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How do I separate parquet from its plywood base?

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Forum topic by Nashvillian posted 06-13-2021 04:55 AM 441 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nashvillian

24 posts in 71 days


06-13-2021 04:55 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question refurbishing parquet remodel separate

I have a small piece of a gym floor that is estimated to be about 50 years old. It looks like plywood was nailed down, then the parquet was glued on top of that. I don’t know what kind of adhesive they used.

I’d like to separate the parquet from the plywood while doing the least damage to the parquet. Should I just try to pry it off? Should I use heat to help separate them? Are there any chemicals that would work? What’s your advice on how to accomplish this?


10 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2978 posts in 1316 days


#1 posted 06-13-2021 11:59 AM

tub of boiling water comes to mind.

what would you like to do with the parquet once separated from the plywood ?

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

6000 posts in 3505 days


#2 posted 06-13-2021 12:29 PM

Are the parquet pieces also plywood? It looks like the might be from the photo. If they used hide glue to attach the parquet to the subflloor you can separate using heat and steam. If not hide glue, it will be a lot more difficult and may not be worth the effort. What are you going to do with the parquet?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View 4wood's profile

4wood

98 posts in 1107 days


#3 posted 06-13-2021 02:48 PM

Try doing it from the plywood side. Take your track saw or circular saw and set the depth to just touch the back of the parquet and make a cut across the plywood. Make another cut about 1/4” from the first one. Place a strong putty knife or something similar that you can pry with and see if you can remove the 1/4” piece. If it was very easy try a 1/2” cut the next time. Once you have a big enough space opened up you may be able to use a oscillating multi tool to remove the glue and wood strips. The staples can be cut off at the surface with a 4” angle grinder. You may want to use an old carbide blade in your saw when you are close to the staples. Protect your eyes.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2530 posts in 3947 days


#4 posted 06-13-2021 04:16 PM

I have worked on many school construction jobs where a new gym floor was being installed. It is not made to come apart. Unless it has some sentimental value, I wouldn’t waste the time. Good luck.

View LesB's profile

LesB

3026 posts in 4597 days


#5 posted 06-13-2021 04:22 PM

The question develops on which you are trying to save the hardwood or the plywood. They probably used a resin based glue back then and it will not come apart without tearing the wood, probably the plywood will splinter off as in your picture.
Ito think you are waisting your time trying to get them apart. Can you use it with the plywood still attached?

-- Les B, Oregon

View Nashvillian's profile

Nashvillian

24 posts in 71 days


#6 posted 06-13-2021 08:14 PM

Wow! What quick answers! Thanks, folks!

The motivation is sentimental. The parquet would be made into three or more plaques or framed or something like that. They will be presented to the coach or maybe a graduating senior or two.

It sounds like there’s no easy way to separate the plywood, so it might be okay to just extract the nails and display it in some manner where the thickness won’t matter.

The easiest way to extract the nails would be… ?

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

1060 posts in 2616 days


#7 posted 06-13-2021 11:17 PM


It sounds like there s no easy way to separate the plywood, so it might be okay to just extract the nails and display it in some manner where the thickness won t matter.

The easiest way to extract the nails would be… ?

- Nashvillian

I think that is your best option. The wall plaque idea, Just build a frame that can handle the depth of the piece with the ply wood still attached.

No nails, but staples? I think you can just cut them off flush with a grinder.
I think leaving the back side of a wall hanging of this nature rough and ragged would be fine. Maybe clean it up enough so that there are no splinters. You would never see it as it is displayed. And when it is removed from the wall of handled it tells some of the sentimental story.

-- John

View pottz's profile

pottz

18610 posts in 2138 days


#8 posted 06-14-2021 12:22 AM

wel let me just say the obvious,why are you wasting time with wood that isn’t worth the time.just use some wood that doesn’t take so much effort and tell them it was special.seriously dont waste your time for something that wont be worth it.sorry if im blunt but it just doesn’t make any sense too me.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2978 posts in 1316 days


#9 posted 06-14-2021 12:34 PM

I would forget trying to separate the pieces and just build a frame around the square.
yes, it will be a little thick, but that will give the “authentic” feel that it is indeed part of a gym floor.
something like this is what I would do – - – -
(oh, and as for the staples in the back, cut them off with an angle grinder. once mounted in the picture frame,
put a piece of cardboard matt to cover the wood just like you would do a photo).
the more of the original floor you have in the piece, the more authentic the presentation piece will be.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View MPython's profile

MPython

373 posts in 966 days


#10 posted 06-14-2021 01:41 PM

My law partner, Laura, is a Duke Alumna and a huge Duke Basketball fan. Duke replaced the floor at Cameron Indoor Stadium some years ago and produced commemorative plaques from the old flooring. Laura hung one in her office. It had a piece of the old floor approximately 2” X 4” (from memory) centered at the bottom of the plaque with a photo of Cameron and nicely worded comment – very simple and nicely sentimental. My point is that you can accomplish what you want without using a large piece of the floor.

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