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How do I remove these masonry nails attached to basement concrete floor? It would be great if the nail can be removed fully since I plan to hang a door over that. Thanks in advance.

Here is the picture of the masonry nail.

Frame Nailed to concrete.

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  • How many nails like that do you need to remove? We bought a slab on grade house that had had a lot of carpet added with tack strip nailed into the concrete with short hardened steel nails. We wanted to stain the concrete DIY and so I experimented at length with different methods of removing the nails to leave minimum pock marks. Nothing I tried consistently worked. I ended up just banging sideways on the nails and then prying them out with a pry bar. This left many unsightly pock marks, but it didn't matter because we abandoned the stained concrete idea and got porcelain tile. – Jim Stewart May 11 at 21:24
  • I just need to remove 3 such nails to make way for hanging a door. Thanks – Gopal Kankanhalli May 12 at 21:46
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Loosen it by tapping it lightly to moderately hard, back and forth--side to side, then when it is sufficiently loose pull it out. Tap parallel to the longer dimension of the rectangular cross section.

AFIK this type of nail (cut nail) is a not a hardened steel nail for driving into concrete. It may be hardly into the concrete and you might be able to pull it out without any tapping. Try a pry bar or channel locks without hammering.

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    Note that the tapping should be along the long direction of the cut nail. If you tap on the short direction, you risk just bending it over. – FreeMan May 11 at 15:39
  • Thanks Will try and report back – Gopal Kankanhalli May 12 at 21:47
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If you have an angle grinder and the proper personal protection equipment (PPE) it can be used to grind off the nail level with the concrete surface.

I would prefer this solution because other methods to pry, pull or pound on the nail risk blistering out the adjoining concrete. Now a cracked out pit in the concrete may not be a problem in many cases but may in others. For example if you were putting down a vinyl type floor covering you would have to take on the extra task of filling the small pit.

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Have you tried Boot Pinch pliers on the nail? They bite into the shaft of the nail and the fulcrum is the curved surface beside the jaws, so there's a lot of leverage.

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As the nail rises, you will want to reposition the bite. Sometimes helps to have a small block of scrap wood to lever off as well.

There is a possibility that a firm squeeze can bite through the shaft of a thin/weak nail - this is easy with panel pins. I can't gauge the quality of the metal in your photo, so it might be soft and cut under the forces. Moderate your grip strength to match.

The other good thing about bootpinch pliers is that if the end is missing, you can still bite into the shaft of the nail. You're not dependent on having a head for a hammer's claw to hook under.


Similarly, a long crowbar might work fine, as long as it can straddle the wide part of the shaft and find purchase under the two lips.

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    On the plus side, if the nail is very soft, it's not likely to be very deeply embedded in the concrete. – The Photon May 12 at 1:16
  • @ThePhoton true - in that case it may have mushroomed out under the wood making it harder to pull the knott though. Nothing that can't be resolved with brute force. – Criggie May 12 at 1:22

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