Top Tips On Removing Tongue and Groove Floorboards

From time to time you may find that you need to remove a floorboard in order to carry out maintenance work in your home.  If you have tongue and groove boards, you'll need to go about removing them in the right way in order to avoid causing damage.

Here are some top tips on how to remove a tongue and groove floorboard quickly and easily.

What you'll need

  • pipe and cable detector
  • floorboard saw
  • electronic drill with large wood bit
  • pad saw

Everything you need for this job can be bought from a good hardware supplies store, such as Peninsula Timber Pty Ltd.

Preparatory work

Before you actually attempt to remove a floorboard, you'll need to make sure that there aren't any pipes or cables running beneath.  Sometimes, you'll see the site of cables and pipes already marked on the boards and hidden by your floor coverings.  If not, you'll need to use an electronic pipe and cable detector.  All you need to do is pass the device across the floor area where you plan to work and it will 'beep' to indicate the presence of an electrical current if one is present underneath the boards.

It's a good idea to mark any pipes or cables that you find on a paper plan for future reference or use chalk to mark the boards themselves if they are not to be left exposed.

Removing the floor boards

  1. In order to remove tongue and groove boards, you'll need to cut through the tongue first.  The easiest way to do this is with a floorboard saw.  Put the curved tip of the saw blade between two boards and draw the tip of the saw backwards and forwards to cut through the tongue.  
  2. When the tongue is broken, use the long edge of the saw blade to continue cutting.  If you're cutting over pipes or cables, use the curved edge of the saw and work slowly with minimal pressure so that you can keep control of the saw blade.  
  3. Having cut through the tongues on either edge of the floorboard, you'll see the ceiling joists underneath.   
  4. Next, drill a hole next to the cutting line so that it's just touching it.  
  5. Now insert the blade of a pad saw into the hole you've drilled and continue to saw along the cutting line until you reach the end of the board.  This will free the board from the joist.  Repeat the process at the other end of the board.  
  6. The board should now be free so that you can lift it out.

In conclusion

When you need to remove a tongue and groove floorboard to carry out repairs or maintenance, follow the tips given above for a quick and easy solution.