Laminate flooring is less expensive than slate or ceramic tile flooring but often has the appearance of a ceramic tile or slate floor, which is part of its appeal. The unappealing aspect of laminate flooring is that if you tire of it, it can be difficult to remove. The level of difficulty in removing the flooring depends on the method of installation. There are several options for removing the flooring.
Removing Floating Laminate Flooring
If the laminate floor has no adhesive but was placed by sliding the sections into each other, then it is a floating laminate floor. It was laid on the floor using a rubberised seam sealant to attach it to the lintel posts, the edges of the walls and the doorways. The purpose of the sealant is to keep the whole floor from getting pulled up or coming apart. The easy way to remove laminate flooring laid in this manner is to use a heat gun to melt the sealant, and then remove one section of flooring at a time.
Removing Glued Laminate Flooring
Glued laminate flooring consists of sections that are glued side by side to each other but are not glued directly onto the floor. This type of glued flooring is easy to remove. Simply pull up the sections from the floor. If the glue between the individual sections has run over and onto the base of a concrete floor, however, then it can pose some problems in trying to remove it. Taking out the individual sections will be very tedious and laborious. To make the job easier, try using a manual scraper to loosen the floor tiles.
Melt the Glue With a Heat Gun
If you want to remove the glued laminate flooring and preserve the laminate in the process, your only option is to use a heat gun to melt down the glue. Pull on an edge of the floor until it loosens from the concrete base. Then use the heat gun to melt the glue, alternately pulling the floor up and melting the glue until the whole floor is removed.
Use a Motorized Floor Stripper
If you have no desire to preserve the floor, you can rent a motorised floor stripper with claws to take up the laminate flooring. The stripper will pull the floor up a whole lot faster than the heat gun, but you will never be able to use the flooring again after it is removed. A motorised floor stripper is also going to cost more than a heat gun.
Pull the Flooring Up by Hand
If you do not care for any of the above options, there is one more. You can use a manual scraper to pull the laminate floor up by hand. This is the cheapest method to remove the floor, but it is also the slowest and most physically exhausting method of removing the floor. There is no easy way to remove glued laminate from concrete. You just have to keep chipping away at it with the scraper. If you plan to keep a section of flooring, you might want to cut it with a utility knife. Otherwise, using the manual scraper will take the floor up a lot faster.