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Old 03-28-2013, 10:19 PM   #1
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1977 31' Excella 500
Dallas , Texas
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Removing Glued Down Laminate Flooring

Hi everyone! I just purchased a 31' 1977 Excella 500. My first Airstream.
This is also my first posted question but I have been reading through the forums for the last month (preparing for my upcoming restoration). I know how you don't like repeat threads so forgive me if there is something similar but couldn't find exactly what I needed...
The previous owner glued down laminate flooring that is really coming apart and I want to remove this laminate and replace with either a cork or bamboo floating floor to allow for expansion and contraction. I'm in Texas so we have Hot summers and Cold winters so I will have plenty of both.
I have not started this project yet so I wanted to ask up front, What is the best way to pull up the glued Laminate to prepare for the new floating floor? I don't mind having to pull up the subfloor but would prefer avoiding unnecessary fixes.
I know of several different methods but need advice as I do not want to harm the subfloor. I don't shy away from elbow grease and I have plenty of tools in my arsenal.
Thank you for all your dedication to this forum and helping others get started with their Airstream renovations and restorations!
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:36 PM   #2
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1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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Welcome to the forums.

If it is glued real well, you have a problem. I would start with a wonder bar to pry it up and a sharp chisel to break the bond between the subfloor and the laminate. It is ok to tear up the laminate, but you don't want to damage the plywood floor. This is easier said than done. If it is only damaged slightly, you may be able to repair the plywood with"rock hard" a wood filler that you mix up from powder and water. If it is damaged too much, you may have to cover the plywood with a 1/4" underlayment.

This is one reason why I installed a floating cork floor. If I need to change the floor, I can remove the old floor in about 10 minutes.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:47 PM   #3
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Great thanks!

If all goes well and I do minimal damage to subfloor - would I need to lay down underlayment before floating cork?

Will the imperfections in the plywood show through the cork?
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:01 PM   #4
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One other thought would be to stop by a flooring installation dealer and talk to the guys that actually do the flooring installation. They may have some ideas or equipment they use to remove glued down laminate flooring.

You may also try one of these oscillation type vibrating saws to cut the glue between the plywood flooring and the laminate.

Dan
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:18 PM   #5
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Use a rotozip ocilating "saw" with the flat blade. Get between the laminate and the plywood and let the tool do the work. You might be able to use a heatgun to assist, but I wouldn't recommend any liquid release agents.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriswiegand View Post
Great thanks!

If all goes well and I do minimal damage to subfloor - would I need to lay down underlayment before floating cork?

Will the imperfections in the plywood show through the cork?
The imperfections shouldn't show through floating cork any more than the would through any other laminate floor. (Floating cork is a laminate)

Good luck getting the old glued-down stuff up.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:06 AM   #7
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Use a good grade of laminate underlayment the thick black stuff stretches somewhat and will fill and level out most surface imperfections in the plywood. This also stabilizes the surface temp and provides a moisture barrier that will keep your laminate from buckling due to environmental conditions...plus it makes the flooring springy, or softer underfoot.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:16 AM   #8
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In the old days of tile squares, I saw them being easily removed by running blocks of dry ice over them to freeze the glue to the point it shattered when pried on. The tiles popped right off. Very slick. I have no idea if it would work with the glue used on the floor you have, but the concept was great, and it sure worked on the tile glue.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:08 AM   #9
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Before doing anything assess that the floor doesn't need to be replaced. I have the exact same model and its 1/2" plywood and didn't hold up well all those years. You might be a lucky one but its more important to check the floor for rot at the C channel and the rear end or else you'll be doing your floor twice!
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