How to Remove Glued Down Hardwood Floors | An Expert Guide


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How to remove glued down hardwood floors are a welcome addition to any home. But they can be overwhelming to deal with once it’s time to remove or replace them.

Removing glued-down hardwood from plywood the wrong way can cost you hours of backbreaking work, leave you with a huge mess and even cause permanent damage to your subfloor.

If you decide to remove glued-down laminate flooring yourself, it will pay to know how to go about the project safely and efficiently.

Start by cutting the individual boards into more manageable sections, and then pull them up with a pry bar.

From there, you can dispose of the materials or reuse them for other creative uses in your home.

How to Remove Glued Down Hardwood Floors: Materials Required

  • Circular saw2. pry bar
  • Hammer or nail claw
  • Locking pliers
  • Chisel
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Painter’s tape
  • Breathing mask
  • Protective goggles or work glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Construction kneepads
  • Closed-toe shoes

How to Remove Glued Down Hardwood Floors: Steps

Preparing your work area

Layout of the removal area

  • Determine exactly how much floor you need to lift and where you will start. This way, you will have the floor without damage to the concrete slab.
  • You may want to remove the entire floor and lay a new one, or you may decide to remove only a particular section to install carpet, ceramic tile, or laminate to change the design of your floor plan.
  • Having a clear idea of the best way to proceed will help you complete the project more efficiently.
  • Generally, it is easiest to remove one or two centerboards and work outward from there.
  • Use tape to mark specific boundaries and make cutting and prying more accurate.
How to Remove Glued Down Hardwood Floors

Place tarps to control the spread of dust and debris

  • For glued-down hardwood floor removal, you need to use tarps to cover light fixtures, furniture, appliances, and anything else you don’t want to be covered with sawdust once you start sawing.
  • Also, as much clutter as possible should be eliminated possible from the work area beforehand so that you have the maximum amount of space to work with.
  • Completely remove any computers, gaming systems, TVs, and other sensitive electronics from the room. Even if they are covered, internal components can still be damaged.
  • Secure tarps with masking or painter’s tape that can be easily removed when you’re done.
  • Although it is tempting for many to skip this step, the truth is that it is not recommended.
  • Cleaning sawdust from unprotected areas is a major effort that will greatly increase the overall timeline of your project.
Removing glued down hardwood from plywood

Equip with the proper safety equipment

  • Glued-down wood floors are often very complex to remove, which is why before you begin, you should make sure you are prepared to tackle the project safely.
  • Put on heavy-duty work gloves to protect your hands while operating the circular saw, some safety a respiratory mask for filtering, and, above all, goggles.
  • It is a good option if you can also make sure to wear closed-toed shoes with thick soles, as loose toenails and other exposed edges will surround you.
  • The use of long-sleeved clothing will prevent exposure of the skin to dust and hazardous elements.
  • Since you will spend hours kneeling to lift boards, a pair of knee pads can be a lifesaver.
Glued down wood floor removal machine

Cutting and lifting hardwood flooring

  • Cut the boards into small sections 3 feet (0.91 m) wide.
  • Cut the boards perpendicularly at intervals.
  • This will reduce them to a small size and facilitate their subsequent lifting.
  • Run the saw from one end of the workspace to the other in a straight line, then turn and proceed in a reverse direction.
  • Set the saw blade’s depth to the same thickness as the hardwood, so you don’t accidentally damage the subfloor.
  • For example, if your concrete floor is 5 ⁄ 8 in. (16 mm) thick, the saw guard should also be set at 5 ⁄ 8 (15 mm).
  • Make your cuts more or less every 30 centimetres, and try to avoid sewing over the “tongue” end of the board.
  • You can make use of a hand-held floor scraper throughout this procedure.
Cost to remove glued down wood flooring

Use a pry bar to lift the boards.

