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What's the easiest way to remove 1/4 in wide floor staples?

Question:

Hey Carl,
I am remodeling our house. The previous owners put down a 1/4 inch plywood subfloor over the original hardwood floor and covered it with tile in the dining room and kitchen. I have removed all the tile and the subfloor but I have hundreds on one inch long by 1/4 wide staples everywhere. I want to refinish the floors but is there an easy way to remove all of these staples. I have tried pry bars, screwdrivers, pliers and none work really well.

Answer:

Hello Brian, I'm quite familiar with your problem as I also ran into this very item a few years ago. Your right, it's a bear to deal with and there's no simple answer to this. I made a tool like a screwdriver that was bent 30 degrees and the blade was just small enough to fit the exposed portion of the staples. I placed the blade into the open area of the staple, placed a piece of wood under the bent area of my screwdriver, and pried down, lifting each and every one of those little devils out of the floor. Your right, one by one is the only way, and after that I used a straight edge to glide across the floor making sure I had them all out. When finished, I used a colored putty to fill in the holes before I did the sanding. I swear, there must have been at least a million holes but, when finished, it looked great. Here’s hoping yours looks as good when finished.

Lots of luck!

Carl



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