How To Remove Glued Down Wood Flooring | A Step By Step Guide


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Want to learn how to remove glued down wood flooring?

After a few years of installation, the glued down wood flooring usually begins to show signs of wear, especially in the areas with the highest traffic. This usually corresponds to the central areas of the flooring. If wear affects only a part of the surface, you can only intervene on the affected part, replacing the old boards with the new ones. Initially, you will notice the color difference, but the woods’ shades will become uniform over time. The replacement of the individual boards is straightforward if the parquet was laid with the interlocking technique.

On the other hand, it can be more complicated if the parquet is glued. In this case, it is necessary to remove all the boards adjacent to the damaged ones and proceed with the entire area’s replacement, taking care not to create unevenness and cracks on the entire flooring. The process on how to remove glued-down wood flooring is an operation that may not seem complicated. If done with little criteria (and experience), it risks leaving ruined grooves and boards. For this reason, it must always be performed using the steps elaborated below. 

How to Remove Glued down Wood Flooring: Elaborate and dirty

In the vast majority of cases, removing stuck parquet is a very strenuous and unpleasant job. The flooring adhesives’ black color can indicate particular toxicity in older floors and structures due to special hydrocarbons. If you find it more stressful, then the floor is likely 20 years old, installed by a builder, not DIYBreathing and eye protection gadgets should always be worn during removal, and residues on work clothing should not be transported into other rooms.

Depending on the floor’s depth, it can be the best decision in individual cases to only roughly remove the adhesive residue after dismantling the parquet and coat the residue with a leveling compound such as cement and a sealing layer such as elephant skin. Of course, it must be taken into account that this increases the overall height of the ground.

How To Remove Glued Down Wood Flooring

How to Remove Glued down Wood Flooring: Tools Needed

For glued down wood flooring removal, some tools would be required. This includes:

  • Screwdriver
  • Pincers or carpenter’s hammer
  • Jackhammer
  • Chisel
  • Carpet knife or cutter
  • Cow foot
  • Hardwood glue
  • Stripper
  • Electric steel spatula
  • Circular saw 
  • Carbide saw blades
  • Flat dowel router
  • Breathing mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Working gloves
  • Work clothes and shoes

How to Remove Glued down Wood Flooring: General steps

To work on how to remove glued down wood flooring, the following general steps would be needed:

Remove the skirting boards.

Before the wood flooring can be dismantled, the skirting boards must be removed entirely. Depending on whether they are screwed or nailed down, dismantle all of them individually. The wooden strips are then usually still usable.

Learn More: How To Remove Orange From Wood Floors

removing glued down hardwood from plywood

Search for laid cables

Electric cables or even gas or water pipes are often run under parquet or in the lateral expansion joints’ cracks. Reliable inspection and, if necessary, the dismantling of the lines is essential because damage can be dangerous.

glued down wood floor removal machine

Occupational safety

Put on work gloves and protective glasses. You should only wear your work clothes in the work area and take them off when you leave. Disposable overalls are very suitable here. Wear sturdy shoes, which can ward off splinters of wood flying around.

Break out the wood

Use a crowbar or nail iron to place the expansion joint with the greatest width and break out the first parquet. Depending on the fracture behavior, continue to work with the cow foot or nail iron or break out wood with a hammer and chisel.

cost to remove glued down wood flooring

Saw the parquet

Depending on the parquet thickness and type, sawing in grooves can help. For this, set a hand-held circular saw to the parquet flooring’s height, insert a hard metal saw blade, saw horizontal and vertical grooves, and continue breaking out piece by piece.

Disregard wood residues

When breaking out the wood for the first time, leave firmly attached splinters or wood residues. These will be removed when working on the exposed subsurface. This can also help you to save 80% of the time with the same costs.

how to remove glued down laminate flooring

Remove adhesive residue

Wear a breathing mask in addition to protective clothing and glasses. With the stripper, the electric steel spatula, or the flat dowel router, you now begin to remove the wood and adhesive residues piece by piece and expose the substrate down to the screed or bare concrete.

Cut portions

Using the same principle as the grooves created with a hand-held circular saw, you can use a wallpaper knife to make precise cuts in a checked pattern in the remains to allow partial removal.

Steps for Hardwood Flooring 

Hardwood floors can be installed using glue, nails, or floatation techniques. Of the three, glued floors are often the most difficult to remove. Depending on the flooring type, you can place the glue along the entire floor area or between the tongue and groove connectors on each board. While it is possible to successfully remove glue down the hardwood floor, be prepared to cut the floor and use a little muscle to complete this project.

