Laminate flooring is popular and you can find this particular type of flooring in many places: houses, offices and even in more public places such as kindergartens or shopping centers. Laminate flooring is popular since it is easy to clean and be installed. On the other hand, for semi-moist areas such as kitchens or powder rooms, laminate flooring can be the best option. In contrast to wood, laminate flooring is resistant and almost impervious to scratches and dents. Last but not least, every board of laminate poses consistent appearance and quality which, unlike wood,  provides no defects in laminate boards and you do not need to discard any imperfections.

However, one of the most important reasons for the success of laminate flooring is an easy and fast installation procedure.  In terms of installation, laminate flooring can be categorized into two groups. The older generation of manufactured laminate boards requires you to glue different pieces of laminate together. The new generation of laminate boards, however, have fold/lock or click/lock design and boards fit together like pieces of a puzzle. On the other hand, planks and laminate boards are made of soft particleboard therefore, you can cut the boards with a knife or hand saw very easy and fast. But is disassembling of laminate flooring as easy and as fast as its installation?

 

Why disassembling laminate flooring?

Damages on the flooring are inevitable. For instance, although tolerant to moisture, laminate flooring cannot stand a huge amount of water which is a regular condition in the kitchen or bedrooms. On the other hand, moisture can cause serious damages on laminate flooring, only if the boards do not place tight against each other. The latter leaves venue for moisture which in the long term can cause serious damages to laminate flooring.

On the other hand, one of the biggest disadvantages of laminate flooring is its inability to refinish and sand. The latter means that if your laminate flooring has deep scratches, grooved or is heavily worn, this marks the time of laminate flooring replacement.

And last but not least, you can always decide on replacing your home or office flooring and seek for better interior design in order to bring a better mood to places you spend most of the hours of your days in there. Laminate flooring reproduces the look of stone, wood and any other natural material, faithfully.  Therefore, if you are tired of the interior design of your home or office, you might think of disassembling the laminate flooring in the near future and that is why you need to continue reading this article!

 

Floating laminate flooring: Different types of laminate locks

Before you start planning for disassembling your laminate flooring, you need to know what type of locks does it poses. Based on the locking system, laminate flooring is divided into two main groups: Glued planks and floating laminates.

Glued or key-less laminate flooring is the type of laminates which are usually attached together by the mean of glue. Disassembling and repainting these type of laminates is not straight forward.

Panels of floating laminate are usually equipped with a spike while others have the notch (groove). You can push the spike to the groove with a gentle tap of the wooden hammer and therefore connect two panels of laminate together.

The most modern and the most common system of locks in laminate panels is called the click system lock. In this situation installation and disassembling of laminate flooring is easy and fast.

 

How to remove laminate flooring: Glued planks

Glued laminate flooring does not mean that the laminate sheets are glued to the floor, but means that these planks are glued together. But what if the laminate sheets were glued to the floor beneath them, too? In that case, you can remove laminate flooring by using a motorized floor stripper or by melting the glue, either way, can turn in to a big challenge for you. With the mean of a heat gun, you can melt the glue underneath laminate planks, while someone else is pulling them up for you. This should continue until all the laminate sheets are removed. The other rather expensive solution is to use motorized floor stripper along with claws which can in principle damage your laminate flooring but can remove it completely.

If the laminate flooring is not glued to the sub-floor, disassembling is easy. You need to cut down the plank of laminate in the middle and by using a skill saw. This is particularly beneficial for breaking up adhesive as well. By using mallet and chisel in the next step you need to tap underneath the edges of laminates and at the end remove the planks. The other labor-intensive but rather cheap solution is pulling up the flooring by hand and using a manual scraper. 

 

How to remove floating laminate flooring?

Probably, dissembling and replacing a damaged floating laminate flooring is the easiest task you can do. Sheets in laminate floors click to each other like small pieces of puzzles and makes the installation a straight forward task. The most challenging step in this procedure would be disassembling the boards, especially the first board. You may need to break this board and remove it. The rest of the job is easy, as you only need to slide or pull the boards to disengage them.

In order to minimize the damage, it is suggested that you start the disassembling procedure of laminate flooring from the parts next to the walls. You can start at one end of the planks and pry them from the wall until the very nearest nails from the configuration pop out. You can follow this procedure until you manage to remove all the nails and detach the planks from walls. Then it is better to start disassembling laminate flooring from parts next to the walls. You can pull the tongue of one plank out of the groove rather than pull grooves out of the tongues. You can continue in the same way until you manage to disassemble the entire flooring.

As the last step try to remove the underpayment foam as well to expose the subfloor. It should be easy and you should be able to pull the underpayment easily and without complication off the floor.

You should note that the locking mechanism used in the design of laminate flooring is fragile since mostly it is made from fiberboard. Therefore, if you are planning to use your laminate boards again, you need to be careful and avoid breaking them during the procedure of disassembling.

 

Disassembling laminate floor: How to prevent board damages

Although assembling and disassembling laminate floor is easy, but there are circumstances you need to avoid and tips you need to consider once you decide to work with these planks. You need to disassemble laminate sheets carefully since the edges are fragile. This holds particularly important and true in those cases when you want to use the boards again. The damages can be more serious in floating laminate planks since any minor damage can easily make each sheet useless.

It is important to work carefully. If you are working with floating laminate flooring, you need to pay extra attention to locks. If you have plans of keeping old laminate sheets, you need to also be careful about the plastic coating on the surface of laminates. This surface coating can easily be damaged due to marks caused by rubbers or other materials. In case you are using screwdriver or pry bars for disassembling planks, you should be careful as they can leave noticeable marks and indentations in the edges.

Laminates are among the most common and popular types of flooring in today’s world. One of the main reasons for this popularity is the easy and fast procedure of installation and dissembling which comes hand in hand with the characteristics of this product. However, before disassembling your laminate flooring it is highly suggested to consider the type of locking system of laminate planks so that you can choose the best and the most efficient way which also causes minor damages to the flooring. While you need to use heat guns for disassembling laminate flooring sheets which are connected to each other with glue, pry and a little bit of force is enough for removing floating laminate flooring. It is suggested to keep laminates dry and safe from scratches and other types of damages so that you will not face the necessity of replacing the sheets in short time intervals.