A Plan for Removing Different Types of Flooring

Commercial Carpet Removal in Florida

Comparing of the DIY Strategy and Professional Services

Remodeling is a great way to give your beloved house a much-needed update while preserving the setting of the memories that make your home so special. For a house, remodeling is like getting a new wardrobe or a facelift: it brings the space into modern times while revealing your home’s personality in a fresh new light. Many homeowners go through a remodel at least once, and with the help of the Internet, more homeowners are choosing to tackle some of this major task on their own.

The DIY route can be extremely economical, practical, and empowering for some families, but certain projects are still best left to the professionals. In the discussion of whether or not to do it yourself or hire the pros, the job of removing old flooring and installing new flooring has the potential to receive mixed opinions, and therefore, Speedy Floor Removal is here to provide the facts that will help make the decision easier for everyone. With our intention of serving Florida as a resource for helpful and useful information, Speedy Floor Removal shares what it takes to remove different types of flooring from the home should homeowners choose to do this themselves, and we also reveal the benefits that expert floor removal services can provide should homeowners opt for their assistance instead.

The Methods for Removing Different Types of Flooring DIY Style

Linoleum and Vinyl

When wanting to replace a linoleum or vinyl floor with new flooring, there is the option of placing the new flooring on top of the old linoleum or vinyl. However, the old flooring will have to be very smooth still, or it will have to be smoothed with a patching material. Furthermore, placing the new flooring on top of the old will raise the height of your floor noticeably, and this change in height can lead to lessened clearance under toe kicks, difficulty sliding out your appliances, and tripping hazards for guests or residents, especially the elderly. Therefore, removing your old linoleum or vinyl may be your best option, and depending on the type of subfloor beneath it, the manner in which you remove the old flooring may alter.

If your linoleum or vinyl floor is attached to a plywood subfloor, then you could choose to either scrape off the flooring and the glue, or you can just cut out the subfloor and the flooring as one piece. If you decide to scrape the resilient flooring away, you should start by cutting the vinyl or linoleum into six-inch wide parallel strips. After using a utility knife to cut the strips, break the linoleum or vinyl loose with a putty knife or brick chisel that you insert beneath the flooring and tap with a hammer. After loosening the flooring, pull up the strips to expose the glue, and when the old flooring is completely pulled away, use a paint scraper to remove the glue. Directing a heat gun at the glue to soften it can make this process easier, or if the adhesive material is tar-based, then applying mineral spirits softens it.

When removing vinyl or linoleum from a hardwood floor, use this same method of cutting the resilient flooring into strips, but determine first which way the wood flooring runs by peeling away the vinyl or linoleum flooring in a corner. Once you know which way the wood is running, cut your strips in the same direction as the wood so as not to cut across the grain. After peeling away the resilient flooring, use a heat gun to help scrape away the glue, but be careful to not gouge the wood. Sand away the remaining glue before refinishing the floor. The same process of cutting the flooring into strips to be peeled away and using a heat gun to soften the glue can be used on concrete slabs as well.

If you prefer to remove the subfloor and the flooring together, drill a hole into the floor to determine its thickness, then adjust your saw blade to cut a 1/8-inch deeper than the thickness. Cut the floor into three to four foot long sections if you can manage them, and use a reciprocal saw to cut flush with the walls while avoiding the floor joists.


Removing carpet is an easier task when you do not intend to save the carpet. When there is no need to preserve the entire mass in a big roll, then carpet can be cut with a utility knife into smaller sections that can be taken out one at a time. The woven backing of the carpet will give your knife less trouble than the plush side, so fold your sections back to access that woven backing as you cut the sections. Cutting a border of four or five inches around the room before removing large pieces of the center section simplifies the process as well, and after lifting out the center section of carpet, you can pull up the border and then take out the underlying tack strips along the edges of the room.


Your approach to removing old wood flooring will again depend on whether or not you intend to reuse the wood planks in some way. If you do not have plans for your old wood flooring, then the quickest manner in which to remove it would be to work with smaller sections of the boards. To create these sections, use a circular saw to cut lines perpendicular to the direction in which the wood is running. In this way, you can form sections of wood that are one to two feet wide that you can then pry up with a pry bar and mallet. After prying up all of the planks, use a nail claw and curved vice grips to pull out all of the staples that remain in the subfloor. Use a large magnet to collect all of the pulled-out staples.

