How To Remove Underlayment [Subfloor]

Shannon from shows you how to remove flooring underlayment. Some people refer to this as subfloor, when technically it is not. Video © 2014 SKS Media.

Videos produced by SKS Media ( are provided for informational purposes only. The information contained in the videos is intended to give general guidance to simplify DIY (do it yourself) projects. Because tools, products, materials, equipment, techniques, building codes and local regulations are constantly changing, SKS Media cannot and does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained therein. Further, SKS Media will not accept any claim for liability related to, but not limited to, omissions, errors, injury, damage or the outcome of any project. It is the responsibility of the viewer to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes and regulations for a project. The viewer must always take proper safety precautions and exercise caution when taking on any project. If there are any questions or doubt in regards to the element of a project, please consult with a licensed professional. SKS Media conducts all matters in accordance with the laws of Saskatchewan, Canada.


Kimberlee Ponson says:

I am moving into a place which has obviously been allowed to have pigeons, carpet beetles and who knows what to make a home on this board. I know the board has been exposed for 3 months so the question is, is there a way to disinfect or clean it or is it better just to replace completely. The board has pigeon droppings, mysterious wet stains and insect carcasses on it.
Any help is appreciated.

Apurv Patel says:

All videos nice and easy to understand
Awesome job by Shannon
Thank u very much
I have questions regarding treatment of mold on wall & framing
Vintage retro is good to apply on frame an replace dry wall ?

Mark Fiorucci says:

thanks! getting ready to do this now.

Bob Cintel says:

Thanks Shannon for the video. Have you tried the Gutster Demo Bar? I use it on every subfloor take up project I do. Works like a charm and keeps you standing up the entire time.

738polarbear says:

And you need a contractors demolition blade in your saw

Murat Ozbas says:

same principle applies to Bathroom underlayment?

readGodsword says:

Thanks for the really good help here. We are doing the same thing…but our particle board is GLUED down some. Any tips? Ever heard of lightly wetting the pb first?? Thank you.

J Nieto says:

Thank you. Much appreciated.

Joe Milne says:

Very helpful video for me, thank you!

hauoliakua says:

I love how easy that was….so what do you do to remove particle board underlayment that has been nailed, stapled, AND glued. I’ve been able to get around the nails and staples pretty easily…but the adhesive is horrible. It’s turned what should be a few minutes into an all day project.

Would it just be easier to cut out the subfloor, then just replace both at the same time?

pin22pin says:

Thanks for the great video and explanation sure makes my DIY job easier.

Bryan Sarauer says:

When we did our living room in preparation for hardwood, the skillsaw threw a staple through our picture window, breaking one of the 2 panes. I came here to see if there was a better way to do it. I have to take up a section of a bedroom that we are doing where I found the underlay damaged by water (probably from the windows that were replaced before we moved in 10 years ago).

Julie Chung says:

Thank you so much for the tip. I just ripped up the stuff from my kitchen and your tip saved time, and made my day!

Erez Koskas says:

Hello there,
Can I install laminate floor on top of an existing vinyl floor? without remove it first?

Everywhere is Nowhere says:

You are great. Plenty of common sense and right to the point and very knowledgable. And you anticipate the details someone might need to know, for example, you mentioned the subfloor could be slightly scored by the saw but didn’t forget to give us a specific idea of what is within bounds score – 1/16″.  A lot of people would have skipped that detail and left everyone guessing.

Alison Isaac says:

very helpful! I actually need to remove my subfloor as well (the floor is sloping and we need to level the joists or something) would it be the same procedure to take out the subfloor? Thanks 🙂

George Balock says:

This video saved me so much time and effort. You are my hero today.

Darlene Eaves says:

I think your video’s are awesome and very informative in projects I’m trying. I have to remove a floor under vinyl that has nails every four inches. Thank you

Sasquatch Hadarock says:

If you had seen the number of nails the contractor that built our house used to hold our floor down when we tried to put in new flooring even your Canadian blood would boil

Kim Lee says:

Really like all your videos Shannon!!! Always explained in a simple manner so that the DIY folks can understand! I’ll be ripping up some particle board next month. on a side note, I literally followed your 8′ x 8′ shed videos and created an identical shed but with a hip roof. Anyhow, just wanted to say THANK YOU for producing such awesome videos!!

bbglas007 says:

omg, I’ve been doing it wrong!!!

Cana Brown says:

We are only removing the partical board underlayment in one room… Any suggestion on what to set the blade to when you don’t have an option like you showed off lining it up to the right depth?

huhhman says:

Heavy duty shingle remover, with a long handle. Best way to remove flooring because the teeth grab onto the nails/screws/staples. Doing a whole floor like this would take ages.

Zack Philipp says:

great help thanks

Brian Swan says:

This is so helpful, thank you Sir! Simple and effective, again thank you!!!

XtaCe says:

Dude spent 4 minutes talking.. Jesus fucking Christ..

Dominic Bucci says:

Very helpful information. Thanks so much!

Dillard Alarm Company says:

This is the second video that I have watched that you make. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge to help others. If the underlayment is MDF, would you also remove that before installing pre-finished hardwood?

fatasianone says:

this saved me so much time!!!

Rommel Brusola says:

Another great video Shannon!! You have inspired me to do install hardwood floors myself.
I need some clarification here. I just removed my carpet and the foam under the carpet. This video suggests that what i see is an underlayment and not the subfloor. is that correct? And does that mean i have to remove that underlayment as well before i install my hardwood floors? how can i distinguish the underlyment from the subfloor?

Lauren Pexa says:

Thanks Shannon. Easy to follow instructions and demonstration.

fisharound says:

Thank you for the tips. 🙂

jfudman says:

Quick tip: roofing scrapers will make it go WAY faster than a crow bar. Love your videos!

Christopher Rubeo says:

Great advice. I’m on my way to the job now.

Tania Sargent says:

Thank you! We’ve used your videos for quite a few tasks in our reno and your channel is the first place we check.

David Charon says:

This video confirmed my suspicions on what I’d have to do to prepare a hallway to connect 3 rooms with the same new laminate cherry flooring. Now I have much more confidence to tackle the final piece of this gorgeous reno. Thanks, great video! Simple, informative and well delivered!

Nu99et says:

Hi, I’ve been watching several of your videos for diy projects. Thank you so much! Can you explain or post a source how to remove the underlayment from the edges and under drywall without damaging?

76CavScout says:

I’m currently removing my carpet and I come to find out that the vinyl sheeting has a underlayment which is in the kitchen and entrance to front door. my question is, do I need to remove the underlayment to install core tec vinyl flooring?

John D says:

QUESTION: We have a 120 year old house. When building/replacing a deck which is off of our kitchen, I opted to replace the ledger board as well. In doing so I noticed that a 5 foot section of the 8×8 rim beam which was behind the old ledger board and that sits on top of the field stone foundation wall around the entire house, had been cut out. Five small cut sections of 2×8 had been wedged in the cavity as a “support fix” and nailed downward from inside the kitchen. When looking at this cavity more closely, I can see both water damage from improper flashing on the previous deck and dry rot on what appears to be the subflooring coming through to the out side of the house from the kitchen.

To give a better picture the layers going up are a field stone foundation>2×10 sill plate>small sections of 2×8 cut and wedged in above the sill plate>a layer of water damaged and dry rotted OSB or Plywood.

From the outside of the house, you can see the OSB or Plywood subfloor of the kitchen protruding to the very edge of the house. I feel that I need to repair this and I wonder how complex a repair this is? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

J Sartrean says:

Hi. How often do you review your forum? I reposted my question on your forum as request 2 days ago.

Sileff says:

Thank you for another great video!

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