When installing vinyl sheet you should not allow nails etc to be sticking out because these will show in the floor.

When taking up the old floor you will often find nails are sticking out. How did this happen and if one was to hammer them in, wouldn't they come back out with time, in which case, isn't it better to remove and fill them up?

3 Answers 3


If they worked their way out now (due to shrinkage in lumber, nails too short, deflection of joists, etc.) they could work their way out again.

I’d remove them, fill in the holes and re-nail or screw the underlayment down.


Depends how thin the vinyl is. They probably are proud due to wood shrinkage over time/humidity etc. Removing them may not even be followed by filling holes - depends how wide they are. Nails used for floorboarding are usually lost head, so hammering them level would be all that's needed.

If you wanted, you could remove the proud ones and fill, or drift them just below surface and fill, but with decent thickness vinyl there should be no need.

  • 2
    Presumably the nails are there to secure the sub-floor so if you pull them then drive a deck screw in there place or fill and screw next to that. Now is the time, before you install your vinyl, to make sure your sub-floor is solid and not squeaky.
    – Alaska Man
    May 23, 2020 at 18:24
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    "Nails used for floorboarding are usually lost head". Could you define "lost head"? That's a term I've not heard before.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 22, 2020 at 13:12

Are they ring shank nails? If so you should be ok hitting them back in. If not, I would remove and use deck screws to fasten the subfloor back down.

  • 1
    Once loose, always loose. Underlayment is not subfloor, and screws would need to be filled and sanded.
    – isherwood
    Nov 6, 2023 at 19:24

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