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Question:

Hello,

We recently purchased an old home with maple floors. Termites had a field day and we lost the entire kitchen floor, the living room is in pretty good shape with the exception of a few planks. How can we remove the old planks and replace. We saved some good planks from the kitchen to repair. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jenny

Answer:



Dear Jenny

Please read my article about wood floor repairs, which can be found in the search box at the top of this web page. It should be able to describe well enough how to remove damaged boards in the middle of the floor and do an invisible repair. It's good that you saved some of the same planks original to the floor. But take a good look at them first, if they were in the kitchen, they may be gray with some water damage.

And in your case of termite damage, you will have to remove a larger part of the hardwood floor, to expose more of the subfloor, where they may be more damage. Termites are very light sensitive, and prefer a softwood to a hardwood to munch on. So in doing such repairs, I have found that if one hardwood board is showing some holes on top, the softwood plank subfloor may have 2-3 damaged and powdery boards. This means you will have to open up more of the floor, but you will have to be sure to save the boards as you remove them.

You may find that removing the entire room or at least a large section (from wall to wall) of the tongue and groove hardwood is easier and quicker to do, that simply repairing a small area. There are some specialized tools for this operation. And doing it this way exposes more of the subfloor to check for it's possible damage.

You may also find these articles helpful:

1. Plank Floor: What Special Considerations This Type Of Floor Raises

2. Installing Hardwood Floors On Concrete Slabs

3. Parquet Flooring

4. How To Apply Oil Based Polyurethane WITHOUT The Pits And Bubbles

5. How To Take Care Of Your Health And Safety when Installing, Finishing, Repairing or Cleaning your wood floors