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drhowarddrfine 09-08-2011 04:36 PM

Staples left after carpet removal
I have hardwood floors under the carpet in an old house we just bought. I pulled up the carpet and padding and am now removing the staples. There must have been a previous carpet installation because some of the staples are not aligned with the newer ones and far older and rusted. Most of the old ones pulled out just fine but some didn't quite make it, leaving behind one of the pins right at the floor level but I can feel it with my finger.

So the question is, do I drive these staples into the floor or do I dig into the floor to pull them out? I'd think I'd just use a nail set to drive them into the floor but not sure of the best method if digging them out is better. I found two tack board nails at floor level, too. Or should I even just leave them alone? The floor will need refinishing and there are a few holes here and there, looks like they were nails or drilled for some strange reason, but isn't in bad shape.

Bud Cline 09-08-2011 04:42 PM

So the wood is once again going to become a finished floor?

If you consider the staples that are remaining to be an enhancement then hammer them down flush and leave them there.

If you consider the gouges you will cause digging them out to be an enhancement then dig them out. The gouges can always be filled and sanded.:)

Maintenance 6 09-09-2011 06:45 AM

If it's just the pins left, I would drive them below the surface with a small nailset punch before I would gouge the floor trying to remove them. The nailset holes will be easier to fill and sand than the gouges.

fabrk8r 09-09-2011 07:24 AM

I ran into the same situation in my home. Beautiful oak hardwood that was installed by skilled craftsmen in 1908 in spectacular patterns. I was glad the previous owners installed carpet because it preserved the floor's finishes.

The padding staples were everywhere. Most were easily pulled out by grabbing with a pair of linesman's pliers and pulling straight up without marring the wood. The linesman's pliers work well because the jaws are wide enough to grip both legs of the staple.
For the ones that did break due to corrosion there was always enough of the staple leg still protruding above the surface to grab and pull out using the jaw of the pliers as a fulcrum with a woof shim between the pliers and the floor to protect the finish.

If you want to make sure you get them all without cutting your hand by using it as a feeler just wait until the room is dark and lay a flashlight on the floor. When you lay your cheek on the floor you can see any staples that are left.

Floor Doc 09-09-2011 03:20 PM

or you can run a Spackle knife across the floor. the staples will stop it . :whistling2:

BigJim 09-09-2011 04:14 PM

I used a file and filed them flush, if left up it will ruin a lot of sand paper when refinishing.

oh'mike 09-09-2011 06:08 PM

Sparks from the sand paper hitting a staple can cause the sawdust bag to ignite--so always empty your dust bag as soon as you shut off the machine.

It's a good habit ---smoking dust bags will ruin your day---Mike---

Floor Doc 09-10-2011 12:38 AM

Hear,Hear . Had many a fire sanding Bowling alleys . you see the bag start to glow , time to run . :yes:

BigJim 09-10-2011 12:52 AM

I never thought about that, it could sure ruin a days work.

Floor Doc 09-10-2011 01:20 AM

When those bags go , it's like a napalm bomb going off . Seen guys on the job with 3rd degree burns .
We never turned the plug in the drum . kept the cord around our shoulder so when you turned to run it would pull the cord out and shut down the drum .

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