Is your hardwood floor losing its elegance with time? If yes, changing your wood flooring to a plush carpet or adding decorative tiles is better. However, removing glued wood flooring from subfloor is not a simple task!

You cannot simply plan to remove the entire wood floor layer in a single attempt. Instead, you will have to break it into several pieces so that the concrete floor is not harmed.

This guide will detail everything about removing glued-down wood flooring without causing further damage. So, let’s get started with the hardwood floors and discover more!

What is the Process of Removing Glued Wood Flooring from Subfloor

You can remove glued-down wood flooring from the concrete floors by breaking the wood board into several manageable pieces. You can then remove these wood pieces from the subfloor with the help of a pry bar, floor scraper, or hammer. You can later reuse or discard the extracted old wood pieces.

How to Tell if the Floor is Glued Down?

If you have recently bought a used home, you might be unaware of the method previous owners used to install the old flooring. In such cases, you must confirm if the hardwood floors are really glued down or not.

To check if the engineered hardwood flooring is glued down on the concrete subfloor, you can look at the transition pieces or the threshold. If you see glue remains, the floor is most likely glued down.

However, if you see plenty of nails around the room corners, you are dealing with nailed-down boards. The procedure to remove such floors is simpler than glued-down wood floors.

Step-by-Step How to Remove a Glued Down Wooden Floor?

There can be multiple reasons for wanting to remove glued hardwood floors from your home. Maybe the surface has begun to chip or you just want to give your home a makeover.

This process can be pretty gruesome for a DIYer and might take a day or more. Before beginning, you must understand the below-mentioned steps correctly.

Materials Needed

To continue removing the glued-down wood floor, you must ensure that you have all the materials at hand. You will require:

  • Putty knife
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Long handled pry bar or a standing pry bar
  • Scraper attachment
  • Circular saw
  • Protective goggles
  • Work gloves
  • Closed-toe boots

Step 1: Ready the Floor

Before getting to the actual work, you must remove all the furniture from the work area. Wear protective goggles and work gloves.

If you can’t remove some things, cover them with plastic sheeting, so they don’t collect dust and debris. Also, cover the light fixtures and any other appliances.

Step 2: Mark and Measure the Surface

You can start the work process by measuring and marking the area you want to work on. Doing so will allow you to visualize the total work that needs to be done.

You can use a painter’s tape to mark the boundary around the sections you plan to remove. It will help secure the edge of the leftover wood pieces on the floor.

Step 3: Cut the Floor into Various Pieces

You cannot remove the entire floor in a single piece. Therefore, you will have to break it into several pieces. You can use the circular saw to cut the floor into smaller sections, like 2-3 inches.

Ensure that you are not cutting in the floor’s tongue, thus destroying the concrete subfloor that will remain. If you have parquet flooring, i.e., small square tiles, you can skip this step entirely.

Step 4: Pry Up the Floor

It is one of the most tedious parts of the entire wood floor removal process. Here, you must pry up the floor using the cuts made in the previous step.

If the hardwood is firmly glued down to the existing floor, you might face more trouble than before. Use the elbow grease and various tools to help you extract the wood pieces from the floor.

For stubborn portions, you can use a chisel and a hammer as the tools will help you pry underneath the floor. It will also help reduce the chances of getting hurt by splinters.

You can also utilize a long-handled pry bar as it will prevent the chances of you suffering from back pain later. Before beginning, you should remove the baseboards.

Put the pry bar on the wooden floor edge and pull it up. This step will be much easier if you are dealing with nailed-down wood floors. Throughout the process, ensure that you are wearing protective gear to reduce the chances of any injury.

Also, try to keep the concrete subfloor chipping to a minimum. Otherwise, you might have to spend extra time and money repairing the existing floor.

Step 5: Chisel Concrete

To remove glued-down floors from the subfloor is the challenging part of this entire process. You can use a chisel and a hand guard for more challenging portions heavily glued down.

You can also use it to remove hardwood pieces from the concrete surface. Considering the strength of adhesive used to fix the floor on the concrete surface, you can expect an intensive use of manual force ahead.

The floor will mostly break into more pieces while you pull it up from the subfloor. Here, you can use the chisel and hammer to scrape away any remaining pieces.

It can be tiring to scrape the entire floor for a larger space. Therefore, it is better to use an electric tool fitted with a scraping attachment to automate the task.

When there’s plenty of adhesive remaining on the concrete, slightly push the end of the scraping power tool under the glue surface and pull it up. You will notice all the wood scraps and other debris coming up quickly.

Step 6: Removing the Glue

After the wooden pieces are extracted, the next step is removing glue from the concrete floor. To complete this process, you can utilize a hand scraper with a long handle.

However, some parts might have extra adhesion that can be removed by fixing a scraper attachment on a reciprocating saw. The remaining glue in large spaces might need the help of a power scraper.

If you still face challenges in removing the glue, you must use an adhesive stripper or remover. With the help of such products, you will be able to loosen the hold of the glue on the subfloor.

Simply pour the solution down the area and spread it using a putty knife. If you still can’t remove the adhesive, use the stripper again. Ensure that the applied layer is thick enough to work correctly.

The only downside of using an adhesive remover is that it might leave some residue. It can seep into your new flooring surface and destroy its adhesion power. Therefore, you must check the floor’s warranty information properly.

Remember, removing glue is quite intensive and takes up the maximum time. Depending on the area you are working on, you might even spend the entire day on this step alone.

How to Remove the Glued Down Hardwood Floors without Causing Any Damage?

If you are planning to save the hardwood for future use, you might prefer to remove the glued-down wood flooring without any damage. However, working with a chisel and a hammer won’t lead you to that result.

