Replace floorboards can be daunting especially if they are damaged or badly stained. But with a few basic tools and some inside knowledge, replacing a floorboard is much easier than you think. The secret includes having the right tools for the job and applying some simple techniques so you don’t break your back, your bank account or the floorboard.
Mark a line where the old floorboard needs to be cut and removed. If your floor is attached to joists (the lengths of wood running underneath the floor), you need to remove the old floorboard at the joist line so you can nail the new floorboard in place on the joist. If your floor is attached to a subfloor (a solid piece of board or wood) then you need only remove the part of the floorboard that needs replacing.
Check whether the floorboards are tongue-and-groove (a tongue of wood along one edge of a board fits into a groove on the adjacent board). If tongue-and-groove, saw through the length of the tongue with a circular saw set to the depth of the floorboard (usually 18 to 20mm). This will allow the board to be levered up.
Find the end of the floorboard nearest the part to be removed. Lever up the end of this floorboard with a bolster chisel (or wide chisel) and insert a block of wood or off-cut underneath the board to keep it raised. If you have to lift the board over more than one joist, always support the board with blocks of wood as you work along the board--if you try to lift the board from the end it may break.
Saw the floorboard at the marked line, using a floorboard saw or hand saw, and remove the damaged portion of the old board. Be careful not to damage adjacent boards with the saw.
Measure the new floorboard to fit snugly into the gap. If the board is tongue-and-groove, saw off the tongue on one side so the board will fit into place. Nail the board in place over the joists, or, if you have a solid subfloor, place nails at the same distances apart as on the other floorboards. Punch the nails just below the surface using a nail punch.