How to remove floorboards

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How to remove floorboards

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Project Overview

Sometimes you want to keep old floorboards when you remove them. We show you how to lift up your old boards so you can use them again. You will also see what tools you can use to make the job a little easier.
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How to hold a hammer
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How to hold a hammer

If you want to hammer nails more efficiently, hold your hammer down towards the end of the handle. You will find it gives you a better transfer of power and the hammer ends up doing much more of the work.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut into one board
2 Remove the cut floorboard
3 Lift the remaining boards up with a wrecking bar.
  • Step 1. Cut into one board

    Sweep your floor to get rid of any loose dirt. Set the depth of your circular saw to 20mm, which is the standard depth of a floorboard.  Floorboards are usually nailed onto each joist with two nails. Cut two parallel lines along the length of your floorboard that run inside the line of those two nails.
  • Step 2. Remove the cut floorboard

    Gently hammer a chisel into one of the saw cuts. Then use a chisel to pry out the centre piece. Once the centre is removed, chisel away at the sides of the cut board until they come away from the nails. This allows you to gently ease the sides away from the other boards and hammer the exposed nails back into the joists.
  • Step 3. Lift the remaining boards up with a wrecking bar.

    Use a wrecking bar to pry your boards up. Lean the bar against the joist for support. Place the blade of the wrecking bar under the board slightly away from the joist. Then gently lever the board up in stages. Once the board has come up a bit, place the blade in between the two nails on the joist and, using the joist for leverage, pry the board until you hear the nail pop and the board comes off.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Circular saw
  • Dust mask
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Ear muffs
  • Gloves
  • Hammer
  • Hand saw
  • Ruler
  • Safety glasses
  • Wood chisels
  • Wrecking bar

Materials

  • Knee pads

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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