How to Remove Hardwood Floor Without Damage

How to Remove Hardwood Floor Without DamageHardwood floors are equivalent to beauty, class, and sturdiness. The shiny look with versatile sketches and style can easily attract you as well as your guests. Moreover, they hardly get stains and damages so that you can use them for any type of flooring.

Such practical, long-lasting hardwood floors can be older, discolored, distorted over time. Then, you should look for re-mastering hardwood floors. You can do it by removing the hardwood from the surface. But improper removal may damage the house structure. So, we have analyzed the ways of how to remove the hardwood floor without damage.

Read this DIY hardwood floors removal method to complete the task effortlessly. You can remove the hardwood floor in some simple steps.


To complete the whole project, you will need to arrange a couple of handy tools. You should also wear safety gear before you start the task.

Required tools:

  • Circular saw
  • Curved vice finger grips
  • Magnet
  • Mallet
  • Nail claw
  • Pry bar
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • White tape
  • Scotch tape

Safety measures:

You need to cover up yourself with proper safety gear. Wear hand gloves, safety eyewear, dust mask, boots to cover up the whole body. Mask and eyewear will protect your face from entering any dust or hardwood particles to your face or mouth. Avoid wearing half or three-quarters pants. Wear knee pads to work for a long time, as prying the woods will take hours.


Mark the desired area:

Most people forget to measure the room size. Also, they miss to mark out the selected area for hardwood removal. You should calculate how much flooring needs to remove.

Plan the whole project carefully. You should think about where you will start and where to finish. You have lots of options like removing entire flooring, or partially to install new hardwood. You may also remove a specific area to use carpet, tiles, mats, or laminate. It’s all up to your choice.

Clean the room to ease the task. Lay down and spread the tarpaulin to avoid dust and debris flying in the air and to other places. There will be lots of sawdust when you start cutting the hardwoods.

Transfer all the household belongings from the area to another room. Remove electronics carefully and keep them covered. Then use scotch tape to tack up the tarpaulin. Use white tape to mark the boundaries of the desired area.


Cutting into small sizes:

Generally, subfloor remains as base layer of hardwood floors. This subfloor base is made of plywood. Both are attached with nails or adhesives to each other. Sometimes adhesives and nails are both used. This is the thing removing hardwoods becomes tougher. Often, both get damages due to less careful separation.

Bring the circular saw and start sawing the hardwoods into small sections like 3 feet or almost one meter. You should cut them perpendicularly, giving intervals. Cutting in this method helps to reduce them in easy to control type size. Also, you can pry them with less effort.

Then, move the running saw in a straight line to every end, starting from one. After cutting from one direction, do the same thing from the opposite direction.

You can set saw blade in less or same to hardwood thicknesses. It will help you to cut the upper surface, excluding the subfloor. Avoid shaving over the tongue like the end of the hardwood board. While cutting the hardwoods, there will be lots of sawdust. Wearing a mask can prevent them from disturbing you.

Uses of pry bar:

After cutting the hardwood flooring into small pieces, it’s time to pry them up. At this step, knee pads will make your stay relaxed. Take a pry bar and wedge its tip underneath the pieces of boards. Mallet is also a helpful tool in prying the pieces of hardwoods.

After wedging, try to pull the pry back on its handle. It will allow you to wrench the pieces. If you can’t wedge the pry bar underneath the edge, you can start from the middle. After pulling them, you can break them into smaller pieces. Prying will take a lot of time.

You can remove the nails first if you have access to them. Remember, you can prevent cracking and splintering by prying the pieces in the same direction.

Removing the nails:

After separation of all the hardwood flooring, try to remove all the nails and staples.  If there are adhesives, try to clean them with your hand. Your gloves will protect your hands from getting cut with nails.

You can use a nail claw tool to collect all the nails and staples. Put the claw under the nails or staples and pull them. They will easily come out. Curved vice finger grips will help you in removing broken nails or staples. After pulling all of them, use a magnet to collect any nails left on the subfloor. A large size magnet would be more beneficial.

Throwing the nails anywhere can hurt your kids or pets. So, dump them directly to the trash bin.



You can take the removed boards to the recycling center or dump then into the basket. Collect all the pieces and keep all of them in a large dump receptacle. This is better than throwing in piles. Be careful while putting them in the repository. There will be broken nails and staples.

Cleaning the workspace:

After all the removal and dumping, sweep all the dirt, sawdust from the floor. Then use your vacuum cleaner to clean them up. Detach the tarpaulin and roll it carefully. Take the tarp to another room or place where you can clean it. Vacuum the whole area more than once for better cleaning.

Salvaging the old boards:

You can keep the old boards for reuse if they are in good condition. Cut the pieces in half lengthwise. Then, make the edges smooth, and you can then use them for the next project.


Hardwood floors are indeed long-lasting. But it’s not so hard to remove them for changing the preferences. You should be careful about your safety cautions all the time. Depending on room size and floor counts, it will take from one day up to a week.

Professionals may do the job for you. But don’t worry about the cost as they will demand less amount of money. If you wish to do yourself, then it will be a money-saving idea.

Hope, you loved reading the article on how to remove hardwood floors without damaging.

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