How To Remove Broken Staples From Hardwood Floors?

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.!
Sharing Is Caring!

Carpeting hardwood floors is a very popular trend which not only adds colors and textures to your hardwood floors but also protects them against heavy traffic as well as the factors of wear and tear.

Most of the time, these carpets are fixed into the hardwood floors using staples. This is done to prevent the carpet from moving from its original place and securing it on the surface of the wooden floors.

However, removing these carpets can cause the staples to sometimes break and get stuck in the hardwood surface.

To remove broken staples from hardwood floors, begin by wearing protective gloves. Use pliers or needle-nose pliers to grip the broken staple firmly.

Apply steady upward pressure to pull out the staple. If the staple is deeply embedded, employ a flat-head screwdriver for leverage.

Inspect the area for any remaining pieces or damage. Smooth out any rough spots with fine-grit sandpaper if needed.

Take care to prevent scratching or damaging the hardwood surface during the process.

Remove Broken Staples From Hardwood Floors
Remove Broken Staples From Hardwood Floors

There are many points to note here and even with traditional methods, it is to be kept in mind that the tools should be used properly to prevent any damage to the wood’ surface.

Read along to find out the right way to carry out the procedure using both methods.

How To Remove Broken Staples From Hardwood Floors?

An easy way to remove the staples from your hardwood floors is to use pliers and flathead screwdrivers.

These broken staples are a nuisance and can be very dangerous if you walk barefoot on your hardwood floors.

Often, homeowners install carpets and area rugs on the hardwood floors for added beauty and other purposes.

While the rear rugs are simply placed on the surface, the carpets are sometimes fixed using staples so they don’t move when stepped upon.

With time, these staples can break or come out for various reasons. They can hurt your feet while walking and are a major threat to children who play on the floors.

Hence, it is crucial to take them out as soon as possible.

While many people prefer pliers and flathead screwdrivers, as mentioned earlier, they can cause some damage to your hardwood flooring, which you certainly would not like.

Hence it is recommended that you get a staple remover for this job.

This way, you can conveniently pull out the broken stables from the hardwood floors without causing any damage to either the carpet or the hardwood surface.

Besides, if the staples have been left behind after the carpet removal, it is even more suitable to use the Staple Remover as it can easily remove them from the surface.

In addition, the staple remover does not pose any threat of scratching, breaking, or stripping hardwood floors as the pliers and drivers do.

There have been many instances where the hardwood floors have been scratched, scarred, or damaged in other ways while people tried to remove the staples from the hardwood floors using pliers and drivers.

After removing carpets from the surface, the first initiative of every homeowner is to remove the broken staples, as they can hurt anyone who steps on them.

But most people need to know the right way to carry out this task and end up damaging the hardwood floors or hurting themselves.

Hence, we’ve brought you the right way to remove the broken staples from hardwood floors without causing any damage or harm to yourself or the wooden flooring.

Different Methods of Removing The Broken Staples From Hardwood Floors

While different people might recommend various methods and short tricks to get the job done, there are mainly two methods involved when it comes to removing broken staples from hardwood floors.

The first is the traditional method, which uses tools such as pliers, and the broken staples are pulled or plucked from the hardwood surface.

This method is the most common and adopted by many old-school professionals and homeowners as it is also a DIY hack allowing you to get the task done without having to learn complex procedures or getting additional equipment.

The second method is the contemporary one, which involves using a designated tool, A staple remover, to remove the broken staples from the hardwood floors.

This method is relatively new and is exercised by highly trained professionals and people who like to follow protocols to protect their hardwood flooring from any possible damage.

Traditional Method To Remove Staples From Hardwood Floors

As mentioned, using common tools to remove broken staples from hardwood floors is the most commonly used method in the flooring industry.

The main reason behind this is the popularity of this method is that the tools are readily available in almost every toolkit in the house.

Besides, it does not involve complex procedures but follows simple methods to complete the job.

The tools used most commonly are pliers, flathead screwdrivers, and 6-in-1 painter tools.

Although they’re very easy and simple to use, it does not mean that you can’t inflict any damage with them on the hardwood floors or yourself.

Hence, it is crucial to understand and realize the importance of properly handling these tools to avoid unwanted circumstances.

If you do not follow the right way, you might end up scratching, denting or scarring the surface of your hardwood floors. In worst-case scenarios, you might even hurt yourself if you do not know how to handle these.

Therefore, we’ve gathered all the necessary information for you so you can avoid such circumstances. So, without further delay, let us look in-depth at the procedures and how they work.

The Cat’s Paw And Lumber

While other methods might be popular, no method is as well-known as the cat’s paw, which is considered the easiest yet the most effective way of removing broken staples from hardwood floors.

