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How to Remove a Bathroom Floor (Step-by-Step) – by Home Repair Tutor


Ugh! Check this out. Not good. Not good!
So there are at least five or six layers of flooring on top of the original subfloor in
this 100-year old bathroom. Today I’m going to be removing all those layers of flooring,
show you how I’m going to do it. You may have different tips that have helped you out
with your own project. So add those down to the comments at the end of the video. I’ve
also got a surprise tool giveaway for you, so don’t miss out on that. That’s at the
end of the video. So let’s dive into this project right now.
Always wear a respirator, some goggles, and gloves when removing a floor. I tried to remove
the top layer first. So the top layer was a linoleum, and the linoleum was on top of
¼”wood luan. Any screws or nails poking out of the floor, you want to remove them
with your hammer or a super bar. Put them in the can so you don’t step on them.
So the top layer, again, was just linoleum over a ¼” luan. You can also try to remove
the top layer with a shovel or a floor scraper. Now fortunately in this case I did not have
any tile. I have to admit it made the process a lot easier. And I’m using the claw of
my hammer to remove the multiple layers of stuff that’s on the floor.
Actually I’m going to show you something and how ridiculous this flooring is. It actually—I’m
sorry to say this—pisses me off quite a bit because all people did was just lay floor
over floor over floor over floor. Think about all the weight on the joist because of that
floor. But let me show you something. Check this out. This is like cardboard almost. This
is ridiculous! Garbage. This is the original subfloor. This is what I need to get down
to. There is all the linoleum. We’re going to take that out and get down to this bad
boy right here. It’s not a bad idea to use one of these
Husky contractor bags to throw the material into after you remove about 3 or 4 sq ft of
flooring. Pound any nails back into the floor. Then I found that the super bar and the claw
portion of the hammer worked great to getting up underneath the old flooring and removing
it. See that corner right over there? Right there?
This was in the corner. Looks like a medieval torture device. This is tongue and groove
flooring so I’m just going to pitch this and replace it with some 2” tongue and groove
oak hardwood floor. So I just figured out what the heck this is.
This is like peg board. They put peg board on top of the original subfloor. Can you believe
that?! Ugh! Unfortunately, there were some screws. So
I just removed those with an impact driver. The ones I couldn’t remove I cut off using
my oscillating multi-tool. Once you get all the screws out, then you
can get up underneath the old flooring with a super bar or a larger pry bar. I don’t
want my larger pry bar with me today, so I’m just using my super bar.
Now in this case I lucked out a little bit, and a big chunk of the old linoleum luan pulled
right off the floor. Thank goodness because this was getting tiring. And that allowed
me to access the multiple layers underneath the old linoleum. But I encountered a problem.
I ran into a little bit of a problem. The linoleum and old floor ran underneath the
bathtub. I’m keeping the bathtub. I know it looks in rough shape, but it’s not a
bad tub. So I need to cut a relief right here using my multi-tool. I just got Fein’s new
Starlock Plus in the mail. So they sent me the Fein Starlock Plus. I’m going to give
this a shot using a metal blade and just cut along here so that I can then remove all of
the old subfloor. One of the things that I really like about
the Starlock Plus is the fact that they eliminated the pin. There used to be a pin here that
you would pull out and then put your accessory and then put the pin in and put the lever
in place. That lever used to catch my thumb or finger—it hurt like heck! So what they
did is they eliminated the pin. Now they have a new mechanism here. And all you do is release
the lever and push in the accessory. And it locks into place, and you put the lever back
down. So that’s really convenient. You know sometimes tools do make it a lot easier.
Believe it or not, this old tub is level. But as I approach the door, the gap between
this portion of the tub and the subfloor is getting narrow or smaller. So I have to switch
out to this Starlock accessory right here because it allows me to reach underneath there
and cut. It’s hard to see, but there’s a screw
here. I’m going to use my super bar in this direction. Now here’s a little tip: If the
screw is hard to get out, you can put your foot over it while pulling the super bar.
That way the screw or the nail doesn’t fly up into your face.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! That was the last piece—well, almost the
last piece. I have to take out the toilet and remove the rest. But for now, that was
the rest of this floor. So I hope that you liked this video tutorial. Hopefully it helps
you out and gives you some tips for how to remove a bathroom floor.
Now here is the surprise—I’m out of breath—so we’re going to be giving away the brand
new Starlock Plus Multi-Master by Fein. How do you enter into the giveaway? Whoo! Well,
down in the comments here on YouTube, tell me why you need the Starlock Plus Multi-Master,
what project you’re going to be working on—maybe it’s something like this or something
else—and you will be randomly entered into the giveaway, and we’ll pick a winner one
week from today. If you miss this giveaway, and it’s too late for you, it’s a good
reason to subscribe to our email newsletter over on HomeRepairTutor.com and subscribe
to our YouTube channel here on YouTube. So again, hope that you liked today’s video
tutorial. I wanted to make sure that I showed you all the details so that it helps you out
with your project. So that’s it. I’ll see you in the comments.
Take care. Have a great day.

