We started popping flooring on the second level- the crew worked so fast I couldn’t even snap one photo before they grabbed every last piece! Only joists remain.
We then moved down to the first floor. Here in the second unit, #2330, we had to remove carpet, flaky carpet padding, linoleum, and plywood. Once all that was out of the way, we got down to the original floor.
The original pine flooring was nailed directly into the joists, without any subfloor. For tongue and groove floor removal, you always need to find the tongue side of the room and start from there. This means you may have to sacrifice a board or two. We popped ’em out, piece by piece, and sent them outside to get processed.
One of our denailing stations. Flooring would come straight out of the house and onto a set of sawhorses. Location, location, location- this rule definitely applies in deconstruction, both as guidance for material flow and worker comfort: This sunny spot was perfect for the early morning when it was a wee bit cold.
Josh, Rodney and Bernadette denailing in the shade. This spot was more comfortable as the day got warmer.
Once the flooring was denailed, we separated it into similar lengths, bundled it into packs of 10, shrink-wrapped it and duct-taped it, and measure the square footage.
Voila! A good day’s worth of flooring, all from one house! We ended up getting around 450 square feet of flooring from our first house, and over 500 from our second. When salvaging flooring, you’ll always lose some material to broken tongues or grooves, deep cracks or splinters, and issues beyond your control like water damage, termites, or dry rot.
Dave shows off the beautiful end grain of this bundle of longleaf flooring. Because the flooring was butt-end, we had the luxury of sawing off any pieces of the board that were damaged or didn’t meet our quality standards.
Here’s a broad overview of how we remove and process flooring. A detailed nuts and bolts how-to guide for flooring removal is in the works, but we wanted to share our basic steps before we bombarded you with tool recommendations, nuanced techniques for different species of wood, and, most exciting of all, best practices for shrink wrapping!