Asked on Aug 30, 2018

How do I remove wood parquet flooring that is glued down super tight?

by Tanya

We are trying to replace all the flooring on our main floor, and open up our kitchen. All the flooring has come out easily so far, except this parquet. It is glued down super tight, and when we try to get it up it is shredding the tiles and ripping the subfloor (which we are trying to salvage). We have already rented a machine that was supposed to help, but even it didn’t do anything to it. Any other ideas?

  10 answers
  • Susan Susan on Aug 30, 2018

    Have you tried a heat gun? It is laborious and will take forever but it is the best way to loosen the glue.

    • Tanya Tanya on Sep 26, 2018

      Thank you for the suggestion, Susan! We tried a heat gun, but it was so slow and didn’t seem to make a big difference on the ones near the middle. It did help somewhat with the edge ones, though.

  • Cheryl Cheryl on Aug 30, 2018

    Wow! what a job! I wonder if steaming the tiles would help by softening the glue and maybe lift them off easier?

    • Tanya Tanya on Sep 26, 2018

      We didn’t try steaming. My DH ended up just doing it with his mallet and pry bar. 😔

  • Caroline Gerardo Caroline Gerardo on Aug 30, 2018

    I would be cautious about a heat gun. A commercial heat gun is hot enough to burn into the sub floor and start a fire. You have no idea what chemicals are in the glue. Heating the glue makes the chemicals volatile and you breathe them. This is your house and health is vital. I would use a scraper adapted to a prevaricator saw. Buy a pack of blades. The saw is not back breaking and will get the job done ASAP. Use fine dust masks, eye goggles and clean up all the dust with disposable rags

  • Scooter.steven54 Scooter.steven54 on Aug 31, 2018

    I would have left it. Put your new floor right over it.

    Too late for that? You may have to lay a new sub-floor.

    • Tanya Tanya on Sep 26, 2018

      Hi, Scooter. We thought about that, but because we were doing the whole main level of our house, we would have had to lay an additional layer of subfloor on the whole rest of the level to bring it up to match. That would have added to the cost significantly.

  • Danielle Danielle on Aug 31, 2018

    Use a floor scraper, then sand. If you're only nicking the subfloor here and there it's not a big deal, you aren't compromising the strength of it, and if you plan to lay tile, which I would guess you are since it's a kitchen then you're going to need to put in hardibacker on top of the subfloor anyway to create the proper surface for tiling.

  • Han32078687 Han32078687 on Aug 31, 2018

    You can rent a piece of equipment from Home Depot that is like a jack hammer only for removing floors like that. It is loud, but it got the floor up.

    • Tanya Tanya on Sep 26, 2018

      Han, we tried that and it didn’t even touch it. However, it did shake the floor enough that afterwards we had to deal with a very squeaky kitchen floor in the area where we tried it. It did seem like a good idea, though. 😉

  • Tanya Tanya on Sep 26, 2018

    So in the end, my DH ended up doing it with his mallet and pry bar. We then sanded as much of the damage as we could with a large belt sander that we rented. Luckily, the new flooring was very tolerant of imperfect floors, and we are very happy with the results! Attached is the before , during, and after for anyone who is curious about the results. We still have to finish paintings do changing the counter on the right side of the kitchen.

  • Dee Dee on Nov 09, 2018

    The floor came out beautiful.. A lot of work but from what I see well worth it. Great job!

  • Quinn Miller Quinn Miller on Dec 12, 2019

    Hi Tanya! My husband and I are in the middle of this as well. We have tried the floor scraper (didn't touch it) a tile scraper (didn't touch it) and finally resorted back to using a cat's claw crow bar and a mallet to bust it up piece by piece. We have been working on it before and after work for 6 days and just hit the halfway point on 600 square feet. Wish us luck!

  • ClayG ClayG on Jan 06, 2020

    I am removing 400 sq ft of parquet that was installed in the mid 90's. While a crow bar and mallet work, I have been able to use a long handled scraper from Lowes that has worked really well to quickly lift up the parquet. If you search for item # 607329, it's listed as an L forged ice scraper. It's heavy, which is helpful for the process. Just make sure to have the tool parallel with the floor when you ram it into the edges of the parqet. For me, removing the old glue is the tougher challenge.