Bernard Jenkins

100 Comments

  1. I would use the tool to help me and my daughter rehab our 1971 mobile home….its been a DIY labor of love…

  2. I would like the tool because we are moving into a new house on Friday and the basement is not finished. It would really come in hand when finishing it off or other projects that may pop. I don't have one so I have to borrow my dads all the time. Thanks for the videos!

  3. Wish I had a tool like that for our backdoor repair due to wood rot! Thanks Jeff for your videos. I've been watching your videos for awhile now and thought I'd give this a shot. I would gladly use this tool to add some outlets, redo our bathrooms and install shelving and storage areas inside existing wall spaces. Not to mention share this awesome tool with my neighbors and friends. 🙂

  4. Finally going to be getting around to replacing all the flooring in our home 😕 Seems like it would be a super useful tool. Not looking forward to tile replacement…

  5. We would use it for remodeling our 1951 Ranch. At the moment, I specifically need to redo the dryer vent in the guest bath/laundry room.

  6. Jeff, thanks so much for your videos. I really NEED this tool for my Bath removal and window install. As you know I had to do some reframing and new header and this will be sooo helpful. Your BRT and HRT sites are terrific. Thanks again for you work!

  7. We recently moved into a new house, and the previous owner was a self-styled "handyman." I've got a long list of removing and fixing his work. The Fein would be great for removing the wavy, crooked backsplash or the several layers of linoleum flooring in the bathrooms.

  8. I would LOVE this tool! I've been working on several projects (laminate floor, new bathroom tiles, new kitchen countertop) and this would help me make those fussy cuts that are hard to do with bigger tools.

  9. Hi Jeff – You know me.  We are always doing something.  Right now we are working in our "work area" in our garage.  There is old shelving, work bench, etc in that area.  We are working on fixing that up and doing more shelving and storage area that would make more sense rather than just slopping something up.  Great job on the video – what a lot of work!  Too bad there wasn't nice hardwood under all that flooring.  That would have been an awesome score!

  10. We're still deep into our home remodel! This tool would be super-useful for so many things – replacing bathroom flooring (going from vinyl to tile!!) and replacing laminate flooring in the kitchen (I KNOW!!!!) to tile. Also we're trying to work new kitchen countertops into our budget 🙂

  11. I would love to have this tool because you can never have too many tools. Thanks. Oh I am going to be working on my shed later this month and could really use this tool.

  12. Have a leak in my tile shower drain pan . We are going to have to take out the old tile and put in a new pan. Need to cut the grout to save most of the shower walls.

  13. I'm going to be doing a bathroom remodel in the future. Taking out a tub and putting in a walk-in shower and a new sink. Going to be my biggest job yet and this tool would make a lot of things easier. Great videos by the way.

  14. I'm helping my sister with her remodel and this tool would come in handy with a whole lot of projects.  We are two 60+ ladies who are remodeling the kitchen, bathrooms and family room.  This tool would make our work a lot easier!

  15. Thank you for the tips and it did seem a lot of work. We are doing our bathroom remodel as well, hope we don't come across these many layers 🙂 good work!!

