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Remove Hardwood Floor Under Cabinets & Baseboard

The following video deals with removing hardwood that was installed under baseboards and cabinets. The subject matter also relates to homes that may have floors installed under walls. The tool of choice for this work has been the toe kick saw; also known as the flush cut saw.

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I go into further depth and analysis on the toe kick saw with another floor removal job; this time a ½ inch engineered floor with luan underlayment. You’ll find the tool actually used probably will not stack up to your requirements unless you’re dealing with softer floors in pine and fir.

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Transcript of the video

In this job all the wood floors were installed before theVideo transcript baseboard, door casings and kitchen cabinets, when the home was built about ten years ago. Maybe you’re wondering why remove the floors. They look great! The homeowner decided to change all the floors in the home to a 5 inch wide Brazilian Cherry with this area being last on the list. Any large scale floor removal project like this will be very time consuming and messy so the first order of the day is protecting what’s inside the cabinet and drawers.

Next the tear out begins with the circular saw set to cut bout 13/16 inch into the floors or slightly deeper than the thickness of the flooring. Several rows are cut about two feet apart. When pulling out tongue and groove nailed floors it’s easiest to remove from the tongue side of the board. Looks kind of easy in the middle of the room huh, but folks if you’re up against solid ¾ inch stapled floors expect the removal time to be double and possibly longer.

I can almost read his thoughts. Guys want to install floors not spend hoirs removing them. Surely a head scratcher for most…how to remove this last piece that’s nailed under the baseboard? Here’s a great trick. Grab some screws and drill them into the side about a foot and a half apart. By using a pry bar and something to prevent damaged to the baseboard, gently pry back and the piece will begin to release.

For areas that run perpendicular to the baseboard it’s much easier. No explanation needed.

Now that the big areas are nearly completely removed it’s time for the tedius stuff or in the kitchen. Here’s the real bugger. How to get the hardwood out from under the cabinets…or should we? Thankfully there’s a nifty tool called the toe kick saw to do the job, but folks this tool can be alarmingly dangerous. Use extreme care!! Better yet…call in someone to do the work. A sawsaw can be used, but that too is dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Have I mentioned calling in someone else?

This tool does work great, but cutting through ¾ inch hardwood is a big workout and it can’t get all the way into corners. Here a multifunction tool is brought in to finish them off.

Once all the perimeter cuts have been made under the cabinets more sections are cut but the circular saw can’t get under the toe kick or to the baseboard under the refrigerator. Here a sawsaw is brought in to finish the cuts. On removal of the underlayment you’ll find quite a few nails that remain. It’s better to pull the nails after each section is completed for safety reasons…and so you know they’re gone. Finally a clean sweep and you’re ready to think about starting the installation. Here’s the toe kick area we worked on previously. Yep, that tool does do a great job, but…it’s no wonder why nobody rents them.