How to Remove Formica Flooring

What You'll Need
Razor knife
Pry bar
Heat gun
Razor floor scraper
Warm water
Old towel
Work gloves

Formica flooring is an attractive option for homeowners. It consists of planks that have a top layer of clear protective melamine. The bottom layer is usually made of fiber with resin to enable attachment onto the subfloor. However, the floating type doesn’t require adhesive for attachment. It uses the tongue and groove feature to lock the floor into place along joints. Rubber sealants are used along the edges to secure the floor in place. You may wish to remove your formica floor at some point. You need to be careful so as to maintain the integrity of the subfloor. Below is a guide to help you accomplish the task.

Step 1 – Cut through Caulking

Use a razor knife to cut through the caulking that secures the baseboard to the wall. This makes it easier to remove the baseboard in the next step.

Step 2 – Remove the Baseboards

Begin at a corner of the room. Insert a pry bar underneath the baseboard. Gently pry the baseboard to loosen the nails that secure the baseboard to the wall. Proceed along the perimeter of the room in this way. Once you’ve loosened all the nails, it is easy to pull off the baseboard.

Step 3 – Determine Means of Attachment

Carefully examine the edges of your floor to determine the attachment used. Rubber sealants around the edges indicate a floating floor. However, the absence of sealant along the edges indicates attachment with an adhesive. To remove a floating floor, proceed to the next step. For formica attached with adhesive, proceed to Step 5.

Step 4 – Use a Heat Gun

Wear work gloves to protect your hands from the sharp edges of formica planks. Insert the cord of your heat gun into an electrical outlet. Turn on the power and point the gun at the sealant. As the glue softens, use a putty knife to scrape it away. Steadily work around the perimeter of the room to remove all sealant. Use your pry bar to remove a plank that is next to the wall. Once it comes off, you can proceed to pull the rest of the planks apart at the joints.

Step 5 – To Remove Formica Planks

Insert the front of your pry bar underneath a plank that is closest to the wall. Firmly pry the plank to loosen it from the subfloor. Once you’ve removed a fair amount, hold the plank with your hands to peel it from the floor. Proceed to remove the other planks in this way. If the adhesive is difficult to remove, use the heat gun to soften adhesive along the joints.

Step 6 – Scrape off Adhesive

Use a razor floor scraper to clear away adhesive from a concrete subfloor. If you have a wood subfloor, clear away residual adhesive with the help of a wedge scraper.

Step 7 – Clean the Floor

Sweep away the debris from the subfloor with a broom. Clean the floor with warm, soapy water and a mop then dry with an old towel. Allow at least 24 hours for the subfloor to dry completely.