  16. Great video Jeff. I'm so glad I didn't have to take that floor up. 6 layers! 😜. I could really use this tool for my son in law to use in his new home. He came from Uganda last year and has to start from scratch with acquiring tools. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  17. We just did one of our bathroom floors — my son and I. I wish we had that tool then! My son (16 yo) and I ripped up the floor, replaced a couple layers of some of the subfloor (parts of it, not the bottom, bottom one, but the wood under the linoleum), put in a new flange, new toilet, and then new floor. We have done many projects! Anyway, my husband and I are planning on doing a major (MAJOR) bathroom remodel in the nearish future (the next year or so) and that tool would come in very handy! My son and I used a couple of similar tools, but not one nearly as nice — I love that mechanism to remove/add attachment blades. The ones we have use a hex key thing (sorry, I can never remember the technical name for it).

    Thanks for doing the awesome giveaways!

  18. I recently retired and am going to be doing a remodel on my laundry room which requires removing flooring similar to the situation on the current video in a 1955 vintage rancher on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

  19. HI Jeff,
    I have previously written to you. Our church is in need of several repairs and the Fein tool would be so helpful. Thanks for sharing your video.
    Mark Downey

  20. I will be remodeling my bathroom this fall and that would be a very useful tool!!

  21. While installing cabinets, I've placed some shims between the wall and the cabinets. I need to remove the excess portion of the shim without destroying the drywall. This tool would be great!

  22. Jeff, I love your videos.  My son is remodeling his home and as the woodworker in the family (his mom), guess who is helping.  I would love one of those tools!  We are running into all kinds of issues and this would indeed make my life easier!!  Thanks for the tips!

  23. I would love to win this for my daughter. She bought her first home a year ago and it is a 100+year old home. As soon as she entered it, it was what she wanted. I call it her doll house. She is just starting on redoing her kitchen and I'm positive this tool would help her so much. Up to now she's been borrowing her fathers tools and if she has them long enough she thinks they are hers. We have started her on her own tools and she gets so excited when she gets a new tool. I know she would really love to win this.

  24. I Have to demo an old wet bar in the house we just bought to make a new bedroom for my son.

  25. I just watched your very interesting  and informative, not only that it gave me an excellent Idea as to how to tackle a completely different project. Yesterday we had a new fridge delivered to our home, after putting it in  place we found our drawers would not open. solution- remove dry wall ,cut down 2×4 studs by 2inches behind where the fridge is and I will Have again of enough space so our drawers open. I believe most of the cutting could be done very easily  with the Fien star tool considering the limited space there is to work I. Thanks for the Great idea & video. Ron Buckingham

  26. I am planning to remodel my small restroom. This tool would greatly help in removing old tiles and cabinets.

  27. I'm doing a bathroom renovation and believe the tool would come in handy when removing my old shower and floor. Please enter me in your draw. I cannot believe they put peg board down on the bathroom floor. I guess it would have been cheaper than plywood.

    Thanks Jeff.

  28. My garage had a major leak that was not found right away. It was back in storage area. very large area of the garage ceiling will be replace (drywall). The house/garage was built in the 70's so the builder put in paneling in the garage. Since I will be doing a lot of ceiling replacement, I decided to replace all the paneling with OSB. Its a pretty big space 38'x38'. This tool would come in very handy, cutting out the old stuff and using it to cut in the outlets, etc…

  29. That would be very useful on my upcoming bathroom flooring project. Thanks for the entry.

  30. I need your giveaway because I am working on an old house to sell and need to get linoleum off a bedroom that has hardwood floors under it. I am 66 yr old female who comes from a family of female DIYers! Plz pic me! Thank you!

  31. I am doing a bathroom tub/shower linen closet gutting and redo. I could definitely put the starlock plus to excellent use!

  32. Always need more room for more tools. Actually I'm trying to repair some damage from rain and may need to cut some boards out.

  33. This tool would be good for my laying floor project. Help cut the door jams and molding to clear room for the flooring

  34. I've been looking at getting a multi tool.  Never used one, but I'll be doing a bathroom remodel as well.  This looks like it would be super useful!

  35. This tool is very useful. I could sure use it on several project I have upcoming this summer. Glad you did not stick yourself on a nail or screw. That would mean a trip to the ER for a tetanus shot. I did not see you wearing knee protectors.

  36. I will be removing the flooring in my kitchen, this would come in really handy. Thanks for the video, great tips!

  37. Where to start? I'm renovating a historic home, which includes work exactly like you did in your video – only three layers, though! Take a look at my blog for my current work: http://brassperegrine.blogspot.com

  38. Planning on a bathroom remodel at some point and would be great to pull out the grout on the old tiles. Among a ton of other uses.

