How to Remove Laminate Flooring
"Glued" laminate flooring isn't actually glued to the floor; rather, the planks are glued to each other. There are several ways to remove the laminate flooring. You should be able to pry the planks up manually. But if the adhesive seeped down and glued the planks to the subfloor beneath it, you may have trouble. In this case, you can remove laminate flooring either by melting the glue or using a motorized floor stripper.
Here's how to remove the flooring manually.
- Cut down the middle of each plank of laminate with a skill saw (which you can rent). This will help break up any adhesive.
- Tap underneath the edges of the planks with a chisel and mallet.
- Remove the planks [source: DoItYourself].
You can also use a manual scraper and pull up the flooring by hand. This is cheap but labor-intensive.
If you can't remove the floor manually, try one of these ways to remove it:
- Use a heat gun. You'll need a contractor's help to alternately pull up parts of flooring and melt the glue underneath until all the planks have been removed.
- Rent a motorized floor stripper with claws. The claws will pull up the planks. This can be expensive and will also ruin your laminate so you can't reuse it.
If the laminate was glued on with a very strong adhesive and you're worried about causing a lot of damage while removing it, it might be a good idea to hire a contractor. You may need one in any case, to resurface or repair the subfloor once the laminate's removed [source: MyHomeImprovement].
"Floating" laminate flooring is fitted together, like a jigsaw puzzle, and then sealed around the edges with rubberized seam sealant. If you have this kind of flooring, just melt the sealant with a heat gun. You will then be able to easily remove the planks [source: Home Flooring Guide].