View Full Version : Pulling our staples from floorboards

26th October 2003, 06:54 PM
Having just started pulling up all masonite stuck on top of the floorboards in my loungeroom, I was wondering if there was any easy way of pulling out the 10 million staples that are left behind. After doing a couple of square meters with claw pliers , I already have a blister on my hand (most of the staples broke).

Is there some sort of mechanised device I can hire to do this??


26th October 2003, 08:57 PM

Have done this myself, and it is a painful and tedious job

Just keep going and you will enventaly get them all out.

The ones that snap off, I just got a hammer and smashed them in.

Howerver it is best if you can get the majority out

All the best


26th October 2003, 10:17 PM
I guess the choice of tool would depend on the gauge and length of the staples, and how much of the end is exposed for you to get a grip on.

I used a small flat blade screwdriver recently to lever out a bunch of 18# staples - the blade of the driver fitted inside the U, and I could get some good leverage.

When I denail timber, I use a pair of bluntnose vice-grip pliers. I find being able to set the pliers to an appropriate and repeatable clamping pressure helps minise snapoffs. One side of the jaws also has a conveniently shaped radius, so I can push down and get a reasonably vertical lift on the nail in question.

I don't know of any hire tool that does this, If you find one I'm sure a lot of forum readers would be very interested.



Red neck
26th October 2003, 10:32 PM
Try a carpenters pincer. Grip the nail or staple just firmly enough so as not to cut it off and roll the pincer to extract the nail.

An eight inch set of Nicholsons are available from Bunnings for $59 or try Mitre 10 where I bought mine for $45.

27th October 2003, 12:48 AM

I have just gone through the same process and used a set of tile nibblers. They have hardened teeth which don't fully close so that they don't cut the staples, rather they grip under them. They are also shaped such that you can pull them towards you and lever the staple out. Put a piece of scrap under the fulcrum point so that you don't bruise the timber.

27th October 2003, 02:34 PM
Thanks for the replies - I have accepted the inevitable and bought a better set of pincers.

Now all that remains to be answered is my other question - what strange thought process possessed somebody to go and stick cork tiles over hardwood floorboards?!?!

28th October 2003, 08:28 AM
I found that the staples break off particularly if they are slightly corroded.The best way I found was to break them off by hammering them lightly in one direction then the other with a nailpunch.Most will break off after one or 2 tries.
Be carefull not to elongate the hole.
I had about 2000 staples like this in Cyprus and managed to get them all out.
A bigger problem were carpet tacks on the edges.Some of them had gone into the Cyprus and turned.Consequently when you pull the tack out with pincers or claw hamer,it breaks off a piece of wood.
Luckily they use smooth edge strips of upright tacks now.

Take your time,turn on the radio,sit on a milk crate and perservere.