How To Remove Wood Flooring Without Damage?

Removing wood flooring is a pain in the ass.

You often damage the floor when removing it for remolding or other purposes.

But if you know how to remove wood flooring without damage, you can save your flooring for further use.

The process is not that tough. You need to be extra careful when doing it. And then, follow the process we are going to mention below.

How to remove wood flooring without damage?

Raw wood boards are not used for flooring. Professionals use hardwood for flooring. If you want to remove hardwood boards from the floor, follow the below-mentioned process. 

How to remove nailed hardwood floor without damage 

To remove the nailed hardwood floor, follow the below-mentioned process.

Step 1: Determine your work area

Determining the work areas is important because it helps people remove the hardwood easily and quickly.

Most of the time, professionals remove one or two middle area boards and then try to remove all the boards around those removed boards on the floor. It is better to use tape on the specified work areas because it helps people cut or pry those areas more precisely.

Step 2: Complete some preparations before beginning the process

Try to complete some preparation before removing the hardwood boards from the floor.

  • Cover nonremovable furniture, glass items, lights, or well-printed walls with traps.
  • Remove all the electric devices, movable furniture, or home items from that particular room.
  • Turn off all the switches.
  • Wear work gloves on the hands, eyewear on the eyes, long-sleeved dresses, and knee pads on the knees for safety reasons.
  • Ensure kids do not enter the room when the renovation is happening.

Step 3: Cut the hardwood boards

After the preparations are complete, start cutting the boards. To do it,

  • First, measure the thickness of the hardwood.
  • Take a chainsaw and adjust its depth to the same as the hardwood thickness.
  • Now, use the chainsaw to cut the boards into 3-foot-wide sections in a straight line.
  • After cutting one line, turn the chainsaw and run it opposite.
  • Ensure not to cut the boards over 1.5 to 2 feet long.

Step 4: Pry the hardwood boards

After cutting the hardwood into several sections, use a pry bar to separate those boards. To do it,

  • Hold a pry bar and wedge its tip underneath a small hardwood section you cut earlier.
  • Make sure to pry the hardwood boards in the same direction they are nailed.
  • Now use force on the handle of the pry bar to pull back the boards from their attached floor areas.
  • When the boards are attached too firmly, use a hammer to strike underneath the boards so that they can separate from that area.
  • Apply this method to each section of the area where you want to remove hardwood boards.

How to remove parquet flooring without damaging it?

Follow these steps to remove parquet flooring without causing damage:

Step 1: Remove the baseboards beside the parquet boards.

  • Hold a pry bar.
  • Put the top part of the tool under the baseboards and apply enough pressure to pull them out.
  • You will see a gap has been created underneath by the sides of the parquet boards.
  • This gap will help you remove the parquet boards.

Step 2: Start removing the parquet boards.

After removing all the baseboards, now start removing the parquet boards. To do it,

  • Hold the pry bar again and insert it underneath the parquet boards.
  • Now use force to lift the parquet boards with that pry bar.
  • If the parquet boards are attached to glue, use a heat gun to provide heat to liquefy the glue.
  • After that, use the pry bar to remove the parquet board.

How to remove glued hardwood floor without damage

Follow these steps to remove glued-down hardwood floors without causing damage:

Required products

  • One ruler. 
  • A chainsaw. 
  • A pry bar. 
  • A mini sledgehammer
  • A glued down wood floor removal machine.

Step 1: Measure the thickness of the floorboards

  • First, remove all the baseboards and trim from the floor areas.
  • Look for an extension joint, which is usually located beside the wall.
  • If you get it, use a ruler to measure the distance of the joint from the subfloor below.
  • Thus, you will get the floorboards.

Step 2: Cut the floorboards

  • Hold a chainsaw and set its depth to the same as the floorboard’s thickness by circling the depth adjuster’s key.
  • Now check for the seam lines on the floorboards.
  • Turn on that chainsaw.
  • Start cutting the floorboards by following the seam lines into square-foot sections.

Step 3: Remove the square-foot sections

  • Hold a pry bar.
  • Insert it underneath the floorboard’s square foot sections.
  • Use a mini sledgehammer to press down on the end of a section of the floorboard to get it off the floor.
  • Try to remove all the sections in a straight line and then turn in the opposite direction to remove the sections of the second line.
  • Follow this step until you remove all the sections.

Step 4: Remove the remaining glue

  • Rent a glued down wood floor removal machine from a home equipment rental shop.
  • Turn on that machine and face the solid plate with carbide teeth toward the floor.
  • Start rotating it in a circular motion to remove all the glue from the floor.
  • Use it until all the glue is gone from the floor.

Step 5: Remove the hard-attached glue

  • Boil two buckets of water.
  • Now pour one bucket of water on the floor so that the hard glue can become liquid.
  • Dip rags into another water bucket.
  • Use those rags to remove all the remaining glue.

How to remove hardwood flooring for reuse?

To remove hardwood boards from the floor, use the method described above. Make sure not to apply extra pressure while using the pry bar, or you can break the boards. Keep the boards in an area with less air so that you can use them later to install them on the floor.

Can you reuse tongue-and-groove flooring?

No, you can’t reuse the tongue-and-groove floor. The boards are attached to the floors so tightly that users can’t usually lift them. Even if they somehow lift them by providing tons of pressure, they can’t be installed again because there will be cracks all over the boards’ bodies. So the floor will look awful.

The fastest way to remove hardwood flooring

To remove the hardwood flooring, follow the steps outlined above. Insert a pry bar underneath the boards and apply pressure. They will get off the floor easily.

How to remove engineered hardwood floor without damage

Engineered hardwood flooring uses adhesive glue to attach hardwood boards to the floor. To complete this job, you need to follow the steps for removing glued hardwood boards from the floor. 


Hardwood can be attached to the floor by using nails or glue. If you need to remove hardwood boards attached with nails to floors, use a pry bar. When the hardwood boards are attached with glue, use a glued-down wood floor removal machine. 

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