Even though you won’t be swinging a sledgehammer in full-on destruction mode, deconstruction is still dirty, dusty work. So gear up! That means good work gloves—preferably with leather palms to help prevent blisters—that are heavy duty enough to protect your hands but flexible enough to allow you to grip and use tools. Safety goggles are also a good idea, in case any debris accidentally goes flying. Kneepads are recommended, especially if you’ll be getting down on all fours to remove flooring, but not necessarily required. Finally, don a thin cotton mask if you’ll be kicking up dust, and a respirator if there's a chance that any harmful substances, such as asbestos or lead paint, may be present.