Removing Old Hardwood Flooring from a Fixer-Upper

If you've bought fixer-upper house and would to remove the old hardwood flooring, the first thing to know is: This job will take a little elbow grease and sweat.

This does not mean you are getting rid of the hardwood flooring. Perhaps you are adding on or doing a complete tear-down job and just want to salvage the hardwood flooring. Some older hardwood flooring can be pulled up and re-installed in another area of the home.

Then there is the hardwood flooring that is simply old and no longer in any condition to be restored. This is wood you definitely want to remove.

The first thing you need to do is determine the tongue-and-groove hardwood installation. This will allow you to reverse the process as you remove the hardwood flooring. Look for face nail holes along one wall. This is typically the grooved edge of the boards.

If you are fairly certain you are not going to be using the flooring for flooring again, you can make the removal process easier by cutting the board into smaller pieces. This makes it easier to pry up the floorboards. This is not to say you cannot pry up the full boards with a crowbar. This is still an option if you want to salvage any of complete boards for future flooring use. The combination of a pry bar and mallet is a good way to pry up those old floor boards.

Once the old flooring is removed, make sure you keep your options open for new hardwood flooring, either finished or unfinished.


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