I am replacing kitchen tile with vinyl planks or engineered hardwood. After ripping out the backer board with tile, I am left with hundreds of screws, set every two inches in a rectangular grid. Is there an efficient removal technique?

  • Just curious: why are there screws in a 2in grid? @crip659 you should post it as an answer – P2000 May 15 at 17:04
  • Either the backer board required it, or someone likes screwing(screws). – crip659 May 15 at 17:08
  • If the screws are flush, can you just leave them in? If not, can you cut them off with a grinder? – dandavis May 15 at 20:06

If the heads of screws are in good condition(clean) a drill/driver probably best bet to remove. Dirty or damaged heads, a hammer is useful, either pull them up or hammer them down. If hammering them down, make sure nothing underneath them, gas or water lines/pipes, electrical cables, someones head.

  • If you can lay hands on it, an impact driver will sometimes work better than a drill, as it sets the bit into the screw every time it hits. And if you have thinset/mortar/whatever in the screw heads themselves, you might need to do a tour of the floor and try to clear those out. Best way I've found is to have a sacrificial driver bit at least a couple of inches long, put it into the screw head, and whack it with a hammer. Rinse, repeat for the entire floor. (Wear knee pads.) – Aloysius Defenestrate May 15 at 18:35

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