Removing old hardwood flooring

Q: I am going to remove my old hardwood floor. What tools are required for removing old hardwood flooring and where do you start?

A: The way I do it may take a bit longer, but is a lot cleaner. You will need a circular saw, set to the thickness of the floor. Cut across the floor in 4 foot wide sections. With a wrecking bar and hammer, remove each section, row by row, bagging the wood and pulling the nails as you go. Tie the bags with twine.

Trouble prying up hardwood floor

Related Q: I need to replace the subfloor in my bathroom, due to a leaky toilet. I’ve removed the layer of linoleum and have a hardwood layer, which I have tried to pry off to no avail. Do you have any suggestions other than hiring someone?

A: I wouldn’t know why you can’t remove the old hardwood with a wrecking bar and hammer. More often than not it is just nailed to the subfloor.

Saving the hardwood

Similar Q: Under my hardwood oak flooring the subfloor is rotted out. Is there a way to remove hardwood floor to repair subfloor and save the hardwood to put back? The hardwood is nailed in.

A: Start pulling the floor up from the wall and work toward the damaged area. If the damage is far from the wall, you will have to cut out the floorboards in the area and replace with new.

Removing 1400 sq ft

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: I had a water line break on vacation and I am having to remove about 1400 sq. feet of floor. I have never done this and was wondering if you could help.

A: I usually cut the floor in sections about 3-4 feet wide with my circular saw, and take it up and bag and tie it row by row. You will need a hammer, pry bar and perhaps a larger wrecking bar would help too. The pry bar is quite good for pulling the nails that will be left in the sub floor. I would suggest wearing safety glasses when cutting the floor, since you will likely hit the occasional nail. It is going to be a real workout, but you have to get the floor up for the sub floor to dry and avoid mold issues.

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