You can try using a floor removal machine to maximize the chances of wood retrieval. Try the 45° angle and slowly work on each floorboard.

If a professional has installed the wooden flooring, the chances of removing the wooden boards unscathed are negligible.

How Hard is It to Remove Glue on Hardwood Floors?

Removing glued-down hardwood flooring is a complicated task that requires significant labor and patience. If the wooden boards are firmly stuck to the concrete underneath, a DIYer might find it tough to extract the flooring.

In some cases, the entire project may take up to 85 hours. If you plan to remove glued-down wood floors from multiple rooms, you should borrow a power tool on rent to make the work easier.

For a fixed price, you can find such machines at a local flooring company.

How to Remove Adhesive on Concrete Floors?

If you try removing glue straight from the cement, you will face some challenges. You can try to loosen the glue hold with a heat gun or warm soapy water mixture.

If softening the glue doesn’t help, you will require the help of chemical substances. Try pouring lacquer thinner or pure acetone on the affected area.

Made with thin cement, such products can be pretty effective. You can easily find such compounds at the local hardware store.

Another way to tackle an adhesive-ridden floor is by using vinegar. Pour it over the cemented floor and ensure the entire area is completely soaked.

You will notice the glue dissolving on the surface a couple of minutes later. You can easily scrape or wipe it away using the appropriate tools.

Additionally, you can find commercial chemical mixtures specially formulated to deal with the glue remaining on the concrete.

One such product is Goo Gone Adhesive Remover which soaks into the adhesive mixture. After 5 minutes, you can pull the glue using a putty knife.

If none of the methods give you 100% results, you can repeat them more than once. Remember, wash the area with warm water and soap after removing the glue.

What are the Safety Measures to Take Before Removing Glued Hardwood Floors?

Removing glued-down hardwood is no walk in the park! The process requires intensive efforts and can cause injury if you are not careful.

Therefore, you must go through all the safety guidelines and understand all process steps beforehand. If you face any confusion, consult a professional.

Some of the points you should follow are as follows:

  • Always wear protective goggles to prevent any construction material or debris from reaching your eyes.
  • Wearing your work gloves and knee pads will reduce the chances of splinters injuring your fingers.
  • When you start to remove hardwood floors, wear closed-toe boots. Otherwise, some heavy wood piece might fall straight on your foot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to remove glued-down wood flooring?

The best way to remove glued-down wood flooring is by cutting the boards into smaller pieces. It will allow you to work on individual portions with increased convenience. Take a hammer and a chisel to pry the wood from the subfloor.

How to remove wood flooring from concrete?

To start removing wood flooring from concrete, you need to start by measuring and marking the work area. Then, proceed to break down the wooden board into various pieces with the help of a circular saw. Now, proceed with manual tools or a floor removal machine.

How to remove glued-down laminate flooring?

To remove glued-down laminate flooring, you can use a heat gun. In such cases, separate planks will come apart when significant warmth is provided to the surface. Once you notice the edges separating from the subfloor, you can pull up the entire board.

How to remove glue from engineered hardwood flooring?

You must use a hand scraper with a long handle to separate the glue from engineered hardwood floors. Gently remove the glue layer and wipe the wood subfloor with a damp cloth.

How much does it cost to remove glued-down wood flooring?

The standard cost of removing glued-down wood flooring is between $2.50 and $3.50 per square foot. However, the final price might vary based on the condition of the floor, type of wood, and other factors.

How long does it take to remove the glued-down wood floor?

In removing the glued-down wood floors, you might have to spend somewhere between 3 to 10 days. If you are removing the floors of the entire house, the process can take approximately a week. If you are dealing with just one room, you can expect to finish the project within 1 to 3 days.

How to loosen the glue on the subfloor?

There are various tricks used to soften the glue on the subfloor. You can try soaking the adhesive portion with soap and warm water. After some time, take wipe it off. Additionally, you can try using a heat gun and scraping the adhesive remains from the wood floor.

Can an average person remove glue from hardwood floors easily?

Yes, an average person can try removing the glue from hardwood floors easily. However, it is crucial to have all the tools and glue removal chemicals at hand.

What is the best way of disposing of old hardwood floors?

The best way of disposing of old hardwood flooring is by collecting all the material and leaving it at the local dumpster. Secondly, you can bag it in heavy-duty plastic and give it to the local trash removal companies. You can also contact some recycling organizations in your city.

Can you remove the glued-down hardwood floors without any damage?

Removing the glued-down hardwood floor without any damage is a highly unlikely case. However, you can try to minimize the wastage by using a floor removal machine.

How do I remove the flooring adhesive?

You can remove flooring adhesive by pouring the laundry detergent on the surface. You can wipe the remains off the old flooring when the glue softens. If the trick doesn’t work, you can try using paper towels and mildly hot water.

Is removing glue from concrete more difficult than the subfloor?

Yes, removing adhesive from concrete is way complex. The solution sticks to the surface firmly and does not loosen easily.

Removing glued-down wood floor takes how long?

Removing glued-down wood floors can take somewhere between 3 to 10 days. If you hire a professional to complete the process, they will complete the work in just a few days. The process might take longer than anticipated if you are doing it yourself.

Final Takeaway

Home renovations are complicated if you try to figure everything out by yourself. However, you can simplify the process by looking at DIY guides and using the right tools.

One such process is removing glued wood flooring from subfloor. If you are trying to extract hardwood and replace it with carpet or tiles, you will have to remove glue and wood flooring effectively.

There are multiple methods you can use to achieve the final results. You can try manually prying up the wood with a hammer and a chisel, or you can hire a professional to do it for you.

Once you start the process, you will better understand all the steps. Hopefully, this guide can help you make the best decisions!

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