  • For glued-down wood floor removal, you will need to wedge the pry bar’s tip under a section of the floor. Learn cleaning cherry wood floors.
  • Pull back sharply on the handle to pry the board out of place.
  • Assuming you have cut the boards into small enough sections, they should come right out.
  • Until the soil is completely removed, the process must be repeated.
  • Always lift the boards in the same direction they are nailed. This will help prevent cracks and splinters.
  • If the boards are glued too firmly to move, tap the board’s bottom where it meets the subfloor with a chisel to create a gap.
  • However, the best option is to use a glued-down wood floor removal machine. This will make the job much easier.
Glued down wood floor removal machine Rental

Dispose of old flooring

  • Keep a large cleanup container. Lined trash container in your work area need be used as a cleanup container. You have something to drop the discarded wood fragments into as you go.
  • This is a much safer and organized approach than throwing everything in a loose pile. When you are finished, the old flooring will be taken to the landfill or recycling center.
  • Be careful with the dumpster, as there are likely to be many loose nails and exposed jagged edges. The cost to remove glued-down wood flooring can be high if you don’t know how to remove your glued-down wood properly.

Collect the remaining nails and staples

  • There will likely be some loose metal fasteners scattered around the floor, so be careful as you move around the work area.
  • You can either collect these inputs by hand or use a powerful hand magnet to pick up any metal debris lying around. Spent nails and staples should go directly into the trash.
  • Protruding nails can be bent before disposal to make them less hazardous.
  • Keep your work gloves on throughout the cleaning process in case you come in contact with sharp objects.

Clean your work area thoroughly

  • Sweep sawdust, wood chips, and other debris into small piles, then use a shop vacuum to suck them up.
  • Remove tarps, roll them up carefully, and move them outside for cleanup or disposal.
  • If necessary, vacuum or mop the area to remove particularly fine dust.
  • In the case of extensive maintenance work, use anti-dust sprays and a microfiber towel for small particles.
  • So if you want to GLUED-DOWN WOOD FLOOR REMOVAL Hardwood floors, you will need to follow our advice.

Recovering hardwood for other projects

Cut a board in half lengthwise.

  • If your hardwood floor is still in good condition, you may want to store it and use it elsewhere.
  • To salvage hardwood successfully, you will first need to cut a board straight down the middle along its length.
  • After ripping out both halves of this board, you will have enough room to start working on the others.
  • Waive some of the paintings to be able to eliminate others is necessary in some cases.
  • Excavate a centerboard and work outward in both directions.

Lift the remaining boards individually

  • Take one end of the board and lower, with the pry bar’s tip directly below the nails or staples.
  • You’ll want to pull the boards fairly carefully to avoid splintering. Work slowly, doing your best to keep all boards intact.
  • Pass the lever half a meter at a time, concentrating on areas that are held down by fasteners or adhesives.
  • Preserving your floor is a time-consuming process, but the reward is a fresh supply of usable hardwood.

Remove all nails and staples.

  • Once you’ve lifted all the boards, go through them one at a time and remove the fasteners used to secure them.
  • The best tools are a nail or the back and a hammer and locking pliers.
  • Be patient. It will take a while to remove every last nail and staple.
  • Work slowly and gently to avoid unnecessary damage to the wood.
  • Use a hand-magnet to speed up the collection and removal of small pieces of metal.

Cleaning and storing salvaged wood

  • From here, you can keep the hardwood or use it for other projects.
  • Wipe each board with a damp cloth and keep them in a cool, dry environment until you are ready to use them. If desired, you can polish or sand and stain older wood to restore it to like-new condition.
  • Reclaimed wood can be used to provide flooring for another room in your home, create unique rustic wall panelling, build a garden path, or any other project.
  • Sometimes the recovered material may be sold. Lumber to other companies or individuals looking for inexpensive building materials. The longer the pieces of flooring, the more valuable they are.
  • You must keep all this information. It will most likely be useful for your floor removal projects.

How to Remove Glued Down Hardwood Floors: FAQs

How do you remove glued hardwood floors without damaging them?

To remove glued wood floors, you will need to follow the series of steps described in this article.

How much does it cost to remove glued-down hardwood floors?

Unless you hire the services of companies specializing in floor removal, plan on ten square feet per hour as a high estimate. Currently, the cost of installing hardwood floors from national and local companies charge between $2.50 and $3.50 per square foot.

How do you remove glue-down laminate flooring?

Mop the floor before lifting the planks to soften the glue that holds the planks to the floor. Starting on an edge piece, use a heat gun to melt the glue as you lift the plank.


Glued-down wood flooring is not so simple to remove, especially if you are not a professional in this field. It is always important that you go to professionals for this type of work. Concrete floors are often a headache for some.

If you think you can handle it, follow our advice, and your project will be fine.

Carefulness is very important with flooring on concrete. On the other hand, the wood can be damaged and become unusable for another project in the future.

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