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Hi- I want to add a shower to my upstairs bathroom. The floors are hardwood from when the house was built. How do i pull up boards with our ruining them to run the piping?
Depends on the type of flooring and how it was installed.
Vintage flooring was nothing more than strips of wood butted together and face nailed. That gave way to T&G flooring that is blind nailed - usually through the tongue side. Both of these floors can be taken up with little or no damage if time and care is taken. A flat bar type crowbar (Wonderbar is one brand name ) would be the best tool.
Now-a-days with the advent of laminates and engineered flooring you'll have T&G planks that will likely be glued together, yet not have any fasteners holding it down. There's only one way to get this out and that's through destruction. New forms of Pergo use an interlocking T&G that requires no glue, so if this is the case they can be disassembled without damage.
If they are T&G then you will remove them opposite to the way they were laid.
On one side of the room the boards will have the groove toward the wall with other side having the tongue toward the wall. Start at the side of the room where the tongue is toward the wall and work back toward the other side.
Chances are you will need to cut or bust out the first board to be able to pry up the following boards.