How to Remove Aggregate Flooring
Aggregate flooring consists of a mixture of aggregate, such as gravel or pebbles, and epoxy resin. Spread onto a subfloor, the mixture dries into a hard, durable covering that can last for years. The combination of the resin and the aggregate creates a solid sheet over the subfloor that can make removal difficult.
A brute-force approach is your best option for removing aggregate flooring. It’s messy and tedious work, but the effort will leave your subfloor available for recovering it with a new flooring material.
Things You Will Need
- Push broom
- Pry bar
- Plastic sheeting
- Masking tape
- Cold chisel
- Floor scraper
- Chemical adhesive remover
- Mild liquid soap
Watch the depth of the chisel when breaking through the flooring for indications of scraping against the subfloor. The chisel can gouge concrete and wooden subfloors alike.
Sweep the floor using a push broom to remove any dirt or debris that can block your view of the floor’s surface.
Remove any baseboard or molding surrounding the floor, using a pry bar. Place the tip of the bar between the molding and the wall and use pressure on the bar to pull the molding away Work down the length of the board to avoid breaking it during removal.
Cover the doorways and air vents with plastic sheeting to keep dust from spreading throughout the structure. Secure the sheeting with masking tape. Open an exterior window and place an exhaust fan in the window to remove dust that rises during the floor demolition.
Locate any breaks or seams in the aggregate flooring surface that can serve as a starting point removing it.
Place the tip of a cold chisel at the point of any breaks or seams. Position the chisel at a 40-degree angle to the surface of the aggregate. Begin at the edge of the flooring surface if no break or seam is apparent.
Strike the head of the chisel with the hammer hard enough to break through the aggregate flooring surface to the subfloor beneath. Create a line in the flooring about 12 inches long, using the chisel.
Place the base of a floor scraper into the line created with the chisel. Apply pressure to the scraper to drive it under the flooring, along the subsurface. Wiggle the scraper slightly as you wedge up the aggregate flooring from the subfloor.
Remove any flooring dislodged by the scraper. Continue dislodging as much as the flooring as possible with the scraper. Break any stubborn pieces with the hammer and chisel, then pry them up.
Sweep the floor with the push broom to remove all loose aggregate pieces.
Remove any adhesive remaining on the floor, using a chemical adhesive stripper. Spray the stripper over the floor in a thin layer. Let sit it in place for 15 minutes to soften the adhesive.
Scrape the stripper and the softened adhesive off the floor with the floor scraper. Deposit the residue in a trash bag. Mop the floor with a mixture of mild liquid soap and warm water to remove any chemical residue, then rinse away the soap with clean water.
Larry Simmons is a freelance writer and expert in the fusion of computer technology and business. He has a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in information systems, an M.S. in communications technology, as well as significant work towards an M.B.A. in finance. He's published several hundred articles with Demand Studios.