How to Remove Nails in Hardwood Floors

Written by mason howard
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How to Remove Nails in Hardwood Floors
Floorboards can be preserved with careful nail extraction. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Hardwood floors are timelessly handsome and when repairing or salvaging floorboards it is important to take care not to mar the wood. Nails in hardwood floorboards are tricky because they are hidden beneath the surface of the floor, driven into the tongues of the boards. When replacing a couple of damaged floorboards, remove nails in a manner that will not scratch or dent the neighbouring floorboards. If pulling up an entire floor, remove nails carefully so that floorboards can be salvaged, refinished and reused.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Circular saw
  • Pry bar
  • Pliers

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  1. 1

    Set the blade of a circular saw to a depth that matches the thickness of the hardwood floorboards. Make a cut down the centre of a damaged board. If removing an entire floor, find the least salvageable board to destroy with the centre cut.

  2. 2

    Pull up the split board with a pry bar. Place a small scrap of wood between the floor and the heel of the pry bar to keep from damaging neighbouring floorboards.

  3. 3

    Look for the nailheads in the tongue of the next board. Pull up the board with the pry bar. Place the foot of the pry bar under the board at the point of each nail head, then lever the board up gradually.

  4. 4

    Extract nails still stuck in the tongues of removed boards with pliers. Grip the nail heads with the pliers and wiggle the nails out of the holes.

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