How to Remove Glued Laminate Flooring From Concrete

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Laminate flooring is available in various shapes and forms, including vinyl floor tiles, linoleum, glue-down strips, and hovering wood-like planks laid on top of the subfloor. The goal in lifting the laminate floor from the concrete floor is to finish as fast and smoothly as possible and proceed to the remodeling rather than wasting time on the deconstruction.

So how do you remove the glued laminate flooring from concrete? First, apply a warm water solution to the laminate floor. Warmth and water work together to soften the glue, which is soluble in water unless it hardens. Peel the laminate planks with a pry bar or a putty knife. Use an oscillating multitool with a floor scraper attachment as an alternative. Heat the adhesive underneath the material with a heat gun for glue residue to help peel the tile away.

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Glued Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring has numerous thin layers of material that are pressed together. It includes a patterned paper layer that’s protected by a clear coating. Although high-quality laminate flooring can endure more than 20 years, it can’t outlast a hardwood floor. 

Laminate flooring has a 15 to 25-year average lifespan, although it can be as little as 10 years or as long as 30 years. The quality of the flooring (whether it was properly installed) and the amount of usage it receives all influence how long it lasts. It’s most especially on engineered wood flooring. Poor cleaning, abrasive cleaners, or failure to clean up stains may reduce the wood floor's lifespan. 

On the other hand, engineered hardwood flooring could last up to 75 years if cared for properly. Laminate flooring doesn’t have a similar lifespan. It also can’t be sanded and refinished like a wood floor. Replacement is necessary once the upper surface has worn away. 

Ways to Remove Glued Laminate Flooring From Concrete

The planks of "glued" laminate flooring are glued to each other rather than to the floor. There are different ways to remove laminate flooring. Manually prying the laminate planks up is possible. However, if the tile adhesive soaked through the planks and attached them to a plywood subfloor beneath them, this could be a problem. 

For this instance, melting the adhesive or using a motorized floor scraper can remove the laminate flooring. 

1. Floating Floor

Since they're not attached to the ground and are simply snapped together, floating laminate flooring is easiest to remove. Take the baseboard trim around the room's perimeter before removing the flooring. 

Start at one corner of the room where the laminate vinyl plank runs parallel to the wall and choose a plank from either end. Insert a pry bar into the gap between the first plank and the wall. Then, gently pry up to unlatch it from the surrounding boards. Work the way down from the first row, board by board. Proceed to the next step, and so forth.

2. Glued Laminate Tiles 

Laminate tiles that are attached to the floor are frequently the most difficult to remove. To begin, use a warm water solution to cover the tiles. Warmth and water combine to loosen the glue, which is water-soluble until petrified. 

Pry up and scrape free a floor tile layer by layer with a pry bar and a hand scraper. Alternatively, a scraper attachment on an oscillating multitool will work. To peel the piece away, use a heat gun to heat the glue beneath the vinyl flooring.

3. Glued Laminate Strips

Laminate strips are similar to vinyl floor tiles. Soaking them in water helps soften the adhesive underneath them. The main difference between laminate strips and vinyl plank flooring is that laminate strips are more pliable. For these situations, the heat gun not only heats the glue but also softens the laminate strips. 

It makes them easier to rip away from the adhesive when pushing the edge of the pry bar or scraper beneath the layers. Another efficient way is pulling the laminate floor with one hand while pushing and scraping with the pry bar or scraper in the other or using a multitool.

Read more: Glue Down or Floating Floor: Which Flooring Option is Better for My House?

Tips & Tricks for Removing Adhesives

Woman Installing Laminate Flooring

The removal of laminate flooring is simply the first stage since there's always a remaining glue residue that coats the surface of the concrete. Use a reciprocating saw with proper floor scraper attachment to handle the job when dealing with broad areas, especially with stubborn carpet glue, linoleum glue, or wood floor glue. 

Only a glue remover solution that’s readily accessible at hardware shops can dissolve the adhesive. When working with the adhesive solution, wear a mask and safety equipment (gloves and goggles). Follow the product guidelines in applying the solution to the adhesive and let it soak in for a while. 

To prepare the flooring for the new flooring material, scrape the residues off the concrete slab and rinse it with clean water. Tools needed are warm water solution, pry bar, an oscillating multitool with scraper attachment or floor scraper, adhesive remover solution, heat gun, safety gloves, mask, and goggles.

Things to Consider on Laminate Floorings

These laminate flooring removal dos and don'ts will help you complete the process with the least amount of frustration and with the flooring material in good shape if you wish to reuse it (for a shed, basement, utility room, man cave, RV, workroom, etc.). It’s important to note that laminate floor planks that have been bonded together can’t be preserved for reuse.

Begin with the following:

  • Remove all the furnishings from the room.
  • Be calm as the course progresses. In the form of damaged trim and cracked wood subfloor, haste will lead to disaster.
  • When reusing a vinyl tile or wood plank, give each piece a label or a number so it can be reinstalled on the same spot.
  • When working from the bottom of the trim pieces, use pliers to remove the nails.
  • If some hardwood planks need repair, stack them in sequence when lifting so they can be replaced in the proper order.

The following are the job's "don'ts":

  • When removing linoleum or sheet vinyl flooring that will not be reused, tear the old linoleum floor out and don’t bother about being careful.
  • Remove the foam underlayment that’s most likely underneath the laminate flooring.

Find Out More About Removing Laminate Flooring From Concrete at Zothex

Here at Zothex, we take pride in offering the kind of individualized, one-of-a-kind client care that only a small family business can provide. Our team takes further measurements and guides you through the process of selecting quality flooring such as vinyl flooring, linoleum flooring, and other features.

Let us show you the difference that Zothex Flooring, Cabinets, & More can make. Visit a showroom near you today or reach us at these numbers for free advice: (707) 474-9284, 916-925-1958 (ext 1), and 916-925-1958 (ext 2).

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