How to lift floorboards without breaking them

by Sam Wood | Last Updated: 29/10/2020

How to lift floorboards without breaking them

This is a question people ask me all the time, how do you lift a floorboard without completely destroying it? Over the years of working as a professional joiner, I have lifted a lot of floorboards and picked up a few tips and tricks. Either watch the video above or read on to find out my preferred method of lifting floorboards.

Don’t just use a chisel

Don’t try and lift a floorboard by just shoving a chisel down the side and lifting. You will damage the side of floorboard which may result in it not going back down correctly.

Use a screw

Insert a screw into the top of the floorboard. You can then use a hammer to get leverage on the floorboard and begin to lift it. Make sure you put a wood block under the hammer to prevent it from causing any damage itself.

Do this on both sides

Repeat the same process again on the other side of the floorboard, you should hear a lot of creaking and begin to see the floorboard lifting.

Now use a chisel

Now you have got the board part lifted you can use a chisel. Again make sure it is resting on a wooden block so it doesn’t cause any damage to the floorboard underneath it.

Repeat and move down the floorboard

Repeat the process again while moving down the floorboard. Don’t try and lift it all at once, this should be a gradual process. Moving carefully and methodically is the best way to avoid damaging the floorboard.


Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified joiner and have been involved in the joinery game for over a decade now. In fact, I am an award-winning joiner, winning the Ribble Valley joiner of the year 2019. I have an NVQ level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery. I received my Qualification from a Centre of vocational excellence. I am still working as a professional joiner as well as running this site with Dan!