Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Remove Laminate & Cutback From Hardwood

The house that we're fixing up has beautiful hardwood floors! The only bad thing is that the kitchen has 40-50 year old UGLY green laminate on top of the wood and it was stuck on there with cutback adhesive. How do I save the wood??? That was my question. If you've seen the pictures of the finished hardwood in the other rooms, you understand. The floors are amazing!

I searched and searched the internet, talked to flooring people and got a few hints. We tried a heat gun, didn't work. Tried Sentinel adhesive remover, that was ok, but you have to scrape off the laminate first. Flat out scraping was all we could find, and that was not fun, we did a small section, about 3"x10" in 45 min.

Then I heard that you could use an iron and wet towel to steam the stuff loose. So I tried it, it worked...kinda. So I thought, "What about a steamer?"

I rented a wallpaper steamer from our local hardware store for $30 a day and check this out
it came off a whole lot easier. Don't get me wrong, its not EASY, its work, but if you want to save your floors, you have to decide if its worth it and to me, this isn't so bad. You have to work at it, but I wasn't even sweating, so it can't be that bad, right?

You just set the steamer on one section for a few minutes, then you move it a little bit and scrape where it was just sitting and it all comes off. You need a towel because the water mixes with the cutback and leaves some gummy residue that you have to wipe off, but hey, you get your wood back

One worry with cutback is that it may or may not contain asbestos. The great thing about this method is that the cutback is wet, so it doesn't become airborne, so you're not breathing it in. There are no chemicals either, like with the adhesive remover, so its a whole lot safer too!

I'll post pics of the finished floor soon!!

UPDATE 10/7/09: This floor is actually almost finished now!! YAY! So if you want to see the whole process from start to finish, just click the "Hardwood Floor" link either right here or under labels on the left and you can see every step of the way. Polyurethane next!!

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