How to Remove Nails from Terrazzo Floors

What You'll Need
Utility knife
Flat pry bar
Dremel tool
Abrasive blade tool

Terrazzo floors are a popular kind of floor that gives the look and feel of marble without the expensive price tag. These floors are made out of chips of marble that is mixed with concrete then covered with a layer of wax to give it a shine. Terrazzo floors are popular in homes as well as business settings. Keeping terrazzo floors clean and maintained is a process that takes a lot of time. As a result, many owners will partially cover the terrazzo floors with carpet. If you want to remove the carpet you will also leave behind carpet nails. Removing the nails can damage terrazzo floors unless removed properly and this article will show you how to do that.

Step 1 - Remove the Carpet

Ripping up the carpet can seriously harm the terrazzo floor because the nails would be unceremoniously ripped from the floor at random angles. This can cause breaking and scratching of the floor. Use the utility knife and cut a slit into the carpet. Insert the flat pry bar into the slit and pull upward. If the carpet is resistant then you may have cut the seams. The seams may be glues down but that should not hinder you being able to cut through it with the utility knife.

Step 2 - Remove the Carpet Pad

When you remove the carpet pad you need to be more careful than just ripping it off the floor. Locate the tack strip near the edges of the carpet pad. Gently pull the carpet pad off the floor at the tacking strip. Use the utility knife to cut through the carpet pad if you want. Once the padding is removed from the tacking strip it is easy to roll up and then remove.

Step 3 - Tacking Strip

The tacking strip represents the edge of the carpet where it is connected to the terrazzo floor. At first thought you may want to just pry the tacking strip straight up but that will most likely cause chips. Tacking strips are made out of thin wood which is very easily broken. Carefully hit the tack strips with a hammer or use your hands to break the strips. The goal is to separate the wood tacking strip from the actual nails. The hammer and pry bar can be used to finish pulling up the tacking strip. Do not remove the nails.

Step 4 - Dealing with the Nails

Pulling nails out of terrazzo floors is not as simple as just gripping them with a hammer's pry bar and yanking. Doing this will cause the concrete-based terrazzo floors to chip which will cost hundreds of dollars (or more) to properly fix. You will instead cut the nails. Attach the abrasive blade tool to the dremel and cut the nail as close to where it intersects with the floor but be careful to not make contact with the floor. Make several more passes over the protruding nail until it is flush with the floor.