wood floor removal cautions?

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Old 05-08-04, 06:12 PM
dsw
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wood floor removal cautions?

just bought a new place and would like to replace the existing hardwood floors (which are stained and full of patches) with fresh hardwood floors. i plan to do this myself. my (first) question is: is there a "right" way to tear out an existing hardwood floor? obviously i want to minimize damage to the subfloor (though i don't know its condition) when i do this. should i be wary of anything? are there any warning signs that should tell me to stop lifting a certain way, etc?
 
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Old 05-08-04, 09:26 PM
phillyguy
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If your not saving any of the wood I doubt theres a wrong way to tear up a floor, using common sense of course. As long as your subfloor is not rotten I doubt you could really do enough damage to it to make a difference. Bust out the prybar and go to town.
 
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Old 05-09-04, 06:42 PM
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Wood floor removal

I agreee with phillyguy, get out the pry bar. Tearing out a wood floor is not as easy as installing one. Once it is out, make sure you have 3/4" plywood (OSB acceptable), install the asphalt vapor retarder before new installation. For the bible on hardwood installation, go to www.installingwoodfloors.com
 
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Old 05-09-04, 10:37 PM
dsw
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thanks for the responses. the website you suggested, twelvepole, is very informative.

since i've never done this before and i'd like to budget my time, any ideas on how long it'll take to 1) remove the existing floor and 2)assuming the subfloor is in good shape, lay down new solid strips (tongue & groove) of prefinished flooring. i've got about 450 square feet (living, dining and entry rooms) to complete.

thanks again.
 
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Old 05-12-04, 07:18 PM
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Floor removal

Time is always a factor, but it depends upon the number of distractions, coffee breaks, and rest periods. There is no rule of thumb. If you are 50+ years old, you will find that we old folks don't move as fast as we used to. Sorry, but the old gray mare ain't what she used to be.
 
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Old 05-12-04, 07:51 PM
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dsw,
I havent tried this idea with hardwood removal though it works great for other applications.
cut rows about 3 feet apart perpendicular to the direction of the board lengths. Set the saw to board thickness minus 1/16" and use a demo blade...By cutting into 3 foot sections, I think it will be much easier to pry up with less thought and energy used to figure out an order for board removal.
 
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Old 07-30-07, 06:52 PM
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I'm about to try the same thing with a 120 y/0 house I'm closing on in Sep.

What I can't seem to find is, what happens when you get close to the edges of the wall? What can you expect then? Were these (pine in this case) butt right up against the wall? I saw a video of a guy with a sawz-all cutting the remaining chunks up to the walls.
When I pulled up shoe molding in my apt. way back when it looked like the 20's Maple was cut right before the wall, with the molding just covering the hardwoods....
 
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Old 08-05-07, 06:30 PM
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Most hardwood is laid with a little bit of a gap next to the wall to allow for room to expand. When I yanked up my floor, the walls were not much of an issue -- the strips just came up at an angle. The was also rarely a nail right up against the wall.

I'm sure it helped that I had taken off the shoe molding and the baseboards.

The biggest factor here is time and energy. It took me a long time to yank everything up and it was backbreaking work. Don't forget that part of the agony of this job is taking all the wood (with protruding nails) outside and into the dumpster when you're done. What a pain! A little foresight to stack the removed wood in a relatively neat pile (rather than randomly) goes a long way when carrying everything outside.

Bottom line, the new floor looks fantastic -- I could never have gotten the old floor to look this good.
 
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