How To Remove Hardwood Flooring For Reuse? [Know The Process]

how to remove hardwood flooring for resue

Removing hardwood flooring and reusing it is becoming a popular idea these days. One reason is that it is eco-friendly to do so. But another reason is that reusing hardwood flooring has a unique aesthetic value too. This means, removing hardwood flooring and reusing it is rewarding. 

If you have any worn-out or slightly damaged hardwood flooring, you may also think of removing and reusing it. Besides, if you want a different flooring, you can consider taking the planks off and using them differently. But to do so, you need to know how to remove the planks without damaging them so that you can use them again. 

To help you out, I have gathered all the information on how to remove hardwood flooring for reuse. Here, I intend to talk about the process in which you can remove the planks and use them in different works. So stay with me and learn the tactics of reusing your hardwood flooring. 

7 Simple Steps To Remove And Reuse Hardwood Flooring: Know The Process

Knowing to remove the hardwood flooring but not knowing how to reuse it makes no sense. If you are planning to remove it you should also know how you can reuse it. As hardwood can be used in several ways, you should plan for it beforehand. 

Also, my suggestion is to pluck up the hardwood flooring tactfully even if you don’t have any plan to reuse it. If you remove it carefully, it can go to the factory to make reclaimed hardwood. This recycled hardwood is popularly used in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, etc. As recycling can cut off the waste disposed of on the earth, it is always wise to take off the planks carefully so that they can be recycled and reused. 

In this part, I will be explaining some simple steps to pluck off the hardwood flooring planks and make them suitable for reuse: 

Step 1: Select A Portion Of The Hardwood Flooring

You may pluck up all the hardwood flooring from the house or choose a part of the flooring for the task. Usually, people change the flooring of one portion of the house. Or maybe, a part of the flooring has been damaged that you need to change. For that, you need to decide on an area in which you want to work. 

So first, select the area and then use white tape or pencil to mark the space from where you want to remove the hardwood. It is always wise to start from the center and then keep plucking the planks towards the edges. If you are not even going towards the edges, mark the entire areas where you would like to work. 

Step 2: Cover The Fixtures And Items

While cutting the planks, it would produce a lot of dust and dirt. To prevent the dust from polluting the surrounding fixtures and furniture items, you should cover them well. 

Use electrical tapes to cover the electrical plug points. Put a plastic sheet on the doors and furniture items. Any electrical appliances should be covered well too for safety reasons. Thus cover everything in the room before you start with the process. 

Step 3: Wear Safety Gear

Okay, so the preparation part is going really long but it is extremely important. I don’t want you to get breathing problems and a mess in the house after doing the task. 

Hence, make sure that you wear goggles, safety hand gloves, a face mask, and a long-sleeved dress. Covering the face and hands would help you stay safe from sawdust and chemical substances. If required, you can wear knee pads too as you would need to sit on your knees for a long time. 

Step 4: Cut The Boards Into Planks

If the hardwood flooring is wide and large, you should use an electric saw to slice the board into narrow planks. This would make it easier for you to pluck up the hardwood flooring easily. 

Before you cut the boards, use a chalk line or a measuring tape to mark straight lines on the floor from one end of the floor to the other. After you draw lines, you need to cut on the lines. 

Set the electric saw depth according to the thickness of the plank. The saw should cut the entire height of the board so that picking up the planks becomes easier. Also, this avoids affecting the subfloor.

This is why cutting the planks to the right depth is necessary. Therefore,  set the saw accordingly and cut the board into narrow planks. 

Step 5: Pry Up The Hardwood Flooring Planks

Note that the cutting of the board should be precise. As you are planning to reuse the hardwood flooring planks, you should try to make the measurements perfect and planks of the same size. 

Now is the turn to remove the planks from the flooring. For this task, use a pry bar. To the direction of the nailing of the planks, pluck up each plank with the pry bar. If you think that a larger force is required for the task, use a hammer and chisel to loosen the edges of the planks a bit more. After it creates a gap, hit the pry bar to take off the plank. In this way, remove all the planks that you were intending to remove. 

Step 6: Clean The Subfloor

After you have removed all the hardwood planks from the area, you have to dispose of the remaining wood pieces, nails, staples, etc. To keep the space neat and clean, you should vacuum clean the area and mop the subfloor too. 

Use a vacuum cleaner to pick up the nails, staples, and loose dirt from the subfloor and the corners of the room. Then mop the floor thoroughly to remove the remaining dirt. Wipe the walls too to remove the loose dirt from the walls. Clean the other exposed items too. 

Step 7: Plan To Reuse The Hardwood Planks 

Now you can plan to reuse the hardwood planks. You have an endless number of options to make use of these removed planks. Here are a few options that you can try out: 

  • Sell the hardwood planks so that they can be recycled in the factory to make reclaimed hardwood planks. These are used for a number of projects where recycled woods are in demand. 
  • Reinstall the hardwood planks in other areas of the area like footpaths, hallway, basement, kitchen cabinets, etc. You can also modify the look a bit if required. 
  • You can experiment with the hardwood planks too. These planks can be used by a carpenter to make exclusive furniture items like a side table, tool, bench, etc. In fact, you can create some art pieces as well. 

So plan something useful to do with the hardwood planks you have removed. 

Tips While Removing Hardwood Flooring For Reuse: 

So far, I believe that plucking and removing hardwood flooring did not seem so difficult to you. In fact, it is quite easy if you have the equipment and you know the process. However, you have to be careful about a few things while removing the hardwood flooring. 

