How To Remove Glued Down Laminate Flooring

How To Remove Glued Down Laminate Flooring

You have no idea why anyone would do that to their own house, let alone someone else’s. However, you quickly discover that removing it isn’t as easy as walking over to it and lifting it up with your toes. In fact, the entire floor is glued down! And even if you could get under there to take the staples out, they used an industrial strength glue and the boards are affixed so well they look like they were grown together with ivy vines and moss growing between them; it almost looks like a botanical wonderland… With all of those ideas swirling around in your head how on earth are you going to get this laminate flooring off? What follows is a complete guide on how to remove glued-down laminate flooring.

How To Remove Glued Down Laminate Flooring?

Steam and Heat to Loosen the Adhesive

The first method you can utilize is to use steam and heat to loosen the adhesive. Before you get started with this method, be sure to find out if your flooring can handle the heat. If the laminate flooring is 1/4” or less in thickness, then it can withstand the heat. However, if the laminate flooring is 3/8” or more in thickness, then you should not use this method. Next, you’ll need a steamer. You can purchase a commercial steamer or rent one from a store. The steamer will help to loosen the adhesive and make it easier to remove the laminate flooring. Be careful not to direct the steam directly onto the laminate flooring though.

Utilize An Epoxy Coating to Loosen the Adruent Joint & Adhesive

The second method involves using an epoxy coating to loosen the adruent joint and the adhesive. When you use the epoxy coating, it will seep into the adruent joint and loosen the glue. You’ll want to apply the epoxy to the subfloor and about 1” up the edges of the laminate flooring. The epoxy will begin to bubble within a few hours. Let it sit for about a week, and then finish up the process.

Utilize a Heavy-Duty Rotary Tool With a Rotary Hammer and Carbide Tools To Cut Through The Flooring And Nails

The final method is to utilize a heavy-duty rotary tool with a rotary hammer and carbide tools to cut through the flooring and the nails. To do this, you’ll need to start by cutting into the laminate flooring. You can use a carbide-tipped rotary tool bit to go through the laminate flooring and the nail heads. You’ll have to be careful not to go too deep because you don’t want to damage the subflooring. Once you’ve gone through the flooring and broken through the nails, you can pull up the planks. Take care not to pull up the subflooring though. You can then remove the rest of the staples and glue from the subflooring.

Why Would Someone Glue Their Laminate Flooring Down?

The Laminate Flooring Is Very Thick

If your laminate flooring is very thick, it may be difficult to properly align and snap it together. With its thickness, it could be difficult to get the laminate to line up evenly across the entire room. If your laminate is extremely thick, you may be able to glue it down instead of laying it. If you aren’t sure how thick your laminate is, you can check. Just grab a pair of scissors and cut off a small, square piece. You should be able to make a few cuts before you reach the laminate’s bottom. If the laminate is thick, it might be a good idea to glue it down.

You Have Very Sticky Flooring Underneath

If you’re installing laminate flooring in a family room or home office where people are constantly walking around, it’s important for the laminate to stick to the flooring dramatically. Some flooring types (such as hardwood) have a sticky finish that is easy for the laminate to grip. However, some types of flooring have a finish that is extremely sticky. This can cause issues with balancing the laminate. If your flooring is very sticky, it might be a good idea to glue down your laminate to avoid this problem.

Your Home Has Unusually High Humidity

If you live in a humid climate, you may have noticed some laminate flooring tutorials recommend against gluing it down. This is because humid air can make the laminate swell and expand. If the laminate is glued down, the expanding laminate will cause the sticky adhesive to lift up. If your home is very humid, it’s probably a good idea to install your laminate flooring while it’s loose to prevent this issue. If you live in an arid climate, you may experience the opposite issue: the humidity in your home may make the flooring too dry and cause the laminate to shrink and warp. If you live in a dry climate, you may want to consider gluing your laminate flooring down.

The Laminate Flooring Isn’t Adhesive-Coated

Not all laminate flooring is created equal. Some laminate flooring is simply laminate that is glued together and covered with hard plastic. While this sort of laminate can look great, it doesn’t include the same adhesive that laminate with an adhesive-coated back does. If your laminate flooring isn’t adhesive-coated, you may want to glue it down.

Installing the Laminate Over Vinyl Tiles

If you’re installing laminate flooring over vinyl tiles, you may want to glue it down. Vinyl tiles are usually very thin and aren’t good at gripping to laminate flooring. Unfortunately, this means it’s very difficult to get the two materials to stay stuck together. If your flooring is loose and the tiles aren’t gripping it, it may be a good idea to glue your laminate to the tiles.

You’re Installing a Dark Colour of Laminate

Darker colors such as black and brown are often used in high-traffic areas such as kitchens and family rooms. Unfortunately, these darker colors of laminate don’t look great when they get scratched or scuffed. If you’re planning on installing one of these darker colors of laminate, you may want to glue it down. While scratched laminate can be sanded and refinished, it’s not a simple process. If you’re installing a darker color of laminate and don’t want to deal with constant scuff marks, it may be a good idea to glue it down.

What Is The Industry Standard For Glue When Installing Laminate Flooring?

  • The industry standard for glue when installing laminate flooring is “very strong”. The glue they use is called an abrupt joint, which is an adhesive that is applied to both the bottom edge of the laminate flooring and the subfloor.
  •  Basically, the adruent joint creates a permanent bond between the laminate floor and the subflooring. The strength of the argument joint is determined by the thickness of the laminate flooring. 
  • For example, if you have a 3/8” thick laminate flooring, then the glue will be applied to the subfloor with a 3/8” thick glue. There are different types of abrupt joints though, and some are stronger than others. 
  • The most common type of adruent joint for laminate flooring is called an NSF-84 adruent joint.

How Do You Know Which Type Of Glue Was Used?

  • You could try to scrape off some of the glue from the laminate floor and see what type it is, but you probably didn’t notice the glue when you first moved in. 
  • The glue isn’t very noticeable, and you don’t really have a reason to scrape at the floor. If you have a really good eye, you might be able to tell which type of glue was used by looking at the subfloor. If it’s dark, then it’s probably polyurethane glue. 
  • If you can’t tell what type of glue was used, then you can always hire a professional to come and take a look at it.


Laminate flooring is a great flooring option. It looks great and is extremely durable. However, it is not easily removable. In fact, many installers will glue the planks down to ensure they don’t move. If you have laminate flooring that is glued down, don’t worry. With the right tools and techniques, you can remove it. Glued-down laminate flooring is a popular choice for both commercial and residential buildings. It is a cheaper option compared to real wood flooring.