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Guide to Removing and Replacing Real Wood Floors
Even the best wood flooring, the highest quality and durable one, would require replacement at some point. Despite the fact that real wood floors are designed to last up to a whole century, over time they will get too worn and often too damaged. Accidents can happen even to the best wood floor owners who ensure proper and regular upkeep for their favourite wooden floor. Depending on the type of installation and type of real wood flooring, you can attempt DIY-ing the replacement of your wooden floor or you can always opt for hiring a professional team with experience and knowledge to do the job properly.
The most important aspect that will determine whether or not you will be able to attempt DIY-ing the project is whether it comes to solid wood, engineered wood or parquet flooring. Another important factor that will have an impact on the whole project is the size of the area you are going to work on. Finally, the cost factor is also very important. Whether you will attempt a DIY project or hire professional assistance also depends on the budget you work with. Normally, a DIY project would cost less than hiring a professional but this is not necessarily the case for all DIY projects.
Sometimes hiring the equipment could end up being the most expensive choice. Often times an inexperienced DIYer may do things the wrong way, which will probably lead to some serious issues beyond repair, which will end up costing way more than a professional service. Therefore, before you decide to attempt removing the wooden floor yourself, consider all pros and cons of such a decision first and then decide if having the specialist do it for you would not be the better and most cost-effective choice.
When Do You Remove a Wooden Floor?
In general, real wood floors are made to last for a really long time. Of course, over time the floor will get worn and aged and some imperfections will most probably appear. However, this does not mean you have to replace the floor and get a new one as soon as you notice an issue. The majority of wood floor imperfections and issues can be fixed and repaired on your own or by hiring specialists. In addition, depending on the thickness of the floor, some wood floors can be sanded and refinished up to six times in their lifecycles, which means you will be able to bring back the floor to its initial beauty, glory, and durability and get rid of smaller surface imperfections and issues.
However, in cases when eve professional repair and renovation service cannot help, this is when you want to consider the last resort – lifting the hardwood floor and replacing it with a new one. In case the wear and tear and damage are so serious that your hardwood flooring is beyond repair, it is about time to have a look at the new wood floor offers on the market and pick something that meets your requirements and preferences.
For some people, a worn and distressed wooden floor is not the only reason to have it replaced. If your budget allows it and you are sick and tired of the look of the floor you have lived with for so many years, you can totally choose to remove the old floor and have a new one installed. Of course, keep in mind that a replacement and wood floor fitting service will probably cause disruption to your day-to-day life, therefore, consider whether or not you will be bothered to go through all of that or you don’t mind at all.
Removing Floating Laid Wood Flooring
A wooden floor that has been installed the floating way is probably the easiest type of flooring to remove since there is no adhesive or nails involved in the installation process. In the case of a floating installation, the floorboards are glued to each other but not to the subfloor, which makes them easier to remove. However, in the case of a click-lock installation system, an adhesive is not used, which is even easier and faster for both installation and lifting. The process starts with removing the skirting boards, next the first row of floorboards is lifted, starting from one end of the room.
The process continues with the lifting of the rest of the floorboards. The lifting of the first row is usually the hardest part of the whole process since the expansion gap left between the floorboards and the wall is usually not that big and the room left is small. However, using a crowbar will help you do it faster and easier. Keep in mind that floorboards with a tongue and groove installation system may be a bit harder to remove since it is necessary to break the connections between the floorboards or the “tongue” parts. Even in this case, the process is not that complex or challenging and even a DIYer can make a good job.
Removing Glued Hardwood Flooring
Compared to removing a floating installed hardwood floor, lifting glued floor is a bit more complex and takes more time. In the case with the glued floor, the floorboards are glued down to the subfloor or underlayment with a powerful and long-lasting wood floor adhesive. In fact, doing this by hand is often impossible or very complex. It is worth trying to do it by hand, however, because if the adhesive is very old it will be weaker and probably you will be able to do it.
However, in case the floor is not that old, you definitely need professional equipment to lift the floor. Tools like chisels, scrapers, and spatula are often used for lifting glued floorboards. Keep in mind that such kind of work requires some time, strength, and energy. Therefore, you are recommended to leave it in the hands of experienced professionals to make sure the job will be done properly. Since some dust will be created during the process, it is also recommended to have a good vacuum cleaner on hand.
How to Dispose of Parquet?
When it comes to old hardwood flooring, it is definitely considered construction waste. Therefore, remember that the floorboards should not be burned under any circumstances. Take a note that adhesives, oils, and sealing varnishes, especially older ones, can be harmful and toxic, therefore these materials should not be disposed of in a way they can penetrate into the ground and reach groundwater or otherwise be exposed to the environment.
However, all this arises the question – how and where to dispose of hardwood flooring then? In case you want to dispose of small quantities of wood flooring and these are floorboards that have not to be treated with adhesive, then you can dispose of the floorboards in the household's waste. Larger quantities of waste, especially when older wood floor adhesives have been used, could even be considered hazardous waste, therefore we recommend you contact your local municipality or other authority that can advise you on how to dispose of your old hardwood flooring.