  39. A corded multi-tool is definitely a tool that I'd love to add to my box. We're 75% of the way through a house remodel, and there are about 2 million things that I could use the tool for. I had a cordless one, and it was super handy (until it died).

  40. Love this video, and all of the podcast. Keep them coming! I could use the new multimaster for completing several basement project. Hope I win!

  41. I love this tool and have many home projects on which I could use it. Please!

  42. Thanks for the video, Jeff. I've needed a tool like this in the past when doing flooring in our kitchen and dining room to slightly trim the bottom of the door frames. We were putting in laminate flooring, and it was thicker than the floor it was replacing and wouldn't fit under the door section where one room transitions to another without doing this.

  43. I think you should give it to me so then i can say i own one…I WONT use it ever…I WILL however put it in the garage with all my other tools i have bought but never use…Thanks…keep up the good work…

  44. Jeff, I'm still currently working on my basement bathroom, I just laid the tile flooring. I could certainly use the Starlock plus multimaster on the bead board/wainscoting that will be going on next! Great videos keep them coming.

  45. We need to remodel our basement room. The flooring has taken years of water damage that we did not know about until after the first heavy rain after we purchased the home. We need to remove the flooring and walls of the larger room ( we did the small room by hand so we know what we're up against) and this tool would be a lifesaver!

  46. Awesome videos. I'm working on my in-law unit to make it more attractive. My kitchen is the original 1930's kitchen. I have noticed that the current dated flooring is covering beautiful hard wood floors. As part of the Kitchen remodel I want to refinish the old floors. And that nifty tool you used on the video would make the job so much easier.

    Any ways– great videos!

  47. My parents bought their first house a couple of years ago. It was a project since the beginning; we all worked on it so that it was just inhabitable enough to move in since the lease on the apartment we lived in was due soon. We changed the floors, fixed dry walls and studs, fixed the plumber, you named it; we became dyiers although we had no knowledge about any of this and had the most basic tools you can imagine. It has been a long and slow improvement and even though it has been two years there are still some things i would like to improve so that they can have a functional and pretty house. It will be awesome to have some tools to continue with the improvement of the house.
    Regardless if I win or not great videos; your explanations are easy to follow and to understand even for a 24 yr old woman now with some understanding of it. Also the good energy that is put into them makes them easy to watch just for fun.

  48. I am remodeling both bathrooms in my current house here in New Orleans. That multitool could help speed things up!

  49. Thanks for the video. Would love this tool. We are working on our master bath and it would come in handy.

  50. Jeff – loved the video – I'm keeping this one in my archives so whenever one of my home improvement projects gets bad, I can always come back and watch this video and not feel like I have it so bad :). The tool would be a huge help with my bathroom remodel we talked about – starting it up the end of this month hopefully. And keep these videos coming – love'em.

  51. I have a cheap multi-tool and know how versatile these things are, especially when you need to make careful cuts and avoid collateral damage.  Would love the high quality Fein tool, with a quick change feature.  Right now, to change out blades, I need to use an allen key and undo a center bolt.

  52. I need the tool to help upgrade and maintain my rental property, I can see it would be of great use. Keep the videos coming they are very useful

  53. We just bought our first house and plan on remodeling both of our bathrooms. I would so love this tool for help with our deck reno as well!

  54. I need a good multi tool to revamp our entire house! There's not a single room that can be left alone. The main bathroom is up next and still buying fixtures.

  55. Hi Jeff! Great  video,  what a frustrating situation. Peg board? Who does that? My husband built our home 23 years ago, all of it himself, and worked his fulltime job. 3 years ago we built an addition, more than doubling the original size of our home. Again, my husband did it all! We are now working on updating the original 2 bathrooms in our house, I am helping this time, yippee! Guess what? Original builds are MUCH easier than remodels.  Could we use the Starlock tool? Sure. Do we NEED the Starlock tool? Absolutely! Good luck dude. Hope this floor is your biggest challenge with this project… fingers crossed.

  56. Thanks Jeff and Fein for the awesome MultiMaster giveaway! We got our prize today. My boyfriend immediately took the MultiMaster into the garage and he's happily playing with his new toy!!