Learn More: How To Remove Candle Wax From Hardwood Floor


  • Remove molded or floorboards from around the perimeter of the room. Lever the wall with the help of a hammer or pry bar, then remove the nails and set them aside for reuse.
  • Place a circular saw to cut to a depth equal to the thickness of the floor. You can check the thickness of the floor by examining the boards closest to the wall. You will often find a joint expansion along the wall that will allow you to measure the joints. It is essential to set the correct depth. Setting the saw too low will do you a great deal of extra work. If it is too deep, it can damage its base.
  • Cut the floor along the joints where the boards meet. Safety glasses would also be needed to protect your eyes and cut from one end of the room to the opposite wall. Be careful not to damage the walls themselves. Repeat this process throughout the room so that the boards are separated from each other.
  • Make sure you make similar perpendicular cuts to the ones you made in step 3. Cut the boards every 1 to 2 feet from one room length to the other. This will divide the floor into small sections, making them much easier to remove.
  • Start at one end and pry the joints using a lever. It is easier to remove wooden floors from the tongue side of the board. You may have to try each end of the room to determine which side will allow access to the tongue connectors on the edge of the boards.
  • Pry the boards using your pry bar and mini sled. For challenging sections, consider cutting the boards to even small sections as needed for removal.

Take out and discard the old pinot. Use a floor scraper to remove excess glue on the plywood subfloor. If the glue is difficult to remove, try heating with a heat gun before scraping away.

Read More: How To Clean Cherry Wood Floors

Frequently Asked Questions

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

According to Home Wyse, if you choose to hire a pro to get rid of your old wood flooring, you will most likely pay around $1.22 to $2.38 per square foot.

How do you remove glue down laminate flooring?

Wood laminate is a hard surface floor with a layer of melamine and a fiber core. It is popular because it gives the impression of a wooden floor and is available in squares, blocks, and planks. It can be installed by gluing the boards or fitting them side by side, like a puzzle. If you are thinking of removing it, you must make use of the following steps:

Pull the boards off the floor to remove them. This step is optional if the glue that holds the laminate has not infiltrated the floor’s concrete slab. If you see dry adhesive sticking to the concrete’s laminate, you will know that there has been infiltration. In that case, consider another option, as the removal will now be long and tedious.

Learn More: How To Lay Laminate Flooring In Multiple Rooms

Melt the glue that has leaked into the concrete with a heat gun while pulling the laminate floor until it comes off. It is best to begin this process at the edge of the floor and continue until all of it has been removed. If the glue has not yet leaked, step one should be sufficient. This is the only way to preserve your laminate so you can reuse it if you wish. Scarab 1 point · two years ago Yeah, I was going to say don’t try to move heaven and earth so you can save some plywood subflooring, which you’ll likely damage in the process.

Learn More: How To Install Laminate Flooring On Curved Stairs

Be sure to wear suitable protective equipment, such as gloves and glasses too.

Rent a motorized floor removal machine to do the removal. This method is another option that can be used when the glue has infiltrated the concrete. It isn’t the most economical method, as renting the machine can be quite expensive. However, it is the fastest, but be aware that it does not preserve the floor for reuse. If you want to reuse it, step two is the best option.

Hire a professional if you are having problems with the steps above. Laminate flooring can scratch, damage, or even break easily during the removal process. If you are trying to preserve it, the professional will be of great help, as he has more experience and less chance of damaging the wood. A homeowner also claimed he only made it about 20% through the demo because the glue down was pulling up ~1″ of float from the slab in places. Lead-times were about a month from contract sign to install and required 50% upfront too.

How do you remove glued tongue and groove flooring?

To remove glued tongue and groove flooring, the first thing to do is to remove all the furniture and furnishings and clear it out so you can work freely. 

Next, take a cutter and cut straight and long parallel strips from one side of the room. A foolproof method uses a heat source, such as a powerful hairdryer, and moves slowly one by one progressively and gradually to loosen the glue’s grip and detach the linoleum a little at a time.

 After using the hairdryer to heat the glue, pull the flap with one hand. And with the other hand, use a cutter or a blade and pass under the layer as the strip rises to facilitate and speed up the operation. 

Once you have finished this operation, remember to apply a chemical solvent to remove any residual glue with a spatula’s help to scrape everything off nicely.


In conclusion, there are plenty of reasons why you may want to remove glued-down wood flooring from concrete. Be it because you want a change, you are renovating your new home, or because the floor is broken. In all, if you desire to work on removing glued-down hardwood from plywood, the steps highlighted above would be indispensable. Most homeowners also claim that the wooden floor helps them control the temperature effectively. According to data, TOTAL electric usage per day dropped by 40+%. Turns out /u/ashlinka101’s unlikely theory near the bottom of the thread was as well correct.

Read More: How to Remove Porcelain Floor Tiles Without Breaking Them

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