Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures
- Replacing Damaged Floorboards
- Procedure code:
- HSPG Prepared For NPS - Southeast Regional Office
- Wood Strip Flooring
- Last Modified:
- Replacing Damaged Floorboards
- Last Modified:
REPLACING DAMAGED FLOORBOARDS
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
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
2.01 MANUFACTURERS (The following, or approved equal)
A. Craftsman Lumber Co.
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
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
A. Keyhole saw, circular saw, or mallet and chisel to remove
B. Drill to make a pilot hole for the keyhole saw
D. Tools for accurate measurement
E. Carpet scrap or newspaper and pounding block for knocking
new piece into place
A. Inspect for wear in the surface such as chips or gouges.
If the wear is minimal, holes can be filled and the
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
1. If the gap between boards is wide enough, remove
the tongue of the damaged board with a chisel and
lift board out.
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
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
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
e. Use a chisel to finish the cut.
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
B. Installing a new board:
1. Square up the edges of the hole before inserting
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
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
a. Add filler in layers and allow to dry between
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
END OF SECTION