    We're definitely going to get a lot of use out of this during our house remodel. 🙂

  57. We have a very similar project coming up removing some flooring. This tool would be great to have. Your videos have been so helpful!

  58. you look like another YouTuber out somebody from a sitcom but I can't quite put it out guess it

  59. I'm into doing new projects on my own. I'll be doing a bathroom in a few week and I am excited. The only problem I have is, that the bathroom i'm doing has an old claw bathtub in it. I am keeping the tub, however, my question is, how do I work around it in this bathroom? The size is about 12 by 6.

  60. Good video, I am renovating 120 old house, the bathroom first. I am down to original subfloor I have spots in floor that have sunken down so it is not level. My question is do I take out the original sub floor and try to level the floor from the bottom up? Or do I leave it and try to level from original sub floor up? I could use the new tool as it would help me greatly as I renovate rooms in this old house. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks Dave

  61. What's the most effective yet fastest way to completely remove linoleum that's glued on to the subfloor? I've been trying to scrape and use a heat gun, but there's still part of the linoleum stuck on the subfloor because of the glue.

  62. A tool like that would be SSSSSOOOO helpful. Next month we are starting our own bathroom remodel. I already know that I need to level the subfloor so I am demolishing everything and rebuilding it from scratch. I don't have a lot of tools and will have to buy/borrow once we get started. Gotta say good videos like yours and Sal DiBlasi's are the biggest reason we are doing it ourselves. That and the 80% labor cost over materials.

  63. My bathroom floor removal overwhelmed me, that is until I watched your video. Now I have the confidence, just wish I had that cool tool!.

  64. I badly need my bathroom floor replaced because there are holes in the floor.

  65. I am 56 years old and my husband always did our projects. He is waiting for a liver transplant now and can't do the work. I am going to try this project by myself so any tools that will help take some of the "work" out of the job will be wonderful.

  66. Thank you! I just started a bathroom remodel on a 100+ year old house. I only had 2 layers of linoleum and the original hardwood (which is completely rotted out from a leaking toilet no one bothered to fix.) But it's nice to see someone else working with an old bathroom. Most of the tutorials I've seen assume much newer construction.

  67. I'd like to win the Starlite plus multi master so i could completely remove tge subflooring in my parents room and replacing the bathroom whole sub flooring which i see it's going to be a headache.

  68. My wife and I just moved to Branson MO. All of our kids (6) are grown and moved on to other areas. We bought a nice little fixer upper. We've never done this kind of project before. Its pretty exciting for us! The house is in pretty rough shape so basically, every room in the house is going to need some attention. This tool would be an asset to my humble bag of tools that I carry with me. I think it would maybe speed up the rehabbing process a bit so that we can enjoy our house and the beginning of our retirements.

  69. I have a bathroom and it's not finish the four is half crooked I love this video and I need a special tool to finish the bathroom

  70. Thanks for sharing! "pisses me off" people would layer floor on top of floor…haha laughed… my exact thoughts…then you spoke it outloud. thanks again!

  71. hello i will need that tool to use im going to my bathroom floor but i have been searching a lot and it seems like is going to cost my a lot unfortunately i wont be able to afford all tools i need

  72. I have a bathroom floor that has rotted out because of a water pipe burst.

  73. First of all thank you for “it Pissis me Off” out loud I do a lot of bathroom remodels and I’ve been there more times than I hate to remember Currently working on a great room I need to undercut around a stone fireplace and all the door jams like you said in the video “the right tools make any job a lot easier”Great videos great tips

  74. Thank you for sharing ,I need to fix my bathroom floor and thaht tool looks fantastic help for my Project , so if you consider me for a give away winner , I will be so happy Tahnks for sharing your video any way

  75. As a new homeowner I'm doing the renovations myself. Fortunately I watched & helped my husband do most reno projects when we managed Apts for over 20 yrs. He passed away a couple of yrs ago, but I learned a lot from him. I am ready to tackle my upstairs bathrooms now, and your videos along with a good multi tool will help immensely! Thanks for your great tips you & Sal share with us. Information that's hard to find! I would like to see one on laying out tile around cabs & odd corners. Where to stop, best trim options, etc. Or maybe you've done one I haven't seen yet? I'm not sure about the tile backsplash in kitchen, whether to run behind fridge & what trim to use with white subway tile…. thanks again for all you do!

