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How To Remove Glued Down Wood Floors? [Explained]

Removing glued down wood floors is a daunting task. You may want to remove your flooring for a new aesthetic design. But this can be tricky and many don’t know the process.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

How to remove glue down wood floors?

First, you need to know if your floor is actually glued down. Then, prepare your floor and take the proper measurements. The next step is to cut the wood and pry up the floor. Finally, remove the glue and you’re done. But remember, it’s different for concrete base and subfloor. 

You must be eager to know more about removing glued down wood floors. We’ve got all the details, so stick with us!

Is The Wood Floor Actually Glued Down?

Before thinking about removing glued-down wood floors, you need to know if it’s actually glued down. It’s difficult to identify if your floor is made from glued-down wood panels. 

But don’t worry, we’ll help you identify it.

If your floor is supported by subflooring, you’ll see nailing around the structure. Check the transition pieces on the floor for adhesives. 

In the case of a concrete base floor, look for the joints in the floor panels. Check the corners. You’ll see adhesive lines which will tell you the floor is glued down.

How To Remove Glued Down Wooden Floors?

Removing glued-down wood flooring is a tiring process. The work usually takes a whole day to complete. For a DIYer, it might take more than a day to finish it properly. 

But removing this comes with a lot of benefits, so it’ll be worth the effort. You can install any kind of flooring you like. You can also install laminate flooring and put various flooring options over it.

Tools Required

Before starting the work, make sure to gather all the necessary equipment. This’ll save time. Here’s what you need-

  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Prying tool
  • Putty knife
  • Scraper
  • Circular saw
  • Protective goggles
  • Gloves
  • Close-toed boots
  • Electric chisel hammer

These tools are common use for both concrete base floors and wooden subfloors. Tools may be the same but the method of removing varies between concrete and subfloor. 

Now, let’s dive into the process-

Removing Flooring From Concrete Base

Working on a concrete base is hard. But following our instructions will make it easy for you. We’ve mentioned the stepb by step process here-

Step 1: Prepare The Floor

You have to make necessary preparations before you start working on the floor. Wear protective goggles, gloves, and close-toed hard sole shoes. 

Now, clear out your working area. Remove or relocate your furniture. Place plastic sheets over the things you cannot remove. This will protect them from debris and dust. 

Open your windows for ventilation as well.

Step 2: Measure And Mark The Working Area

First, measure the area you’ll be working on. This process will help you to visualize the amount of work needed to be done. 

If you’re working on a segment of your floor, mark the area. This’ll ensure you get no damage to the areas you want to keep intact. You can mark the floor using measuring tape and lining tape. 

Step 3: Cut The Wood Floor

Now cut a part of your wood floor to pry into the panels. For that, you’ll need to get the circular saw. Cut the wood floor perpendicular to the floor direction every two to three inches. 

Set your saw blade to the same depth as your flooring thickness. It’s the same way you cut ductwork with a jigsaw. This way, you won’t damage your concrete floors. 

Step 4: Pry Up The Floor

After cutting into the wood floor, it’s ready to be pried up. Your wood floor is ready to be removed from the concrete base. This can be a tedious process. The glue that bonds the wood floor to the base is very strong. 

Start prying up the floor with the chisel. The cuts in the wood floor will make it easier to pry underneath the flooring. This will reduce the risk of splinters. A hammer or long-handed prying tool will suffice for the stubborn sections.

But there are some sections that might not get loose from the glue. In that case, take the electric chisel hammer and free the boards up. 

You have to be careful about the whole process and not get injured while doing this job. 

You should be cautious about prying the wood floor. Minimum concrete chipping is preferable. It’s not unavoidable, but you’ll need to make sure that damage is at a minimum.

Step 5: Remove The Glue

Removing the panels will in turn leave behind some glue and dirt residue on your concrete base. You’ll need to remove them as well. 

This step is the longest and the most time-consuming. But this’ll ensure your concrete’s longevity and better floor for your next project.

To remove any residue, you’ll need an adhesive remover solution. Using a putty knife, spread some adhesive remover over the residue. Then after it’s done its magic, scrape the residue off the concrete base. You may need to use the adhesive remover more than once.

You might not be sure about which adhesive remover to use. Well, to make things easy for you, we’ve recommended some products-

Product 1
Product 2

You can use these products without any doubt. They are the best adhesive removing solution available in the market right now. 

It’s essential that you scrape the adhesive and clean your concrete base. Otherwise, it’ll make the floor uneven and a dirt magnet. This’ll hamper your new floor installation. 

That’s how you remove the glued-down wood floors from your concrete base. Now let’s move on to the subfloor.

Removing Flooring From Subfloor

Removing wood floors from a subfloor is easier than removing it from concrete. First of all, the floor panels are joined with the subfloor frame. Which in turn, reduces the working hassle. 

The removal technique is quite delicate. Following the proper steps ensures the subfloor won’t be damaged. 

Step 1: Preparing The Working Area And Remove The Holding Nails

Start by preparing the work surface and measuring it. Then, pry up the nails holding the wood floor to the subfloor. 

Simply use the back prying tool of a hammer or use a chisel and prying tool. Removing the nails will make your work more efficient. 

Sometimes there will be some nails that won’t come off easily. You’ll then need to chisel the wood flooring around the nail to make a depth. This’ll let your prying tool lever up the stubborn nails.

Step 2: Remove The Wood Floor

After removing all the nails, it’s time to remove the wood floor. This part of the work has to be done with proper precision. Make sure you don’t damage the subfloor while removing the wood panels. 

Use a heat gun and heat the floor. This’ll loosen up the adhesive underneath. Then pry the wood floor panels out and repeat the process until the job is done.

Step 3: Remove Adhesive From The Subfloor

Now, you need to remove the adhesive from the subfloor. In this case, you can’t use strong chemicals like an adhesive removing solution. Using products like that will damage the subfloor and might result in future complications.

You can use some mild detergent solution with warm water to remove it. Also, you can use the heat gun to soften the adhesive. In a way, it’s similar to removing glued-on carpeting, but with a gentler process. 

This way, the adhesive can be scraped off very gently. That will protect the subfloor and clean the area as well. And that’s it, your work is done!

That was everything we could inform you on removing glued down wood floors. Hopefully, this will help you get your job done.


Question: How much does it cost to remove the glued wood floor?

Answer: The basic charge would be between 2.50$ to 3.50$ per square foot of floor. But the pricing does depend on the condition, type of flooring, and other factors.

Question: How do you dispose of the old wood floor panels?

Answer: You generally won’t find your regular garbage truck to take out your wood floor panels. IContact any recycling facilities or particleboard company. They will take your old panels. 

Question: What to do before reinstalling a new flooring?

Answer: Before reinstalling a new flooring to your removed base floor, thoroughly clean the area. Then sand your base floor until it’s smooth. Sanding it will make the floor adhere to the new flooring easily.


That’s all we had on how to remove glue down wood floors. The process is a lot of muscle work and time-consuming. But working through this process will make sure you have the most efficient and organized project. 

We hope you’ll be able to do it by yourself with our guide. If you find any issue, get help from a professional.

Best of luck with your work!