pulling up and re-laying hardwood flooring

kiki_redoMay 18, 2010

some friends have offered us 600 sq ft of 4" oak hw flooring. they said it is 4 years old, was "incorrectly installed" and pulls up easily. they told us that the person who will install their new hw floor said it would be usable. it's apparently in good condition, looking at the surface.

i'd like to try and use it, we just bought a house and after steam cleaning, pet urine problems that were not apparent before suddenly became very apparent, so i'm looking at replacing nearly a whole house of flooring - so free seems like a nice price ;)

it is nailed down, can i pry it up? After I pry it up, can i get the nails out of it without tearing up the tongue and groove part?

how do i figure out which side of the room to start taking it up? I know it's directional. I have a multi-tool, some prybars, hammers. is 600 sq feet something that an amateur could take up in a day?

TIA for your advice -

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T&G flooring is nailed through the tongue, so you want to start at the wall /edge which the tongues face. The last boards would have been nailed in from the face with finish nails. You will no doubt spoil these first boards in getting them out. A cat's paw nail puller and a flat bar will be useful in getting the flooring up. The fewer tongues you spoil, the better.
600 sq ft would be a very long day. You would not be able to get the wood ready for transport in that time. You will need to carefully pull all the nails so that they don't damage the face of the wood. If you let the flooring get wet, it will be quite ruined, as it will warp, and the nails will stain.
If it's nice wood, it could be quite a nice project, but by the end you alone can judge whether your time was worth it.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 10:20AM
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casey, thank you for the information. i really appreciate it!

what is the best way to remove the nails? hammer them back out, pull with pliers? can they be nipped off somehow?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 12:54PM
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If it's just 4 years old it was put in with staples of floor cleats. Stapes may be impossible to remove from the wood, so would be nipped off flush or ground off. Cleats could be pulled through the wood with pliers, or cut off. Old-time square flooring nails have to be driven back out the way they came in. Really good old flooring nails I like to straighten and reuse.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 7:20PM
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