It is said to be the simplest way to deal with such situations and can be exercised by anyone, including people who have never been exposed to hardware tools before.

Besides, they come in handy for several other tasks, which makes them suitable to be kept in a tool kit.

The Cats Paw And Lumber
The Cats Paw And Lumber

Hence, this proves their availability in an average household which is another good feature for this method to be popular and supposedly effective.

The cat’s paw is not a great tool but a small six-inch-long tool with a pointy, curved end. The tool’s shape is the biggest factor behind the name, resembling a cat’s paw.

Usually, the tool also gives the impression of a two-pronged fork due to the pointy edge with a slit at the end.

The process of using this tool is quite simple and does not require much elaboration. All you have to do is pry out the staple by placing one or both edges of the spike under the staple.

Then you need to slide the tool under the staple to the point where it can have a decent grip on the staple. Ensure to maintain a 45 ° angle with the floor to prevent damaging the floor.

Once you have established a suitable position, you must strike the pointy end at the tip of the staples to remove it.

If the staple is deep-seated into the floor’s surface, you must grip it firmly and slowly pull it out. Be careful not to give it a jerk, as this might rip it off along with the surface of the hardwood floors.

Make sure to maintain the angle even when pulling it out from the surface of the floors, as a lean angle can damage the floors severely, and this damage is sure to be permanent and irreversible.

Angled Pliers

Angled pliers are yet another way to free your hardwood floors from broken and stuck staples.

This versatile instrument is diagonal in shape and an effective tool when it comes to removing broken staples from hardwood floors.

However, using it is tricky compared to the previous method, as it targets each staple individually and requires much more precision and control.

Angled Pliers
Angled Pliers

Angled pliers have curved, razor-sharp claws that can be forced to move under the staple and grip them strongly to establish a decent hold on them.

The curve is one of the best features of this tool, which allows easy access to the staple and doesn’t block your vision while removing the staple from the hardwood surface.

Once you have these under the stable and gripped tightly, you can easily pluck them out at the same angle they were inserted in.

However, it is crucial not to use brute force as you might get the floor damaged in the meanwhile.

The diagonal pliers are also referred to as side cutters and make super-efficient tools for the job if you handle them correctly and do not use too much force.

However, being aggressive with it can mean that your hardwood floors will be destroyed from the area, and you might even end up removing a patch of the flooring from the targeted area.

Therefore, handle it gently, apply only as much pressure as required, and don’t go too overboard.

An Overview of The Pros & Cons of This Approach

If you are also concerned as to whether this approach of using traditional tools should be adopted or not, here is a detailed overview of this approach:


  • It is an easy and effective approach to taking care of this job without buying tools or calling a professional, making it a suitable DIY method.
  • The tools are readily available in every house, and you don’t have to follow complex methods to get the job done.


  • Using these traditional methods can be tiresome and require much time and attention. You might need to use both methods for the task, as some staples are fitted straight in while others get twisted during the removal of the carpets. Hence, your work might be extended as you must use both tools to pluck out each staple carefully.
  • Both methods are quite straining from the hand, wrists, and fingers as they remain tense. Besides, you would have to kneel or lie on the floor to access the staples from the bottom and carefully pull them out.
  • Using these tools can be dangerous as they can damage your hardwood floors if used at the wrong angle. Moreover, using too much force can also cause serious damage to the floors, which might not be reversible.
  • Traditional tools only work when the floor is not carpeted and is unfinished. If these two are false, the tools will fail to remove the broken staples from hardwood floors.
Traditional Method Pros and Cons
Traditional Method Pros and Cons

Using A Staple Remover To Remove Staples From Hardwood Floors

While traditional methods are extensively used, popular, and very effective if done correctly, they can be very tiresome and require too much attention to detail.

If your carpet was attached to the floor with too many staples, you might need to spare an hour or two to identify and then remove the broken staples from hardwood floors.

In addition, this method only works on floors which do not have a carpet or finish on them.

In cases of carpets, area rugs, or a finish on the floor, these methods will be pretty useless as they can’t get the staples out through the additional surfaces.

Using A Staple Remover To Remove Staples From Hardwood Floors
Using A Staple Remover To Remove Staples From Hardwood Floors

It is highly possible that you might lose control of the surface and end up losing the nail in the finish or the carpet’s surface, making it even more dangerous than before.

In such situations, getting a designated tool for the job, such as a staple remover, is highly recommended; which can easily perform the job without posing any threat to the hardwood floors, the finish, the carpet’s surface, or yourself.

Although it is a simple tool, it is highly effective in removing broken staples from hardwood floors.

