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I am going to remove some, but not all, of the laminate flooring in a particular area of our home. I understand that using a circular saw set to a very shallow depth is appropriate for this, which makes sense... is there a way to determine the depth of the flooring other than guess and check with the saw?

Edit: this area is on plywood subfloor, not slab.

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Laminate floors have a gap around the edges for expansion, which is covered by quarter round or a baseboard. You can gently remove a short run of quarter round or baseboards and measure the laminate thickness that way.

Since you're removing some of the laminate, you'll need to pull the baseboards/quarter round up anyway so you can lay your new flooring closer to the wall.

Or, as @diceless points out in the comments below, removing a floor register would offer an even easier hassle-free method for determining laminate thickness.

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    If you have floor registers, they are also a quick to remove and will give a easy way to determine thickness. – diceless Mar 27 '15 at 19:20
  • Great point! I didn't think of that option since I'm on a slab. I hope you don't mind that I added your suggestion to the body of my answer. – Doresoom Mar 27 '15 at 19:56
  • Since you are removing it, you can also use a small drill bit and make an exploratory hole to see what is beneath it. This can be done in an inconspicuous place if you aren't going to do it right away. – Jason Hutchinson Mar 27 '15 at 20:00
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I don't think that you need a saw at all. Sorry but it sounds to me like your using a cannon to kill a mosquito. Laminate flooring has something called click-lock mechanism. This means that you can take it out easily, you should start at the corner (if that is applicable to your situation).If not you can use scalpel or some similar blade with the ruler to cut it few millimeters. Since laminate flooring is rarely thicker than 15 mm after that you can break the elements on the edge of your intervention and just take out the rest.

  • that would work well if the portion you are removing runs with the length of the boards, but if the part you're removing is parallel, then a saw would be much easier/faster. – DA01 Mar 27 '15 at 22:13
  • Well method can be applied just the same to the parallel edges and I'm not sure if using a saw is all together more optimized. Think about it: you must find saw, find out laminate thicknes, you should be very skillful with the saw etc. If you ask me this is more homemade solution. – python starter Mar 27 '15 at 22:24
  • er crap. I meant perpendicular! But yea, if you don't know where your saw is, maybe it's more of a chore. :) – DA01 Mar 28 '15 at 1:40
  • Saw may be over kill but I am indeed removing portion that is perpendicular to the length of the boards, and the are staggered and have no ends near the section I need to remove. I'll have to cut no matter what method is used to cut. – taylorwc Mar 28 '15 at 2:42
  • Since you are on a slab you certainly want to be very careful to not set a circular saw to be cutting too deep!! I think I would mark the line for the area that needs cutting out and then start the cut with an oscillating tool equipped with a saw blade. Work till it just cuts through. This will give you an idea of how thick the flooring material really is. You could then continue the cut with the oscillating tool or switch over to the circular saw. In any case the oscillating saw can be helpful if the cut has to come up against a wall where the other saw cannot cut. – Michael Karas Mar 28 '15 at 12:08

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