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Setting Large Nails - Wood Floor Refinishing

9523 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  dan R Braucht
Want to refinish wood floor - there are large flathead nails of different types - not finishing nails. Nail sets are for small, finishing nails, most with heads less than 4/32nds of an inch that fit into the cupped tip of a nail set. These nails are flat so won't fit nail sets and the heads range from approximately 3/32nds of an inch (3 mm) to 5/16ths of an inch (7-8 mm). Some are round, some rectangular, some square.

Want suggestions for tools to punch the nails and tips for best techniques.

Could use pin punches that range from 1/8", 3/16", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8". These pin punches are longer - 8 inches - than most nail sets that are 5-6 inches.

Could use ball peen hammer. Should the diameter of the tip of the punch be smaller than the nail?

There are also dry wall screws. Don't know what to do about that.

Also, what type of wood is this?


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That floor needed replacing not refinished long ago!
Waste of time and money to try and refinish.
Just a guess, is it also just nailed down to the floor joist with no subfloor?
That floor needed replacing not refinished long ago!:eek::censored:
Waste of time and money to try and refinish.:eek::eek::eek::censored::censored:
Just a guess, is it also just nailed down to the floor joist with no subfloor?

Why in the world does this beautiful floor need replaced???????????????????????????
Your not getting those nails out with out a cats paw.... cats paw destroys around the nails you take out, replace the floor if its in the budget. If not go over it with something like laminate.
I would still pull the nails and screws, replace with proper finish nail. Will be putty all over that floor anyways, A little more would make no difference.
One of these will do the least amount of damage to pull out the flat head nails.

You would have to order one on line or find an old timey hardware store.
I've had one for about 20 years.
Since someone asked, huge gaps letting in air.
It has to be coming loose or there would be no exposted fasters.
Very possible those exposed cut nails are from the floor being sanded so many times there showing through the top side of the floor.
Mismatched woods.
Grain is so deep in places that you would have to sand way to much wood off to get them flat again.
This is the floor in an apartment - there isn't an option to replace.

Was told this is the subfloor after linoleum was taken off 20 years ago.

Floor would have been finished once when that was done.

The floor boards are 2 1/2" x 3/4".

Most of the large (common) nails are from "repairs."

The people that "repaired" the floor used different wood, and used, painted boards that weren't the correct size.

Are "exposed cut nails" the large rectangular nails?

So, it wouldn't be possible to set the nails?

Would the nail puller that was suggested be used on the lerge, rectangular nails only? Would it be possible to use something else to pull the smaller, common nails and the square nails?
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I would use a smaller diameter punch than the heads and give em a good whack to get them set down enough to putty over them.

There's nothing you can do to screw up this floor anymore so don't sweat it.

It will still look OK when you're done.
It will look better to taller people of coarse.
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That floor has character and a story to tell if we only knew the complete story, so stay with your original plan.

The largest punch you'll need is probably 1/4". Keep the punches to sell with the building if it ever sells and in the punch set leave a note to the buyer what they are for because this old floor will surely need more maintenance from time to time and have more to add to the story. The new trash on today's market isn't always best.
Will attempt to set nails.

Could anyone tell what type of wood this is?
I think it may be douglas fir. I would sand off the nail heads with an aggressive sand paper and then set the rest of the nails with a nail set. I would just remove the drywall screws.
Setting Large Nails in Floors

Here's your Answer :
This says it all . . . harden bolt, can be ground to any size. And can be struck with a Large hammer. The nail or screw will Move !
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