwood floor has been removed. 

5. Clean up and remove extra nails.

Make sure you clean up any extra nails you find along the way. Use a magnetic sweeper to collect any loose nails you may encounter while you remove the floorboard. Once you’re finished removing the entire floor, pull up your underlayment and remove any nails lodged in your subflooring. After that, you’re ready to continue your renovation by installing your new floor.

Now you know everything you need to about how to remove hardwood flooring! Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Be patient and take your time with each step. The more careful you are, the better the groundwork you’ll leave for your new install.

Do you have any questions or concerns about your DIY flooring project? Give us a call! We’d be happy to give you all the information you need. 

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Comment (1)

  • altyazili Reply

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and the rest of the website is also very good. Norene Kale Arlie

    January 31, 2021 at 9:53 am

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