Can You Reuse Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring is one of the most popular flooring options. With an expected life span of almost two decades, the material is durable, affordable, stylish, and easy to install. Unlike natural wood, laminate flooring is more stain, scratch, and dent-resistant. Sadly, used laminate flooring planks often end up in landfills once removed. This leaves many wondering if you can reuse laminate flooring.

Whatever your intentions are, it is possible to reuse laminate flooring. However, it may not be as simple as it sounds. You can easily reuse floating laminate flooring, and glued laminate flooring is tougher to reuse. Fortunately, you can carefully remove it and reinstall it on another floor with the right tools and skills.

Can You Remove Laminate Floors?

If you want to remove laminate flooring, you must be careful. You do not need to hire a professional to remove your laminate floor. It is a clear-cut, simple process if you think about it. Even if you don’t have DIY skills, the process is quick. The only prerequisite is to be careful and take your time.

Can You Remove Laminate Floors

Laminate floors attached to subfloors can be challenging to remove. However, you can easily remove it with the right tools and procedures. Even so, it will take more effort and time than removing an unglued floor. When installing glued or non-glued flooring, you will use the same simple tools on hand.

Besides, the only thing that will change is the amount of pressure applied. The overall technique will remain the same. Non-glued surfaces will require you to use a gentler touch that will leave minimal damage. Floating laminate planks will separate from the adjacent as you bend it up. They are effortless to remove if they are in good condition.

The following are some simple tools and safety materials you will need:

  • Claw hammer
  • Floor scraper
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Felt marker
  • Pry bar
  • Gloves
  • Chisel
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety boots

Can You Lift and Relay a Laminate Floor?

Lifting and relaying a laminate floor depends on several factors. Perhaps the most important is the installation process. Generally, there are two ways you can install a laminate floor. The first is the use of floating planks. These planks are not fixed into the subfloor and instead float on the surface. Lifting and relaying floating laminate planks is simple. All you have to do is dislodge the corner pieces, and everything can be removed by hand.

On the other hand, fixed laminate floors are tougher to reuse. Typically, these planks are fixed using nails or glued to the subfloor. Consequently, they are tougher to lift. With the right tools and skills, you can still remove them carefully. You can easily remove the pieces and use them elsewhere using a heat gun.

The quality and age of the laminate flooring also determine if they can be lifted without breakages. High-quality planks are tough enough to withstand the pressure when lifting them. However, with cheaper laminate planks, reusing them may not be feasible. Old flooring may also be hard to reuse. Laminate flooring with an underlayment material such as foam cushion makes it easier to lift and reuse.

Can You Remove Laminate Flooring without Breaking It?

There is not much difficulty removing a laminate floor. You can remove it without damaging it before reinstalling it elsewhere. Start the disassembly process in one of the corners on the groove-side.

Can You Remove Laminate Flooring without Breaking It

The steps are as follows:

1. Get the Right Measurements for the Laminate Floors

You need to figure out whether the laminate flooring will fit the floor you want to repair. You can perform this step by carefully measuring the other room and the room where you are removing the flooring. The locking mechanisms will require that you carefully assess both walls. To make it simpler, calculate the room’s floor in square feet.

Get the Right Measurements for the Laminate Floors

To complete a smaller laminate floor, you will need the same material or less. You may require additional planks if the room is larger or if many pieces are damaged. Carefully taking the laminate floor pieces out will minimize the damage.

2. Prepare Your Tools and Safety Equipment

To replace laminate flooring, some of the simple tools you will need include a claw hammer and a floor scraper. Do-it-yourself projects involving such devices must consider safety.

Prepare Your Tools and Safety Equipment

Safety glasses, gloves, and sturdy boots will decrease any injury risks. Using a hot iron or a melt gun can also help remove laminate flooring by melting the adhesive. Lastly, you will need a vacuum cleaner to suck out all the dust and broken pieces once you are done.

3. Remove All Furniture from the Room

The next step is to remove any furniture or other obstructions. Since some of the furniture may be heavy to move around, you can just move them to the sides. If you can get everything out, the better. By doing so, you will be able to remove the laminate planks piece by piece.

4. Remove Skirts and Transition Strips

You can remove laminate flooring without removing skirting boards or transition strips. However, it would not be the best-preferred approach. The skirting planks can make lifting something more complex, and besides, the planks can easily break.

This occurs when the floating floor extends under the skirting planks. A pry bar is sufficient for removing the skirting panel. Depending on the design, you may have to unscrew them.

5. Lift the Laminate Floor

It is time to begin removing the laminate boards. It is clever to start with a baseboard at the wall’s outer edge. That way, the tongue side is facing the accent wall. For the groove side to lift, raise the unconnected side closest to the wall.

If the gap is large enough, you can do this using your gentle hand. Angle one baseboard upward while moving the other plank back and forth. Make sure you remove all the corner planks before moving on.

You can use a clean rubber-faced grouting tool to simplify the process. Place it on top of a corner plank, and push it to disengage the plank from neighboring pieces. Once free, you can lift it out and repeat the process.

6. Clean the Subfloor

The next step is to clean the subfloor. A clean subfloor is an essential step before laying new flooring. Remove any foam padding-left by the laminate flooring. If the floor was glued, use a heat gun and a scraper to remove all the adhesive stuck on the floor. You can then vacuum the entire subfloor to collect dust and debris. The subfloor will now be ready for your new floor.

Ensure that you carefully store the used laminate flooring planks to prevent further damages.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why you should reuse your laminate flooring. First, used laminate flooring often ends up in a landfill, which is not great for the environment. Reusing laminate flooring can also save you a lot of money. However, reusing it might not be simple.

While it is possible to reuse laminate flooring, the success depends on several factors. First, installing a floating floor makes it easier to reuse the planks. Using an adhesive makes it harder to resume the laminate flooring. Either way, it is possible to reuse it even if it was glued to the subfloor.

Patience is critical in the process. You can easily snap together laminate planks if you use too much pressure. With the right tools and skills, you can easily reuse your flooring. Like any other DIY project, always remember to wear protective equipment such as gloves, boots, goggles, and safety glasses. It would help if you considered seeking professional help when removing laminate flooring for the best results.