How to Remove a Plywood Subfloor

All or part of your house may have plywood subfloors that are susceptible to damage. Rain may have reached the plywood or it may be continually damp. Rather than hiring a contractor to replace damaged subfloors, you can save money by doing it yourself.

This is relatively time-consuming work, so it's a good idea to have someone working with you.

  1. Determine the areas of subfloor that need to be replaced. In most cases, only part of the subfloor needs to be replaced, but you'll need to remove the linoleum, carpet or other covering material. Make note of the areas which need replacing by spray painting them so you can easily find them later.

  2. Check for either plumbing or electrical wiring below the subfloor before you begin removal.

  3. Drill a hole into the subfloor to check thickness, then set your circular saw blade 1/8-inch deeper. Cut and remove those damaged sections. If you are replacing the entire subfloor, remove about two or three feet square at a time, depending on your strength to lift and dispose of it.

  4. Use the chisel and hammer to remove subfloor that's close to the wall. The circular saw cannot be used because its bottom plate will hit the corners of the wall.

  5. Tip

    Call your homeowner's insurance agent before you remove any part or all the subfloor. If your policy covers the damage your house has sustained, a significant part of the bill will be paid. Therefore, you can have a contractor do the work.