Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Currently I have ceramic tile in the main hallways of my house. I am looking to replace this with hardwood flooring and will potentially be performing the demolition work myself to save money. I know there is concrete board under the tile with plywood under that. I want to know, how easy it is to separate the concrete board from the plywood so as to reuse the subfloor (assuming it is in good shape). Is it worth trying to separate it, or just pull it all up and start fresh.

share|improve this question

If your question is, "Should I try to remove the backer board and leave the plywood in place?" the answer is, "Yes."

Unless the plywood is warped or damaged, that would be my first choice. It should be relatively simple to pull up the backerboard from the plywood, although there will be a million fasteners.

share|improve this answer
Thank you, that was my question. Having not done this before I was worried there could be adhesive that would pull part of the plywood up with it. I would like to salvage it if possible. – user7589 Sep 28 '12 at 19:49
Chances are it will be mechanical fasteners. (ring-shank nails or screws) – Bob Sep 28 '12 at 19:57
Will I need to back out the screws before I can remove it or just use a prybar and pull it up? – user7589 Sep 28 '12 at 19:59
If the backer board was installed PROPERLY, it will have been glued down as well as screwed down. If that's the case, you'll find it easier to pull the whole subfloor and replace. – The Evil Greebo Sep 28 '12 at 20:05
@TheEvilGreebo Your comment is really different from Bob's and might be overlooked. Suggest youmake it an answer. – bib Sep 28 '12 at 22:22

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.