Home Improvement How-To's: Removing Wood Floor

Think twice before tearing out a wood floor. You can easily replace a few badly damaged boards, sand away wear and scratches, and apply a shiny new finish for a fraction of the cost of new flooring. And if you want to install a different material, you can save time and effort by putting down underlayment and laying the new flooring on top of it. That said, here's how to proceed.
 

SKILL SCALE
Easy
 

TIME REQUIRED
You can remove the flooring in a 10x12-foot room in about a day.


TOOLS

Drill
Prybar
Hammer
Chisel

 

MATERIALS
N/A

STEPS
 
Step 1 Before prying up plank flooring, bore out any screw plugs and remove the screws underneath. With some plug flooring, the plugs are merely decorative and nails are the only fasteners.

 
Step 2
 
Insert a pry bar under the first floorboard and force it up. If there's not enough room for the pry bar, cut out a section of the first board with a circular saw. Remove the cut section, then insert the pry bar into the opening and pry up the rest of the board.

Proceed across the floor, prying up one board at a time. Work down the length of each board, placing the bar directly under the blind-nailing positions. If the wood has been glued down, use a chisel to cut through to the bottom of each piece, and tap it loose with a hammer.