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Removing plywood from floor

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by Milleniumaire, 11 Jun 2019.

  1. Milleniumaire

    Milleniumaire

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    I'm stripping back a bathroom and need to remove the 12mm plywood that was glued and screwed to the chipboard flooring. As I've just removed floor tiles, there's a LOT of tile adhesive stuck to the plywood. This makes it difficult to remove the screws, which I thought about doing so that only the glue was holding the plywood down.

    Had a quick go prizing it up with a crowbar but this simply breaks off chunks of plywood and will take forever!

    Are there any tools or techniques I can employ to remove the plywood layer?
     
  2. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    some kind of solvent to clear the (countersunk?) screws? then something like a spade to lift the ply?
     
  3. bobasd

    bobasd

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    dont ever use solvent indoors unless its in small amounts.
    sparks from a switch plate or power tool can flash the solvent fumes.

    if you have, or can hire, a circular saw - then set the blade at say 10mm and rip the floor in smallish squares - then lever each square of ply up with a hammered flat bar.
     
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  4. Milleniumaire

    Milleniumaire

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    Wouldn't the screws through the plywood ruin the circular saw blade?
     
  5. bobasd

    bobasd

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    who cares - use an old blade if you have one ... and goggles an gloves
     
  6. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    oh right I had this exact prob with a thick 10mm of adhesive, and it was 25mm plywood straight on the joists. In the end I used a metal detector app on my phone (no kidding) and traced out the position of each screw, then used a masonry drill and then scraped out the screw head and unscrewed. a long time later and I had the whole thing up, weighed a ton!
     
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  7. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    here is a photo of what I meant, the Xs were just to triangulate the position and then I drilled down. About 100 times...

    Not sure whether your glue is a bigger problem on top of the tile adhesive though. Hope it helps, good luck!
     

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  8. Milleniumaire

    Milleniumaire

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    Hi bobasd thanks for the suggestion to use a circular saw to cut the plywood into manageable squares. I borrowed one from a friend and did an experiment and this definitely helps. I also purchased a Armeg G80SDSTR 80mm SDS + Tile Removing Chisel, which I saw on screwfix, but actually purchased from amazon.

    This is proving to be very useful at lifting the plywood when used with my huge Titan impact drill.

    As I expected, although I'm trying to avoid the screws, the circular saw blade hasn't lasted very long. Now to source some cheap blades for an old Bosch PKS 46, which seems to have a rather small size blade (150mm x 16mm).

    This is going to be a loooooong, hard job, but at least I now feel I have a process that works.
     
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  9. SpecialK

    SpecialK

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    Could you use a tank cutter (without the drill) around the screws and deal with them later?
     
  10. Milleniumaire

    Milleniumaire

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    Unfortunately I don't know where the screws are because the adhesive hides them. I've gone over the floor and removed the screws I can see. There does appear to be a pattern, so I can guess where they might be and attempt to use the saw between them.

    The tile remover bit also won't remove the screws, which just block its progress, however, as I can guess where the screws are I can break free enough of the plywood to expose the screw, then unscrew it, then continue to remove the plywood.

    I did consider using the tile remove to remove ALL the adhesive on top of the plywood, then remove all the exposed screws, then remove the plywood, but that just seems like a lot of extra work!
     
  11. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    Did you spot my two posts above yours? I had the exact problem and removing all the adhesive was too messy hence why i thought my solution might help you. Angle grinder indoors turned out not to be a great idea for bulk adhesive removal!
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2019
  12. Milleniumaire

    Milleniumaire

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    Hi John, yes I did see your post, however I think our issues are slightly different. Your 25mm ply was screwed to the joists (maybe also glued?). My 12mm ply is glued and screwed to 18mm chipboard, which itself is screwed (not glued) to the joists.

    At this stage I'm simply trying to remove the plywood from the chipboard, without doing too much damage to the chipboard as it may stay down, although it also may have to be taken up later - it depends what UFH solution I decide on.

    Because the 12mm ply is screwed to the chipboard, the screws are fairly short, but there also LOTS of them, not just along the joist lines, which is how I suspect your ply was screwed down. I could try to find them all, uncover each screw and remove it, but I've found I can actually remove the screws as I start to prise up the ply as the 12mm ply simply breaks off around the screw and allows me to then unscrew them before removing the remainder of the ply. In terms of avoiding the screws with the circular saw, I can do this to a certain extent due to the pattern used to screw the ply down to the chipboard.
     
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  13. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    Makes sense, yes you're right mine were mostly in a line!
     
  14. opps

    opps

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    The scraper blades on an oscillating saw are pretty good at removing adhesive. Slow though...
     
  15. opps

    opps

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