If you would like to salvage the wood planks, you will have to be more careful in the process of detaching them from the subfloor. This procedure would involve prying the boards up slowly by inserting the pry bar beneath the board and lifting the board about 1/4 of an inch, then moving farther down the board and lifting that section as well. After you have pried the board up 1/4 of an inch along its entire length, you must go back along the board and pry it up another 1/4 of an inch. Trying to pull up too much of the board at once could cause you to split the board or damage the tongue, so this method is much more meticulous and involved.


The first step to removing tile is to locate or create a starting point, which can often be found at the bare edge that meets cabinets, vanities, or other semi-permanent fixtures. If the tile runs unbroken from wall to wall, then a hammer and chisel are necessary to break out one tile to form the starting point for prying up the rest of the tiles. Depending on how the tiles are attached, pulling them up may be easy or may require great effort. However, no matter how much effort goes into removing the tiles, you will need a hammer, chisel, pry bar, or pole scraper to get them all up. After you detach the first tile to make your starting point, you will continue to pry up the tile from there. Once you have pulled up all of the tiles, you may also need to remove the underlayment if one is present in order to reach the subfloor. At the subfloor level, all of the exposed nails must be removed, and all debris must be cleaned up.

The Benefits of Removing Different Types of Flooring Using Floor Removal Services

While these instructions for removing different types of flooring may not sound too complicated, that does not mean that they are truly simple or easy to accomplish. In reality, they are still quite cumbersome and time consuming. Alternatively, employing the floor removal services of a professional floor removal company such as Speedy Floor Removal achieves the same basic task of removing the floor but does so in a way that is much more beneficial to the homeowner. The benefits of removing your floor with professional floor removal services include:

  • No dust: removing flooring such as wood and tile produces pounds of dust that can spread throughout your house faster than you realize when removing your floor takes hours or days upon end. Cleaning up and recapturing all of that dust on your own is near impossible, as the dust is airborne immediately and will still be settling around your home even a month or so later. However, the professional floor removal services of Speedy are virtually dust-free, so not only will you avoid the grueling hassle of cleaning up all the dust, but you will also dodge the dangers to your family’s health and safety that come with so much dust.
  • No glue: Once you have removed a room or a house worth of tile, linoleum, or vinyl, you still have to scrape away all of the glue or thin set. This is just more backbreaking labor that must be finished in order to install your new floor. To accomplish this, you may have to buy very specific tools and spend an uncomfortable amount of time on your hands and knees. Yet, the patented, specifically-designed machines used by Speedy Floor Removal effectively remove 100% of the glue or thin set correctly, which means that your subfloor remains undamaged and is perfectly primed for the superior preparation and installation for your new flooring.
  • No danger: if you choose to remove your own floors, you have to worry about protecting the rest of your house at the same time. You will be responsible to guard furniture, appliances, walls, and other flooring that cannot be moved, and that can be a headache of a chore in itself. Furthermore, the job of removing the floors will generate a lot of waste that could present problems to your home and your family if not disposed of properly. Therefore, professional floor removal services manage both of these complexities, and our lengthy experience equips us to do so with the greatest of ease. We have the skill to protect all of your other valuable investments by taking special precautions with permanent fixtures and by eliminating the waste in the safest possible manner.
  • No time (practically): depending on the demands of your current lifestyle when you undertake the job of removing your floors yourself, the entire process could take days if not weeks. To remove tile, carpet, linoleum, vinyl, and wood requires so much cutting and prying that you may not finish in one allotted weekend, and after you removing the flooring material, you still have to go over the entire space again at least twice to pull out all of the nails and staples and do as thorough a cleaning as you are able. With our powerful floor removal machines, Speedy Floor Removal can remove the floors from your space, even from your entire house, in just one day. Therefore, the savings of time is incomparable to the DIY style.

It is definitely possible to remove your old flooring on your own, but it is not always feasible for your family. In order to elude the inevitable pain, unknown problems, and potential dangers of removing different types of flooring from your home, consider the professional floor removal services of Speedy Floor Removal. To learn more about how our services can simply your remodel, contact us today.