Pulling Up Old Hardwood Flooring in Your Home

Pulling up old hardwood floors might seem like a huge project, but this job could be easier than you realize. With a solid plan in place and a few basic tools, this task should take a team no more than a few hours per room. 

Take the Proper Safety Precautions

If your home was built more than a decade ago or has been remodeled in the past, there are some potential risks you should be aware of. Older homes are sometimes filled with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), asbestos, lead, radon, mold, and other dangerous pollutants that could wreak havoc on your health. This is why you must wear a high-quality respirator whenever you step into the area being worked on. It’s also recommended that all team members wear construction boots, hard hats, safety glasses, and ear protection. 

Prepare the Space

Tearing up old hardwood floors can be a very messy job that covers the entire area in a thick layer of dust and wood chips. To prevent debris from getting all over your home, consider sealing off each room with plastic sheets and tape. You’ll also need to tape or cover vents, outlets, fans, lights, and any other fixtures that can’t be completely removed, such as appliances you’ll need to leave in place while you pull up your kitchen flooring. Carrying out that prep work before you begin removing the floor is going to save you quite a bit of time and energy down the road. 

Saw & Remove the Hardwood

When it comes time to remove the planks, you’ll need a hefty pry bar and a circular saw with a wood blade. To begin the process, set the blade to the thickness of the hardwood and cut the planks into three-foot sections. You can then use the pry bar to carefully dislodge the nails and pull up each plank. 

If the wood planks have been glued as well as nailed down, they’ll most likely fall apart as you’re pulling them up. During this step, take your time so you don’t accidentally cut into the subfloor or crack it with the pry bar. 

Clean Up the Debris

After the flooring is up and in the dumpster, you’ll then need to collect all the debris that has been left behind. Picking up individual nails by hand is one option, but many professionals prefer to use handheld magnets or a nail sweeper that can simply be pushed along the floor. 

For the dust, you can sweep up most of the material before using a dust collector on all exposed surfaces. A shop vacuum might work in some situations, but dust collectors are designed to collect and trap microscopic particles that might be missed otherwise. Once the area is clean, you can then pull down the plastic sheets and move to the next room. 

The design team from Forever Builders, one of the top remodeling and flooring companies San Diego homeowners rely on for honesty and impeccable service, will help you remove your old floors, choose exactly the right new flooring for your needs, and install it quickly, correctly, and efficiently. From design choices to installation, we’ll help you create the home of your dreams while keeping your costs within budget. To find out more about our exceptional flooring and remodeling services, give one of our friendly team members a call today at (833) 243-5624.

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