Remove planks if no alternative is possible

A general guide on how to remove old floorboards, there is not unfortunately. The procedure depends very much on the substructure of the floor, the plank attachment and the state of preservation. The bandwidth ranges from simple lifting to elaborate breaking away.

Fixing and ceiling texture

Before the final decision is made to remove old and worn planks, all possible alternatives should be considered. If the floor structure consists of a flat connection between planks and floor, the possible procedure depends strongly on the ceiling masonry.

Floorboards were often laid on relatively loose "stuffing material", especially in old buildings. When removing the loose lime and partly straw mixtures in many cases hang on the floor boards. The resulting holes in the subsurface or ceiling construction require extensive repairs to renovate the floor and prepare for a new floor covering.

Alternatives to removing the planks

If severe structural interventions and consequences are to be expected, alternative solutions can be reconsidered. Depending on the available clearance in the height of the floor structure, the floorboards can serve as a foundation for the new floor covering without being removed:

  • With a possible height tolerance up to one centimeter plus the strength of the new surface, the floor can be leveled with a liquid filler.
  • With a greater height tolerance, in particular, the mobility of the doors must be observed, increasing the floor without disassembly of the old floorboards may be possible.

Dismounting planks

There are several approaches and steps to remove planks from the ground:

  • Pull nails with pincers, if necessary tap with rubber mallet on the plank to "free" the nail head.
  • With a bar iron, also known under the names cow, goat or Geißfuß, pry the board at the front ends as close to the attachment points.
  • Using a crowbar or a chisel with a flat tip as wide as possible, slowly pry off the board. Always start again and take off in a circle.

Whenever you leverage a plank, the grain pattern or wood structure must be taken into account. If possible, exercise the force only across the grain.

Tips & Tricks

For particularly stubborn planks, shortening sawing with a jigsaw makes it easier for you to pry up plank parts with less damage.

Video Board: No Jointer Needed! Flatten and Edge Wide Planks!