Removing/replacing tongue & groove floorboards

12 Apr 2012
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United Kingdom
I'm in a relative new build, 8 years old ish, and am looking at installing a wet room in our bathroom.

Can anyone advise on the least painful way if removing the chipboard tongue & groove boards, and replacing them? Will be installing underfloor heating so will take the whole floor up.

Are they likely to be glued to the joists?

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They might possibly be glued to the joists.

Do you have a circular saw?
Are the panels screwed down?

Will the bathroom be empty of fixtures - a shell?
Bathroom will be empty yes, and yes I'll be buying a circular saw/whatever tool is best for the job. I don't remember seeing any screws on previous excursions under the carpet!

Thanks mate.
You dont have to buy a saw, you can hire one - your best bet if buying one is to consider how useful it will be in future.

Small blade cordless saws will do for the floor business. Any old wood blade will do. Thin kerfs are best.

First locate and remove all and any screws, some are well sunk in - you can use a reverse cordless drill with a no 2. bit.

Locate the smallest single piece of board and run the saw down the join - this will cut off the tongue. Cut straight thro any nails encountered. First set the blade depth to say 12 mm but adjust to suit as you go. You might have to run & cut all the joins on the first board.

Now slide a thin chisel or bar into the join and lightly pry up - if its glued down come back here. Wherever you pry up slide in a temporary shim. Try not to destroy the edges of the boards -pound the adjacent boards and vibration should move your board a little.

Keep prying and pounding until you've released the one piece of c/b.

The rest of the floor can usually be lifted quite easily once you've released one board.

If any boards run under stud partitions the come back here.

glasses & gloves needed. just saying.
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Many thanks Ree, currently exploring underneath them with a boroscope before I give it a go. Your advice was dead helpful!

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