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Atomic Ranch Rehab
Remove & Reuse thin oak flooring?

Hi All: I have top-nailed thin oak flooring in the kitchen that I'd like to reuse in the future master bedroom addition. My contractor thinks it may be too thin to remove in usable condition. Anybody have any tricks, techniques or ideas for getting it out efficiently for re-use? Thanks.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Remove & Reuse thin oak flooring?

How thin is thin? If it was 3/8" (5/16" after sanding) then it's firewood. If it was strip oak and started life as 3/4" or 7/8" material, and hasn't been sanded more than twice, it could theoretically be removed, de-nailed and relaid. It then must be sanded again and finished. You can never re-lay an old floor and not sand it; well, you could, but it will not have evenness at the seams. There must be enough wear left in the floor to take one last sanding.
S_M

Atomic Ranch Rehab
Re: Remove & Reuse thin oak flooring?

Thanks, S_M. It is 3/8", so I guess it'll stay in place and something new will go for the bedroom.

A. Spruce
Re: Remove & Reuse thin oak flooring?

The thin stuff can be reused, but count on only being able to salvage about 75% at best. Unless your bedroom is considerably smaller than the kitchen, it won't be worth the effort to try to save for yourself. you could check with local restoration contractors and possibly the Habitat For Humanity resale shop to see if they can use the salvage.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Remove & Reuse thin oak flooring?

If it's thin and NOT tongue & groove, then I stand corrected; you could remove and re-install (still have to sand it). If it is thin T&G, face nailed, it's leave it or burn it. IMO
S_M

A. Spruce
Re: Remove & Reuse thin oak flooring?
Sombreuil_mongrel wrote:

If it is thin T&G, face nailed, it's leave it or burn it. IMO
S_M

I would agree. :cool:

Atomic Ranch Rehab
Re: Remove & Reuse thin oak flooring?

It's not tongue and groove, so that's good. The kitchen is smaller than the future BR remodel but there's more potentially re-usable oak under the linoleum utility room flooring, too.

My contractor is good - he said it might be difficult to get the oak up, but not impossible. So the intent of my question is to see what tips, tricks or techniques you all may have come up with for efficient removal - I'm on a pretty tight budget and want to see what cool ideas may be out there to share with my contractor.

Thanks for the info and discussion so far - I like knowing about the Habitat for Humanity resale store and the estimate of 75% re-usable for the oak.

A. Spruce
Re: Remove & Reuse thin oak flooring?

The best way is to use care and a flat bar (Wonderbar ). Once you get the first strip out, the rest should pull fairly easily. Once up, pull the nails through from the back with a pair of pliers.

Don't count on being able to reuse what's under the vinyl, the glues alone will make clean up near impossible.

Atomic Ranch Rehab
Re: Remove & Reuse thin oak flooring?

Here I am, the newbie with wacky ideas: how about a light sanding in place to get rid of most of the glue, then flipping the boards over for re-installation? :)

A. Spruce
Re: Remove & Reuse thin oak flooring?

The glue will immediately plug sandpaper and the back side will be blown out by the nails.

Atomic Ranch Rehab
Re: Remove & Reuse thin oak flooring?

Ah Ha! Well, it was worth a thought. This is great that I can bug anonymous, well-informed strangers rather than my contractor. ;) OK - back to cabinet dismantling now for me.

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