Skip to main content

Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures

Spectitle:

Replacing Damaged Floorboards

Procedure code:

0956001R

Source:

Hspg Prepared For Nps - Sero

Division:

Finishes

Section:

Wood Strip Flooring

Last Modified:

02/24/2012

Details:

Replacing Damaged Floorboards



REPLACING DAMAGED FLOORBOARDS


PART 1---GENERAL

1.01 SUMMARY

    A.   This procedure includes guidance on removing damaged
         floorboards and installing new replacement boards.

    B.   Replacing a floorboard should only be undertaken as a
         last resort - when a board is inadequate or dangerous
         such as severely warped or buckled boards, deeply nicked
         or splintered boards, boards with noticeable or
         irreversible urine stains, boards with holes that cannot
         be filled, or missing sections of border or inlay.

    C.   See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
         reviewed along with this procedure.  These guidelines
         cover the following sections:

         1.   Safety Precautions

         2.   Historic Structures Precautions

         3.   Submittals

         4.   Quality Assurance

         5.   Delivery, Storage and Handling

         6.   Project/Site Conditions

         7.   Sequencing and Scheduling

         8.   General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)

         These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
         this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
         along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
         Preservation Officer (RHPO).

1.02 SYSTEM DESCRIPTION

    A.   A wood floor surface can be either a series of connected
         planks or parquet (small wood pieces arranged in
         decorative patterns). The wood used is either plain sawn
         or quarter sawn.  Plank flooring, the more common type,
         is assembled by joining:  butt joint, tongue and groove,
         shiplap, doweled or spline. Wood floors are usually
         secured to the under structure by countersinking nails,
         blind-nailing, or screwing and plugging.

    B.   A wood floor surface in proper condition does not sag, is
         not inadvertently stained, is free from protruding nails,
         and is not warped.

1.03 DELIVERY, STORAGE AND HANDLING

    A.   Storage and Protection:

         1.   Every effort must be made to use and reuse
              materials that are original to the structure.  When
              removed from their rightful place, these materials
              must be stored under cover inside the building
              where they cannot be damaged.

         2.   If many pieces are to be removed, they must be
              marked inconspicuously in a consistent manner as to
              their location originally.

         3.   If salvage material is to be used, treat it as the
              original material with regards to its storage.

         4.   If new material must be used, keep it dry during
              delivery, storage and handling.

         5.   Do not allow materials to be stored in contact with
              damp surfaces.


PART 2---PRODUCTS

2.01 MANUFACTURERS (one of the following, or approved equal)

    A.   Craftsman Lumber Co.
         436 Main Street
         Groton, MA 01450
         617/448-6336
         wide pine

    B.   Diamond K Co.
         130 Buckland Ave.
         South Windsor, CT 06074
         203/644-8486
         wide pine

2.02 MATERIALS

    A.   Replacement board (to match existing wood type, grain,
         etc.) from a salvage yard, new lumber yard, or
         inconspicuous place in building.

         NOTE:  In buildings where tenant areas were originally
         finished with wood plank or parquet, the wood is often
         retained as a sub-floor for carpet.  Such concealed areas
         may be a source of replacement flooring for areas of
         exposed wood.

    B.   Wood for shims (no shingles)

    C.   Wood putty to fill holes

    D.   Colors-in-oils or residue from stain container to stain
         putty to match

    E.   Flooring nails

2.03 EQUIPMENT

    A.   Keyhole saw, circular saw, or mallet and chisel to remove
         damaged board

    B.   Drill to make a pilot hole for the keyhole saw

    C.   Nailset

    D.   Tools for accurate measurement

    E.   Carpet scrap or newspaper and pounding block for knocking
         new piece into place


PART 3---EXECUTION

3.01 EXAMINATION

    A.   Inspect for wear in the surface such as chips or gouges.
         If the wear is minimal, holes can be filled and the
         surface restored.

    B.   Inspect for the signs of insect infestation such as mold,
         fungus, bore holes, and sawdust piles.  Probe the wood
         with an ice pick or thin knife blade to determine the
         existence of rot.

3.02 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION

    A.   Removing a damaged board:

         NOTE:  THE DAMAGED BOARD WILL HAVE TO BE DESTROYED TO
         REMOVE IT.

         1.   If the gap between boards is wide enough, remove
              the tongue of the damaged board with a chisel and
              lift board out.

              -OR-

         2.   Remove board with a saw:

              a.   Drill a hole, next to the joist edge, large
                   enough for a keyhole saw to be inserted.  DO
                   NOT DRILL THROUGH THE SUBFLOOR.

              b.   With the saw, make a cut along the width of
                   the board and along the length of the section
                   to be removed.

              c.   Carefully pry the board out, protecting
                   adjacent wood.

              d.   If a circular saw is used, set the blade depth
                   to the thickness of the finished floor.  Use a
                   carbide flooring blade that will also cut
                   through nails.

                   CAUTION:  Do not cut all the way across to the
                   edge of adjacent floor boards.  A loss of
                   control can do irreparable damage to adjacent
                   boards.

              e.   Use a  chisel to finish the cut.

         -OR-

         3.   Remove board with a mallet and chisel:

              a.   Cut along the width of the board to the
                   nearest joist on either side of damage with
                   the beveled edge of the chisel facing the
                   damage.  Make sure that the joints in
                   floorboards remain staggered.

              b.   To free the board from nails, channel cut a
                   wedge from each end holding the chisel at a 30
                   degree angle with the bevel side down, or
                   drive nails through board with nailset.

              c.   Remove the center section down the face of the
                   board.  The other pieces should then come out
                   easily.

    B.   Installing a new board:

         1.   Square up the edges of the hole before inserting
              replacement board.

         2.   Measure the new board to fit exactly.  If it is
              tongue and groove, remove the bottom shoulder of
              the groove.  Shim if necessary.

         3.   If no subfloor exists, add blocking to joist below
              to support new floorboard.  

         4.   Knock the new board into place protecting the
              surface with a carpet scrap or newspaper and a
              pounding block.

         5.   Face nail the board to the subfloor or nail board
              ends into joists or attached nailing blocks.  

         6.   Fill the nail holes with wood filler stained to
              match floor.  

              a.   Add filler in layers and allow to dry between
                   each layer.

              b.   To stain wood filler use either colors-in-oils
                   or the settled pigment from the bottom of a
                   stain container.  When staining to match, go
                   darker than the original color rather than
                   lighter.

                             END OF SECTION