Q: What is the best way to remove parquet flooring from a concrete sub-floor? — Randy, Evanston, Illinois

A: Tom Silva replies : Unfortunately, there is no good way. It's basically hard work. You can use an edger, which is a tool usually used to edge a garden. It looks like a little square flat shovel. And you just have to take the edger and get it under the parquet and break the seal. You can also actually rent a tool that's for removing linoleum, which will work for removing parquet too. That's an electric tool that gets underneath the tile and vibrates back and forth to loosen it. The hard part really comes after you've got the parquet up, because then you have to remove the glue. None of this should harm your concrete sub-floor. But everything depends on how well they glued the parquet down. Essentially what you're hoping at that point is that they didn't do a very good job when your flooring was installed — that will make it easier to remove. If they did a really good job of gluing it, you're going to have a bear of a time getting it out. For that, sometimes soapy water will work. Consult a local flooring specialist for any other suggestions about glue-removal substances you might use, and good luck.

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