How to Take Up Laminate Flooring

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Laminate flooring is layered material made to look like natural products such as wood. In most cases the floor has some way of locking together so that it can expand and contract, and in other cases it is glued down. If you have old laminate flooring that has seen better days, you can remove it fairly easily with a few tools and replace it with something new.

Things You'll Need

  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Sander
  • Remove the shoe molding that is installed around the laminate flooring. If you are planning on reusing it, you will want to do this slowly. Tap a chisel between the wall and the shoe molding to pry it away from the wall, then use the claw end of the hammer to hook it and pull it the rest of the way out.

  • Slip the claw end of the hammer or a pry bar between the wall and the first laminate floor slat. There should be a small gap. Pry upward to pull it out. Generally laminate flooring is snapped or hooked to the row of slats next to it, and rotating the side upward will unhook it. If the flooring isn't budging, then it might have been glued down. Unlike floors that are snapped together and floating, a glued floor is probably not salvageable.

  • Tap the chisel under the side edge of the slat if it is glued down to loosen it. You will need to repeat this starting at one end of the first slat and working your wall all the way down the row. Pull the laminate boards out and repeat with the next row. If the boards were not glued down, then once you remove the first row, which is up against the wall, then you don't even need a pry bar anymore, Simply rotate the slats upward on the side and then pull them up.

  • Chisel under any transition pieces that are at doorways between rooms. These are always either glued or nailed down. If nailed, the chisel will work each piece loose from the bottom, and then you can pull out the trim with your hands.

  • Sand any sub floor surface to remove excessive glue so that the area will be smooth and ready for your replacement material. Use a hand-held power sander.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves when removing the floor so that chipped pieces don't get in your eyes.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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