Moreover, it is easily available on the market and can be bought for only a few dollars.

The tool’s process is very simple as all you need to do is press the handle on the staple, and it will easily pop out of the hardwood surface.

You never thought removing broken staples from hardwood floors would be this simple, did you?

Besides, the tool works wonders regardless of whether the staple was twisted, pressed, or deshaped.

This makes the process extremely quick and efficient while making the job easier for you.

If you had to spare 1 hour for this task with the traditional tools, using a staple remover can help you complete the task in only 10 minutes.

Furthermore, this method does not put any pressure or strain on your hands as the job can be done in only one step.

An Overview of The Pros & Cons of This Approach

There are many benefits that a staple remover can provide you while removing broken staples from hardwood floors.

Using this tool can be less tiring and quick compared to both traditional approaches, which makes the process very tiring and slow.

Using a staple remover to remove broken staples from hardwood floors is a much more efficient way when compared to the old methods which many people recommend.

Here are some interesting features of using this tool to remove broken staples from hardwood floors.

  • Staple removers are very gentle and do not cause any damage to the hardwood floors while the process is being carried out. This makes them a safe option and a suitable way to get the job done without risking the pristine condition of the floors.
  • The ergonomic and contoured shape ensures that your hand sits on the handle comfortably, so you don’t get any muscle pulls or strains during the job.
  • The spring-loaded lever handle is an expert way to pull out the staples even if they are rigid, broken, or heavy-duty.
  • The staple remover has a sturdy base that ensures the tool does not move during the procedure and remains stable. This limits any chances of failure or damage to the floors.
  • The functionality of this tool is not only limited to hardwood floors, but it can be used on almost all surfaces. This makes the tool a versatile option which can be used in almost all circumstances.
Overview of The Pros Cons of This Approach
Overview of The Pros Cons of This Approach

How Do You Remove Embedded Staples From Wood?

Removing embedded staples from hardwood floors is easy using a staple remover.

It is recommended that you do not attempt this task with traditional tools as they are sure to scratch, scar, and scrape the surface of the wood while removing embedded staples.

All you need to do is place the handle of the staple remover on the place where the staple has been embedded.

Then, it would be best to press the handle down while keeping the tool stable, and the embedded staple will be removed from the wooden surface.

However, it might be harder if your floors are finished, or the staple is embedded in the wood through the carpet.

In this case, using a traditional tool would be foolish, and you should only use a strong and durable staple remover.

What Is The Best Tool To Remove Staples From Hardwood Floor?

Needle nose pliers, also known as the cat’s paw, are one of the most efficient tools to remove staples from the surface of your hardwood floors.

These tools are readily available in almost every house or from your local hardware shop.

Moreover, it does not require one to kneel down as much as the angled pliers and if used correctly, will not harm the hardwood floors.

While many people debate its ability to remove staples for carpeted or finished hardwood floors, many flooring professionals have used this tool to remove staples from such surfaces.

Hence, we can deduce that the tool is suitable for this job, but in complex scenarios, it is better to use a staple remover or get a skilled person to do it if you don’t have access to the special tool.

How Do You Remove Staples And Nails From Hardwood Floors?

Staples and nails can be removed from the surface of your hardwood floors using a cat’s paw or angled pliers.

Both of these are efficient tools and work very well when removing such items from the surface of the wood.

Contrary to the common belief, they won’t damage the hardwood surface, provided you know how to handle them properly and don’t use excessive force while pulling out the nails or staples.

All you need to do is place the ends of the tools underneath the staple or the nail and pull it out slowly at a recommended angle while gripping the nail/staple so it doesn’t burst out and cause damage to your hardwood floors.

What Is The Easiest Way To Remove Staples?

The easiest way of removing staples from any surface is using staple remover.

This specialized tool makes the job much more quick and efficient, so you don’t have to strain your eyes and your hands for the right placement and extraction of the staples from the surfaces.

The simple process involves identifying where a staple is present and placing the tool on top. Then you must press down the handle, and the staple will be extracted without extra effort.

Bottom Line

Removing staples from hardwood floors is easy and can be done by traditional and conventional methods.

Both methods are efficient and reliable, but the latter remains superior due to the ease of use and the speed with which you can complete the job.

However, the traditional methods can’t be disregarded as they have been used for decades, even before the staple remover was invented.

In short, you can carry out the process using traditional tools if you don’t have access to the staple remover.

However, you have to be extra careful not to damage the surface and get the job done effectively.

On the other hand, if you can get the tool for this task, your job will be much easier and less tiring. Besides, it will also enable you to complete the tasks in a very short amount of time.

Leave a Comment