How to remove old floorboards?

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Hi,

I'm looking for ideas for how to remove the floorboards in our Victorian terrace. I don't necessarily mind if the floorboards crack and break as the existing floor is old and worn and will be replaced with a new floorboards. But I'm finding it much harder than I thought it would be to remove the floorboards and suspect I'm doing it wrong.

The floorboards are nailed to the joists with these massive nails (see attached picture) that require huge force to pull out of the joists. I'm trying with a crowbar and first the floorboard breaks and splinters and then I'm left with the head of the nail sticking out of the joist which itself is quite a project to get out.

I watched some videos on Youtube but those floorboards were either screwed in or nailed in with smaller regular nails that came out as the floorboards were lifted with a crowbar.

Thank you in advance for any advice / input.
 

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Counter-intuitively, sometimes it helps to tap the nails further in, to release them from their binding to the timber of the joists.
 
Messy but often easier to jigsaw across the boards midway between each joist, then bash one side. Usually leaves the nails and joists in place. N.B. Check under each board before cutting, incase of pipes or wiring.
 
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For getting nails out I use a 21 inch JCB utility bar (that price must be wrong, might order one!) - if stubborn, I find a 1/8 or 1/4 turn, then back, generally loosens then without snapping them.

I also use a club hammer to smash the utility bar under a floorboard over a joist, then ease it up. Then, when the floor starts to rise on the next joist, get another bar under that and work them together - they usually then pop out, leaving the nails in the joists and the boards good to be used again. Newer boards seem more likely to split. Doesn't work so well with tongue and groove!
 
Hi,

I'm looking for ideas for how to remove the floorboards in our Victorian terrace. I don't necessarily mind if the floorboards crack and break as the existing floor is old and worn and will be replaced with a new floorboards. But I'm finding it much harder than I thought it would be to remove the floorboards and suspect I'm doing it wrong.

The floorboards are nailed to the joists with these massive nails (see attached picture) that require huge force to pull out of the joists. I'm trying with a crowbar and first the floorboard breaks and splinters and then I'm left with the head of the nail sticking out of the joist which itself is quite a project to get out.

I watched some videos on Youtube but those floorboards were either screwed in or nailed in with smaller regular nails that came out as the floorboards were lifted with a crowbar.

Thank you in advance for any advice / input.
They are standard cut nails for fixing floorboards, maybe get a longer pry bar. More leverage with length.
 
I use a fork-ended decking bar (Crescent DKB44X) which can lift just about anything - problem is that at £96 (on Amazon - just checked) they aren"t cheap and are probably more aimed at the tradesman who has to rip out and replace thousands of square feet of flooring or decking (and incidentally it is the only such device with forks that fit over 3in/75mm wide joists - almost all the rest only take 2in joists and are just plain wimpy - so the break easily, not that I'm saying the Roughneck flooring bar is pants, but if the cap fits..... ). I agree with the comments about longer tools being better for the task, but TBH I always found a good flattish garden spade to be a better tool than almost any of the prybars on the market for lifting domestic flooring (or at least I did before I got myself a Crescent and a couple of Burke bars). You do need to butcher the first row (often with a circular saw) to get a spade in, but that's pretty universal
 
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