Removing a Subfloor or Underlayment

Removing a Subfloor or Underlayment

Today I want to show you how to remove underlayment. Some people might call it subfloor, but there is usually a plywood or OSB some floor on your flooring and then underlayment on top of that, generally. It’s usually maybe a quarter inch thick or 5/16ths.

So we are removing and in this case, it was underneath carpet. We’re removing it because we want to put hardwood over top this area. Other places you’ll find this type of product will be under vinyl flooring or linoleum, just like in the kitchen in here. Most times, vinyl flooring will not just lift off like this, this one must not have been glued on really well.

subfloor 1Most times you’re going to be scraping and scraping and it’s just easier to actually remove this all in one piece, so you can do it whether there is vinyl over top or whether is bare, just like what I am sitting on here. This type of material is usually stapled and nailed or there will either be a combination of both or one or the other.

This one has few tack nails, they must have laid it down, tacked it in place and then somebody came along with the stapler and stapled it. So you got fasteners in there. We are going to be cutting it into a little bit smaller pieces, you’ll find it comes off a lot easier that way than trying to pry it all off and one it’s in a big sheet.

When you are trying to pry it off without pre-cutting it, you’ll end up breaking it into little wee pieces, where more often than not, if we at least cut it, it will come up at least in little bigger pieces and be a little bit less trouble. So to do that, what I’ve done is I’ve taken the circular saw, I’ve set the depth of the blade, just basically laid it along the edge like that, set the depth of the blade just deep enough to get through the underlayment that we want to remove.

It’s all right if you square the subfloor underneath it just a little bit, but you want to avoid cutting into the subfloor very much at all, but if it just skims a little bit, for sixteen, that’s not a big deal. So we are going to do some cuts, when we are doing that we are obviously could be cutting through nails or staples, so we want to have some eye protection on. I am also going to be wearing some earplugs, just for the noise.

subfloor 3So I am going to cut it, then I am going to use a pry bar and hammer to start peeling up the pieces and as I go along, there’s going to be some staples that pull right through the underlayment and don’t come out of the subfloor so I got some pliers along with me, just to pull those out as I go. So we are going to do a bit of an area here, just so you can get the idea of what we do. It’s pretty basic, but sometimes seeing something done, just helps you out.

So I am going to get my safety gear on and make some cuts. So with my cuts, what I do, this materials are usually 4×8 sheets, I don’t think I mentioned that, and most of the stapling generally is going tobe around the perimeter, so what I’ll do is I will run my saw about eight inches from the edge of the perimeter of all the sheets, so I will go all the way around and then about every couple feet, I’ll also cut across the sheet.

So that will make a little bit easier to get up usually, at least in few less small pieces. I am going to get my plugs in and I am going to cut and I am going to also wear some gloves as well, some staples could be flying off the laid. This is just a small piece here, this is actually a 4×8 sheet, so I’ll do my demonstration on this full sheet just so you can see.

Stick with us because we’re going to finish this up in a second part… we just need to write it out and post it for you!

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