Can Laminate Flooring Be Reused? (All You Need To Know)

You’ve just installed some beautiful new laminate flooring in your home, but you’re not sure if it can be reused if you ever move? Well, you are not alone. This article will go through everything you need to know about reusing and recycling your (old) laminate flooring.

Laminate flooring can be reused. This is as long the flooring is not fitter or glued down. The best way to lift laminate flooring is by starting at the outer edge and starting with the tongue side that is facing the wall.

Installing new flooring is a significant investment, so you want to make sure that you’ll be able to reuse it if you ever move. This comprehensive guide will answer all your questions about reusing laminate flooring. This guide includes tips on how to remove your old flooring, how to prepare it for reuse, and lastly, how to recycle it. 

Can Laminate Flooring Be Lifted and Relaid?

Many homeowners choose laminate flooring because it is durable and easy to care for. However, one of the most appealing laminate flooring features is its ability to be lifted and relaid. 

However, some conditions need to be met in order to do so. Laminate flooring can be lifted and relaid as long as it’s not fitted with glue

If your laminate floors are adhesive-free, you will be able to disconnect the groove joints and tongue easily and reconnect them. While it might be possible to remove a glued laminated floor as well, it cannot be reused because the boards may break, or their connection points or face may become damaged during the removal process. Nonetheless, you should bear in mind that low-quality laminate flooring is susceptible to damage during the lifting process, and it might not be possible to reuse it.

How To Remove Laminate Flooring For Reuse?

Removing laminate flooring is not a very complex or difficult task, and you can lift it without damaging it in order to relay it elsewhere. The steps to follow are:

  1. Do some measurements

When you are planning on lifting and relaying laminating flooring, you should first measure both rooms to ensure you will have enough boards to get the task done. It is also recommended that you add a contingency of some boards getting damaged, even though it is possible to keep it to a minimum.

  1. Have your tools ready

Some tools are required to remove laminate flooring and install it again, and you should have them ready to initiate the process. We’ll go through which tools we are referring to later on.  

  1. Ensure there is no adhesive

Removing glued laminate flooring can be difficult, and the chances of reusing it are low. Thus, you should ensure that you have unglued laminate flooring. Try and separate a couple of boards to see what you are dealing with. Use a floor scraper to pry the board apart from the joint, and you will have the answer. 

  1. Remove the furniture

The next step is to get rid of all the furniture in the room to remove the laminate flooring, as it only gets in the way. If you cannot move all of it out, you can push all of the furniture to one side of the remove and remove the flooring in sections. Regardless, it is better to remove all the furniture, as this can keep damage to a minimum.

  1. Get rid of the skirting boards.

Removing the skirting boards is unnecessary, but they get in the way, especially if the flooring extends underneath. Hence, removing them is probably for the best. This will help you avoid damage to the board and the wall while working along the flooring length. However, if you decide to do it anyway, this guide will greatly help. This is also why you always install your skirting boards afterward and not before.

If you installed transition strips between other rooms’ flooring and the laminate flooring, they must be removed. Similar to when you transition from flooring to stairs. A pry bar can be used to lift these, or you can unscrew them, depending on how installed.

  1. Lift the laminate flooring

It is time for you to remove the boards now. The best place to start is the outer edge. Choose a board that is placed next to the wall, with the tongue-side facing it, because it is easier to remove. You can also remove one with the groove side facing the wall, but the former is easier. Use your finger to lift the board’s unconnected side. 

If there is not enough gap for your finger, you can use a pry bar. Angle the board upwards and move its sides back and forth until the joint disengages, and you can keep it out of the way. The same step has to be repeated for every single board. 

  1. Put the finishing touches.

You need to clean the subfloor and check the underlay as well. There will be some debris and dust on the floor after removing the old laminate flooring and using a vacuum cleaner to get rid of it. If the floor was glued, you might have to remove the adhesive from the subfloor with a floor scraper.

To better understand the steps, you can check out this video

Do you need a laminate flooring removal tool?

Several tools and some safety equipment will be required for removing laminate flooring. These include the following.

Is There Any Disadvantage of Reusing Laminate Flooring?

As long as your laminate flooring is in good condition and has not been used for very long, there is no disadvantage to reusing it. This kind of flooring is very durable and significantly cheaper than other options, which makes reusing it a smart decision. Obviously, even though you managed to remove and reinstall your laminate flooring, it will not look like a brand new one. 

What to Do with Old Laminate Flooring?

Old laminate flooring can be recycled because it is essentially wood, or it can also be upcycled. There are several ways you can do this:

  1. You can use your regular household recycling if you only have a few leftover boards to deal with. Or use it to install it in your garage with XPS as an underlayment.
  2. If you have lifted an entire laminate floor and want to dispose of it, then it is better to take it to a dedicated facility for recycling. They will break it down into wood chips, which can later be used to make chipboards or fuel production. Before you make a decision, it is also recommended that you reach out to local authorities to find out if there is any regulation related to recycling or waste disposal that you need to comply with. 
  3. Other than recycling, another option at your disposal is to give your old laminate flooring a new lease on life by choosing to upcycle it. Laminate flooring scraps can come in handy for making shelves that can be used in a garage or shed. If you want to make a feature wall, the laminate floor scraps can be used for paneling.

Remember that your old laminate flooring should not be incinerated or burnt. While it comprises wood, it contains numerous chemicals that can be harmful and even toxic when burnt. 


Can You Use Laminate Flooring Twice?

It is possible for you to use laminate flooring twice, as long as it is in good condition and has not been glued to the floor. Otherwise, lifting and reusing it can become a problem because the boards may be damaged during the process.

Can You Replace One Section of Laminate Flooring?

One section of laminate flooring can be replaced if you have extra boards available, but it depends on several factors. Every brand of flooring is installed differently, which can affect the process to be used for replacement. Similarly, the location of the board to be replaced is also relevant because the process varies for a plank in the middle of the room and one close to the wall. It also requires a great deal of skill and knowledge to replace one section.

How Long Can You Store Laminate Flooring?

There is no harm in storing laminate flooring for the long term, whether it is a few days, weeks, months, or years. But you have to ensure that you store it properly, i.e., in the right position, and monitor the relative humidity and temperature because it can affect the flooring. 

Recent Posts