how to take up hardwood floorsHardwood floors are a very popular choice for residential homes, rental properties, and office spaces. Because of their beauty and long lasting durability, hardwood floors are known for their sense of sophistication, the clever combination of rustic feel and high shine.

Though it is among the most durable, it does suffer from a number of stresses, which include foot traffic, weather changes, humidity levels, and mechanical damage from vacuuming. These eventually cause the polyurethane coat to wear down and expose the bare wood planks. Now, it's highly susceptible to scratching, marring, and warping. When these conditions begin to appear, it might be too late to refinish the hardwood to give it new life and you may have to learn how to take up hardwood floors.

How to Take Up Hardwood Floors

The first thing you'll have to do is to pull the floor trim off of the walls. You'll probably see a long running crevice between the edge planks and the wall itself. Should the hardwood be nailed together in a tongue and groove application, you can simply use a pry bar to take up the planks, starting from the edge and working your way across the room. However, if it is a glue down application, you'll have substantially more work ahead of you to take up the flooring.

Old-growth wood--typically, Douglas fir, oak and maple--has higher density and fewer defects than new wood, and often comes in lengths of 12 ft. or more, which you won't find at a big-box store. Salvaging it from an old home takes time but saves money; boards wider than the standard 2 1/4-in. strips are particularly valuable. -- Popular Mechanics

Glue down hardwood flooring isn't easy to take up because it's fixed in-place with a permanent intent. Again, start with removing the floor trim to expose the edge. If there's no gap to use to begin to pry up one or more of the planks, then use a circular saw to cut into the edge plank. Set it to the thickness of the flooring and cut into the floor. You'll need a hand-held floor scraper to take up the flooring, but it will be quite labor intensive.

You might have to use a chemical and/or a heat gun to loosen the glue and be able to take up the entire floor. This will probably leave a sticky surface on the subfloor and you'll have to clean it up before you install new hardwood, tile, carpet, or vinyl. This can take many hours but it is possible to uninstall glued down hardwood.

How to Dispose of Hardwood Floor Debris

Once the hardwood is taken up, you'll have to dispose of it. You can rent a truck and then load it up and haul it off to the local landfill, but both the truck and disposal fee will come with steep costs. Call Junk Garbage Removal instead to save money and they'll clean up the flooring and dispose of it for you.

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