Hardwood floors look great, but not everyone has a taste or appreciation for them. Most hardwood floors last a lifetime, but weather, age, and the natural characteristics of hardwood floors can make homemakers and home renovators have second thoughts about keeping them around or preserving them. Here are some ways to get rid of hardwood floors.
Why Get Rid of Hardwood Floors?
Plank flooring, wood tile, and parquet flooring are excellent choices for flooring material. For many years, people have relied on the natural beauty and tried-and-tested durability of wood for construction and decoration. Some of the more popular hardwood types and species used for flooring include the following:
Yet like many construction and building materials made from plants and trees, a builder or homemaker may have problems with hardwood flooring:
- Pest infestation. Hardwood tends to warp in humid or hot weather, especially if it is not treated or laminated properly. Termites, fungi, and mold can literally eat through the wood, causing burrs, splinters, and other damage.
- Deterioration. Hardwood floors last a long time, but not as long as concrete, stone, or synthetic materials. While the appeal of hardwood is very inviting, many other materials can withstand age and weather better than hardwood. (Tips on how to stain a hardwood floor)
- Advantages of other materials. Compared to other flooring materials, you pay more for replacing damaged planks or wood tile than if you use other more durable construction materials for flooring, like ceramics or concrete.
- Environmental issues. Harvesting timber for hardwood can be very energy-intensive and cause a tremendous strain on the environment. For people building a new house, alternative building materials do not stress the environment as much as cutting a tree to make wood planks.
Going Over Hardwood Floors
One way to get rid of hardwood floors is to go over the old flooring with new construction material. Instead of making the existing hardwood floor act as your actual floor, you can make it act as a subfloor. To go over your existing hardwood floor and replace it with a new flooring material, follow these tips:
- Make sure that the existing hardwood material is strong enough to hold the weight and stress of the new flooring material.
- Get rid of parts of the hardwood floor that cannot withstand the weight of the new material. The old hardwood floor will now act as both your subfloor and insulation material.
- For concrete, you can pour over spots of the old hardwood floor to create a strong foundation for your new flooring material. If you’re using synthetic flooring, make sure that the existing hardwood floor can bear the weight and stress placed upon the floor during daily use.
Removing Hardwood Floors
Often the best way to replace your existing floor is to remove the hardwood flooring material altogether and start from the subfloor. It will take a while to complete this project, especially for older floors.
To accomplish this task, you need the following tools:
Follow these steps to remove a hardwood floor:
- Inspect the floor, and set the lines and boundaries where you’ll saw off parts of the floor. Take notes of areas with nails where you can use the claw hammer.
- With the circular saw, cut the floor at places where you can demolish the existing flooring material with the sledgehammer or crowbar.
- When demolishing the floor, make sure to be absolutely careful. You do not want to risk damaging your subfloor or other structures in your home. Careful work also ensures that you demolish the floor with as little waste as possible.
- Remove nails with the claw hammer. You may want to work around the nail first with a chisel and hammer to give yourself the leverage needed to properly remove the nail.
- Once you have removed the floor from the subfloor, scrape the surface of the subfloor with a floor scraper to get rid of adhesive particles and debris.
- Sweep the floor clean after you’re done. Inspect the subfloor for any signs of structural damage from the demolition task. Repair the subfloor if necessary.