Most new laminate flooring floats on the subfloor to allow for expansion. However, older engineered laminate flooring was designed to be glued to the subfloor. This was most common on concrete subfloors where nailing was difficult. If you plan to remove the engineered flooring, you must use a technique much different than you would if the floor floated on the subfloor. Although the process is not difficult, expect it to take some time and to be labor intensive.
Things You'll Need
- Circular saw
- Pry bar
Set the depth of a circular saw to match the thickness of the flooring. If you are not sure of the thickness, remove the molding from a wall. In most cases, you will have at least a ¼-inch gap between the flooring and the wall.
Cut a grid into the flooring with the circular saw. Create 12-inch squares in the floor. This allows you to remove the flooring in sections without attempting to rip out long planks of wood.
Locate the end of the room that has the tongue of the flooring exposed. The tongue is the rib of wood that protrudes from the side of an engineered board that presses into the groove on the side of the next piece of board. To locate the tongue, remove the molding from the wall. The tongue runs the length of the board.
Pound a pry bar equipped with a bent end under the engineered floor and the subfloor with a sledgehammer.
Pull up to remove the 12-inch section of flooring. Do not expect the entire 12-inch square section to pull up in one chunk. It may splinter. If this is the case, slide the pry bar under the section still stuck to the floor and pull up on it. Repeat the process until you remove the entire floor.
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