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Remove Parquet Flooring - Types, How?

Removing a parquet wood floor can fall into two levels of effort. Much depends on what the original was glued to or what type of adhesive was used and how well it was installed.

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Removal On Wood Subfloors

Removing parquet on wood sub floors is likely to be the most time consuming and troubling. Generally Removing parquet floor with spud barit’s more advisable to forget tearing it out and install another sub floor over top, but depends on what type of flooring you’re replacing it with.

Why Forget Tearing It Up?

Chances are great once the removal begins not only does the parquet come up but parts of the sub floor with it. Pursuing it to completion and you’re likely to have a sub floor torn and shredded, possibly even weakened if larger chucks come out.

If you're patient enough with plenty of time on your hands it can done done piece by piece with a hammer and chisel. However, 500 square feet for example would require removing approximately 15,000 individual slats of wood; using a small finger block type pattern as an example shown on the right. In my example a long handled spud bar proves most effective.

Replacing With Solid Nail Down Hardwood

If the original plans are to install a solid ¾” hardwood in place of the dated parquet you’ll need a suitable nailing base. In other words, a structure that is capable of holding flooring cleat nails. A weakened sub floor in the scenario above will not possess these needs. Chances are good the new floor will not be fastened correctly; sagging, creaking, and squeaking may prevail over time with the new floor.

Add Another Subfloor Over The Old Parquet

Perhaps you’re thinking “why not just cover it up and nail the new hardwood to it?” Sounds like an idea, but you could be nailing through material that is not strong enough to hold the new fasteners. Furthermore most parquet is constructed of vertical gained hardwood. Nails will easily split the material that can lead to loosening and once again potential squeaking with loosened tiles beneath.

Another Subfloor? Now The Floor Is Too High

Unfortunately this is sometimes the most economical solution, but causes problems with the new vertical floor height. A minimum layer of 5/8” plywood is preferred so the fasteners have enough material to bite and hold into.

The ideal solution if the removal causes problems with sub floor damage is removing everything down to the floor joists and install a new plywood sub floor. Yes, quite a bit of work, not to mention mess and inconvenience. However in this scenario there will be no problems with existing baseboard heights, door clearances, and kitchen appliances if the flooring runs into those areas.


Removal on concrete may be the simplest in terms of options. Actually there is only one solution. Remove it. Harder to remove parquet may require a demo hammer (electric jack hammer). If sub floor damage occurs there are acceptable cement based compounds that can be used to repair gouges left behind by the removal tools.

Cut Back Adhesives

Older floors were glued with cut back adhesives. For any attempt to successfully install a new glue down floor over, it is imperative the sub floor be encapsulated so no bleed through occurs. Products that can be used are floor skimming compounds in the likes of Mapei or Ardex.

Foam Back Parquet

Aside of everything discussed above, there were several parquet products popular in the 80's constructed with a foam backing that were glued directly to sub floors. Similar to some laminate flooring made today with the underlayment attached to the backside, these types will be a breeze to remove. The only difficulty may be in removing the adhesive from the sub floor.