How’s it going ? Tips and Tricks for Removing Hard Flooring


When removing wood floors, contractors should use a scarifier equipped with a cutting blade to make cuts across the entire surface.

National Flooring Equipment

Hard materials such as wood, laminate floors, ceramic tiles and quarry tiles are usually applied directly to a concrete floor using adhesives. When removing this type of flooring, it is especially important that contractors have the right tools for the job. Here, Nick White, Country Manager for UK and Ireland at surface preparation company National Flooring Equipment, gives advice to contractors on how to effectively remove hard materials.

No two soil preparation applications are the same. Each installation will have a different combination of flooring, adhesive and substrate condition. Thus, taking the time to make the right choices will be integral to the success of the job.

Durable Goods Moving Accessories

While machine choice is important for removing hard materials, contractors should also carefully consider the tools and blades they need to effectively remove the coating and adhesive underneath.

Typically, contractors use rods to remove durable goods. The angle of the tool allows them to slide it under the ground and lift larger pieces, rather than carving out small areas, reducing removal times without compromising accuracy.

Contractors must adapt the methods for each floor covering. For example, when removing wood floors, contractors must use a scarifier equipped with a cutting blade to make cuts across the entire surface. This allows the contractor to lift the wooden floor in sections and avoid splitting the material. Contractors must also determine where to start to remove the material. For example, there may be expansion joints in a concrete floor, so approaching a floor diagonally could prevent tools from catching the lip of a joint and causing damage.

Remove delicate and sticky adhesives

Some adhesives can be particularly difficult to remove. So, once the hard good has been lifted, contractors must switch to a sharper blade and increase the angle between the machine and the ground. Depending on the machine, the pitch change can be done manually or with a lever.

Changing the blade and its angle allows the contractor to more effectively peel the adhesive from the concrete floor. The contractor can select the correct blade by evaluating the material on the surface; a normal blade can be used to cut through hard soil deposits, but a razor blade is needed for sticky substances.

Use the right blade

It is essential that any remaining adhesive is removed before the new flooring is fitted, otherwise it could ruin the aesthetics of the new flooring. However, it is very easy to damage the concrete underneath if the wrong blade is used. To make sure you get it right, contractors should use a blade at a shallow angle and make small adjustments until the correct pitch is found for optimum efficiency.

Keep in mind that there are also different recommendations for different types of flooring. For example, if wood siding is present, contractors should use an up and down beveled blade, which has a rounded edge at the bottom, as this causes less damage to the floor.

Using the wrong blade or tilting it incorrectly to remove a coating or adhesive will not only damage the floor, but it could also affect the machine and its tools. If the blade sinks into the ground because of the incorrect pitch, the blade will wear out more quickly. If the operator hits something, the blade can break and damage the machine. If the contractor does not use enough pitch, the machine will jump over the ground without removing it, because there is no downward pressure on the blade.

Hard materials are an extremely popular flooring choice, but contractors can easily get stuck when removing them. Remember, it’s not all about machine choice – the tools and how you use them are just as important.

Written by Nick White, Country Manager for UK and Ireland, National Flooring Equipment.


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