Here are a few tips to make the process easier and more effective: 

  • Use safety gear like goggles, a face mask, and gloves to stay safe from dust and dirt. 
  • Draw the straight lines on the flooring properly. Saw the flooring as perfectly as possible so that you can reuse them in different tasks. 
  • Pluck up the baseboard a bit before you start removing the hardwood planks. 
  • The electrical saw must have a long cord so that you can cut the flooring easily by moving all along the area. 
  • Cut the pieces in good shapes so that you can reuse them in almost any task you want. 
  • Any damaged or discolored plank should be sanded and stained before you sell or reuse them. This will also increase the resale value. 
  • To remove glued-down hardwood planks, you have to use a pry bar to pull up the planks. Pull the planks from the edges so that the glue gets off. Make sure to clean the flooring with a chisel or scraper to remove the glue from the subfloor. 
  • Determine the hardwood floor grade to understand the height of the planks. This will help you to know how deep you need to cut the planks. 
  • Use the proper equipment for this task. Don’t do it clumsily as you are going to use them in other tasks. 

Remember these tips while doing the task. It will just make things better and reuse easier. 

Related Questions: 

Can Hardwood Flooring Be Removed And Reused? 

It is possible to remove and reuse hardwood flooring. In fact, it is economically and environmentally feasible to do so. As hardwood is extremely durable, you can recycle and reuse it in many ways. 

Even damaged and scratched hardwood planks can be processed to make reclaimed hardwood planks. In today’s time, reclaimed hardwood planks are used extensively as it is eco-friendly. Not only that you can recycle it to make new planks, but it can also be used in other tasks too.

For instance, you can use the pieces of wood to make furniture items, in outdoor spaces, or repair other broken areas of the hardwood flooring. So yes, you can remove hardwood flooring and reuse it in various works. 

Can I reuse hardwood flooring that has been damaged during removal?

In some cases, damaged hardwood flooring can still be reused, depending on the extent and nature of the damage. Superficial scratches or small dents can often be sanded or repaired before reinstalling the flooring. However, if the boards are severely warped, split, or have significant water damage, reusing them may not be feasible. It’s essential to assess the condition of the flooring carefully and consult with a professional to determine whether the damaged hardwood flooring can be salvaged and effectively reused or if replacement is a more viable option.

What precautions should I take when removing hardwood flooring for reuse?

When removing hardwood flooring for reuse, there are several precautions to consider. First, wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and safety goggles, to prevent injury. Take care not to damage the subfloor during the removal process, as this can affect the stability of the new flooring installation. If the flooring is glued down, consider using a heat gun or adhesive softener to loosen the adhesive for easier removal. Keep in mind that older hardwood flooring may contain lead-based finishes, so it’s important to take necessary precautions and follow proper disposal guidelines to ensure safety.

Can I reuse hardwood flooring in a different location or room?

It is possible to reuse hardwood flooring in a different location or room. However, there are factors to consider before doing so. Ensure that the dimensions of the flooring align with the new space, as resizing or cutting the boards may be necessary. Assess the condition of the flooring, as any damage or wear may need to be addressed before reinstalling. Additionally, consider the compatibility of the flooring with the new room’s environment, such as humidity levels or potential exposure to moisture. Proper planning and evaluation will help determine the feasibility of reusing the hardwood flooring in a different location.

How Long Does It Take To Remove Hardwood Flooring? 

The duration of removing hardwood flooring depends on the area of the working space. As it needs preparation, ripping off the flooring, and cleaning the subfloor, it requires time. 

You would need around 5 to 10 days to remove the hardwood flooring. Including all the tasks and making the subfloor ready for new flooring, you may need around 10 days. However, if the space is small, you can end the task in 3 to 5 days as well. It totally depends on the area and how expert you are at the task.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove Glued Hardwood Flooring? 

Many may find it difficult to remove the glued hardwood flooring. As hardwood flooring adhesives are hard to remove, the process seems a bit difficult. However, if you invest money, the process becomes way easier and convenient. 

If you are hiring an expert to remove glued-down hardwood flooring, it would cost around $2.50 to $3.50 to remove per square foot of hardwood flooring. However, if you want you can use a pry bar to remove the glued hardwood flooring. But you can still think of hiring a professional to cut off the hassle of plucking up the glued planks.

Should You Remove Old Hardwood Flooring?

Now, if you ask for a suggestion for whether to remove an old hardwood flooring or not, I have mixed opinions for that. 

For example, if you are renovating your house into a modern setup, old flooring may not suit. In that case, you should definitely think of removing it and installing new hardwood planks. Also, if there are severe damages to the old hardwood flooring, you should definitely remove the planks and replace them with new ones.

However, the warm and classy old hardwood flooring always looks elegant. So if you don’t have any specific reason to remove it, just let it be as it has an aesthetic value too. 

Thus it depends on your taste and choice whether you want to remove the hardwood flooring or not. But you should do it if it is damaged. And as reusing options are open, you should do it without any hesitation. 

How To Reuse Removed Hardwood Flooring? 

If you are thinking of how you can use the hardwood flooring after removing it, here are some options for you:

  • Sell the wood pieces that you have scraped off. 
  • Use the hardwood floors on the tabletop. 
  • Make gifts or create canvas and frames. 
  • Install the pieces in some other parts of the house. 
  • Correct some flooring spaces with the wood pieces. 
  • Use the hardwood planks for furniture items. 

You can literally use it anywhere you like. Just make sure that you are using it in the right place. 


Now that you know to remove hardwood flooring and reuse the planks, you should definitely think of it. Think of something productive to do with the scraped-off planks and just go for it. 

Therefore, have you thought of removing and reusing the planks? I believe you have found something interesting by now. 

Jahidul Alam

Hello dear! This is Jahidul Alam. I am the admin of this Tidy Floor. I have been in the floor cleaning business for the last 20 years. My business is all about ensuring affordable flooring cleaning services for Americans.

2 thoughts on “How To Remove Hardwood Flooring For Reuse? [Know The Process]

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