Hardwood floors are beautiful, durable and can be refinished at a fraction of the cost of a new floor. But if you want to put down a different type of flooring or salvage a hardwood floor from an old house, it's a fairly easy task. Pulling up hardwood floors from a good-sized room can usually be accomplished in one day.
Things You'll Need
- Pry bar
- Circular saw
Look for any screw plugs, bore them out using a drill and remove the screws underneath. Don't worry about finishing nails. Some older floors will not have screws and will simply need to be pried up.
Pick a starting place and pry up a few boards. Salvaging the first few boards may be impossible, because damage is almost unavoidable. If you have difficulty prying up a starting point, cut a board out with a circular saw.
Work from the tongue side of tongue and groove flooring and work a pry bar under each board and apply gentle pressure as you slide it down the length of the board. If glue was used to secure the boards, angle a chisel under each piece and use a hammer to gently tap it loose.
Check the base floor for fallen screws, nails and embedded bits like nail stubs that may have broken away. Remove potentially dangerous hardware with large locking pliers.
Tips & Warnings
- To salvage old flooring, remove the nails with large locking pliers. Reject warped or badly damaged pieces. The rest can be sanded, finished and reused for a beautiful new floor.
- Always wear protective eye gear when working with power tools.
How to Pull Up Carpets Over Hardwood Floors
One of the bonuses of buying an older home is the possibility that the original hardwood floors are hidden beneath the carpets....