Flooring Removal and Installation Tips
Posted by: Erika Green on November 3, 2021
From bathrooms to basements, updating the floors in your home is a big project that can transform any space. Depending on the age of your home and the type of flooring you need to remove and install, this DIY project will take you a few weekends to complete, but it won’t break your budget. Follow our quick tips for DIY flooring removal and flooring installation.
Flooring Removal 101
Flooring removal can be a tough job, but The Home Depot’s one-stop shop can cover everything you need like rental tools and equipment, materials, and flooring.
Step 1: Safety
The first step in a flooring removal project is to assess the safety of the flooring you’re pulling up. If you’re remodeling an older fixer upper that had vinyl or linoleum flooring installed prior to 1980, it may contain asbestos. If you suspect that asbestos was used, you’ll need to contact a local asbestos abatement officer to test the flooring. Flooring that is contaminated with asbestos is best left to the professionals.
Step 2: Clear the Area and Prep the Room
Next, empty the room of furniture and appliances. If you’re removing the flooring in a kitchen or bathroom, turn off water supplies and remove all appliances like refrigerators, ovens, pedestal sinks, vanities and toilets.
Once the room is empty, remove the baseboards from the wall carefully with a prybar and rubber mallet. Little by little, work the trim free from the wall. If you plan to reuse the trim, mark the back with its location in the room, so you can reinstall after your new flooring installation.
Step 3: Removing Flooring
Every type of flooring removal is different. Here’s how to tackle whether you have laminate, tile or carpet:
Laminate: Start in the middle of the room when removing laminate flooring. Use a utility knife to cut down the middle of the flooring. Make secondary cuts 12 inches parallel to the first cut making strips. Gently lift one end of the flooring and roll the strips up for disposal. Use a prybar to help lift stuck flooring. If you want to finish the job even faster, take advantage of a floor stripper rental. A pro flooring stripper is capable of removing large amounts of laminate or vinyl flooring at one time.
Tile: Removing tile takes a bit more heavy-duty demo work. Using a combination of a breaker and hammer cart for large areas and a demo hammer rental for tight spots, you can break up the tile as you go.
Carpet: Removing carpet is the easiest flooring to strip. Just pick a corner and use a strong set of pliers to pull it from the tack strip. Continue pulling the carpet from the tack strip, cut it into long strips, roll it up and haul it away. Continue the same process for the padding underneath. Don’t forget to pull up the tack strips around the border of the room once you’re finished.
Step 4: Remove Adhesive and Mortar
If you tackle flooring removal with laminate or tile you may find residual adhesive and mortar leftover on the subfloor. Depending on the type of subfloor you have underneath, a floor stipper, or floor maintainer with the proper attachment can make quick work of the task.
Show Your Style with a New Flooring Installation
A new flooring installation can transform any space no matter the size. Depending on the size of the room, this DIY project can take a few weeks to a weekend and won’t break your budget. You’ll just need to purchase the new flooring, materials and rent installation equipment.
If you’re installing tile, rent tile saws to make fast and easy cuts. Similarly, our laminate cutter is ideal for cutting laminate planks to the perfect size and a tile roller is perfect for ensuring a tight fit. And installing hardwoods is easy with rentals like floor staplers and floor nailers. From new laminate to tile and hardwood, The Home Depot is your one-stop shop for materials and rental equipment.