  76. I know that I'm too late for the giveaway, but I appreciate your tutorial about removing the floor in the bathroom. I have an old mobile home, 40+yrs old and I have to replace the flooring under the tub and toliet. It's scary because when I step into the tub, it sinks a little due to the water heater having leaked badly last winter. I'm going to purchase a new home next year, but unfortunately I have to deal with what I have right now. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  77. I have to admit as much as you like the tub it would have to come out. I would correct the floor, update the plumbing and reinstall the tub.

  78. So the subfloor is made of wood (2×6)? Doesn't it need to made of plywood? Or is it so because it's an older house?

  79. Oh I would love that tool!!! I am currently remodeling a half bath and much much more. I am finding previous owners just out layers upon layers everywhere.

  80. would I be able to talk t you about redoing y small bathroom floor? Had a couple floods in 2012 and am right now peeling and chopping stone tile. I have NO HELP

  81. Haha that looks just like my bathroom floor and we are trying to remodeled it ourselves!!!! That would be nice if we had a tool like that

  82. im redoing a 80 year old house with 2 bathrooms i have to replace seal plates sub and repair joist

  83. We are currently working on a bathroom remodel and ran across two layers of laminate flooring. We ended up removing the subfloor altogether and replacing it with a fresh piece. It seemed to go rather faster as we didn't have to clean off the original subfloor. It really only took us about 2.5 hours total including sourcing the new subfloor.

  84. Hi I would be removing our 15 year old bathroom floor due to it being particle board that has rotted out, as well as other soft spots in our kitchen.
    The house is a 50 + year old single family home.It was my husband’s parent’s home that he inherited. I’m 61 years old and my husband’s 70 years old. I would try to do what I can on the small repairs to save on the labor cost if possible.
    Thank you.
    Mrs. Fowler

  85. Are you single?? 😂 id keep u busy for days.. "i want a door here… tile this floor.. "

  86. great tutorial video, but there is no need to say this flooring is ridiculous and be pissed off to a 100 years old bathroom . 100 years ago, the building material is very likely, not as sophisticated as the materials we have now. If this flooring was done like recently, then of course it's ridiculous, but this floor is a very old flooring as you have pointed out.
    Just imagine, the material we use right now probably will be laughed at by some guy who lives 100 years ahead of us in the future doing DIY project for the bathroom.

  87. Your face looks like ba ba bouys of Howie Stearns fame. Thanks for the video. I ran into 4 or 6 inches of concrete when trying to get to subfloor. I haven't figured out what to do yet. Hopefully this vid helps.

  88. Particle board etc should be illegal. Im having to replace floor etc and pa r ticle board is rotted and mold. Its do move or die. I live in rural mhome and is private…so I must DO if I want to keep living here.

  89. Just wondering. The reason sometimes that they install the new floor on top of the old one is for something called asbestos

  90. Reminds me of my bathroom!! 😂
    The former owners tiled directly on top of the existing tile 🤬 But also, under both of those layers was an inch thick of cement, lathing and tarpaper. Nice that the builders waterproofed the bathroom floor but they did not continue that under the acrylic shower base, so when water escaped and the silicone bead along the base eventually inevitably failed, water rotted parts of my subfloor along the line of the outside of the shower base and migrated a bit under the tarpaper 😩 Removing all of that alleviated a whole lot of weight this bathroom had been holding all these years. So then that caused me to have to repair sections of rotted subfloor and also build the floor back up a bit, because of the height of the existing toilet flange. To do that I installed 3/4” plywood on top if the existing (and repaired) 1/2” plywood subfloor. As well as factoring in the thicker tile I am replacing the old tile with and thickness of the thinset I’ll need for the larger tiles. That worked out well because I now have the required 1 1/4 subfloor for tile, and with the tile laid everything will reach my necessary height. And as luck would have it, my original subfloor as well as my repaired spots were perfectly level and I was able to get my hands on perfectly level 3/4” plywood for the entire bathroom! That was really a gift from the bathroom Gods LOL Because I had been researching (and dreading) how to use leveling compounds on plywood in case I needed to go that route.

  91. I am remodeling my whole house and that would b great to have since i am disabled Thank you

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