I have a Homasote underlayment. The small nail heads holding it down are deeper than the surface of that Homasote so it’s hard to get a grip on them. Should I just give up on the nails and use a circular saw to cut out the boards? I tried a nail puller, but it wouldn’t really get under the nail heads.

I’m just wondering if there’s some perfect tool for this that I don’t know of.

Edit: I’m not trying to save the boards. enter image description here enter image description here

  • 2
    Are you looking to save the underlayment, or complete replacement? If you don't care about it, just use a crowbar or pry bar to tear out the Homasote in chunks, then you can get your prybar underneath pretty easily. Will be pretty dusty and messy so wear a dust mask. Or just use a hammer to drive the nail puller underneath the nail head (into the Homasote) and pry, but the Homasote might be too soft to support the nail removal without compressing.
    – Milwrdfan
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 15:54
  • If you look around you might be able to find a hollow-core drill bit.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


I would just start tearing it out. Pulling the nails first would be difficult and take way too much time. Just get a hole started by using a circular saw to cut a hole (where there are no nails) or use a hammer and flatbar/ prybar/ crowbar to gouge into it. Then just enlarge the hole using the same tools. It will break at the nails and be a mess of small pieces but will be the quickest removal. Sometimes I find a pick or mattock to be good to get under the material and pry out larger pieces. Then clean up the mess and go back with the same hammer and prybar to remove the nails.

Prybar/ Flatbar:

enter image description here
Click to embiggen


enter image description here

images lifted from internet- I have no affiliation

  • "the internet" is a pretty big place. It's customary to give a more precise location than that.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 17:17

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