Removing concrete nails can be more time-consuming than removing them from wood. A concrete nail and masonry nail are two types of nails that are wedge shaped and heavy-duty.
If you have wood nailed to concrete and remove it, you’ll find the wood pulls from the concert and the concrete nail rips a hole through the wooden board. This leaves most of the nail shank visible, and it is here the challenge comes to remove them.
Besides these, you can find stonework nails, which are spherical and used to fasten masonry together. These nails are shorter, and there will be less shank exposed. In our guide, you can learn about removing flush nails and regular concrete nails. (Learn How Long Before You Can Grout Tile)
By the end, you’ll know all the various ways to remove nails or make them safe and hide them from view.
How Do You Remove Big Nails From Concrete?
Here’s the first set of steps you need to remove concrete nails.
- To loosen the concrete nail, flex it from side to side until it comes loose.
- To do so, strike the nail from the right side with the hammer until it bends slightly. Then, it from the left side until it bends.
- Strike the nail a little at a time, alternating sides, until the concrete gives way or the nail snaps.
Another approach prevents the nail from snapping and leaving a piece of it protruding out past the concrete.
This method involves loosening the nail, then pulling it with a claw hammer before it snaps.
If needed, place a 2×4 piece of wood between the hammer’s head and the floor to gain leverage.
How To Remove Masonry Nails
- Remove masonry nails with a masonry chisel. Loosening a masonry nail is the first step in removing it.
- To begin, place the chisel against the nail and hammer the head of the chisel.
- Hit the nail from the right and then the left, and stop before it snaps.
- Then, using the claw of a hammer, pull the nail out. There is just one alternative option if the nail refuses to pull out.
- Place the masonry chisel point against the nail where it touches the concrete.
- Then, hit the chisel with the hammer until the nail is chopped or knocked loose. Make frequent changes to the force’s direction.
How Do You Remove Nail Anchors From Concrete?
Concrete floor nails are often set into concrete floors after the concrete has hardened.
If the nails were put in while the concrete was still curing, however, they may be more difficult to remove and require drilling. (Read Do Copper Nails Kill Trees)
What you need:
- Pry bar
Check the Nail Position
By looking at the concrete around the body of the nail, you can usually tell if it was hammered into the concrete after it was set. It was probably inserted after the mix set if it doesn’t appear to be attached to the nail and there’s a little gap.
Use A Pry Bar
- Start by tapping the nail around the sides with your hammer to loosen it up if it was pounded into the concrete floor.
- Next, take your pry bar and wrap it around the nail’s head.
- Using the arm’s leverage, bend the nail from side to side. Depending on the thickness and length of the nail, you may need to repeat this process.
- When doing this step, you don’t want to break the nail off, so proceed with caution—using a monkey wrench to bend the nail if you can’t take nails on corners with the pry bar.
Use A Demolition Hammer
You may need a demolition hammer at this point if the nail is wedged deep.
You can rent a hammer if you don’t own one.
- To use the hammer, first set the chisel against the concrete side of the nail, then pull the trigger.
- Drilling directly on the nail can cause it to break, so place it at the side of the concrete.
- Instead, drill parallel to the nail to break up the concrete around the length of it. You should be able to break up the concrete sufficiently to remove the nail after chiseling both sides of the nail.
Can You Hammer Nails Into Concrete?
You can hammer nails into concrete. The great thing is that you don’t need many expensive or large power tools.
What You Need:
- Masonry or concrete nails
- 3lb hammer minimum
- Safety glasses
- Concrete drill
Before you begin, make sure you have the right nails for the job (whether you’re using concrete or masonry nails).
Other nail types aren’t designed to withstand the force required to break through concrete.
In addition, you’ll want to make sure you have a big hammer on hand to deliver enough force so the nail can penetrate the concrete.
Therefore, hammers weighing between 3 and 5 pounds are recommended. It’s also an excellent time to practice with the hammer beforehand, as these bigger hammers can be challenging to lift and swing.
Finally, drill a pilot hole in the area where the nail will be placed before installing the nail.
Note that the spot should be the same diameter as the nail that will be installed.
Take the masonry or concrete nail and hammer it into the concrete until the head is flush with the surface. If the nail does not drive in deep enough, you will probably need to drill a deeper pilot hole. (Learn How To Screw Into Concrete)
How To Remove Tack Strips From Concrete Floor?
Using a hammer and pry bar can remove tack strips from concrete floors. To begin, jam the chisel’s end beneath the tack strip to trap it between the strip’s bottom and the floor.
To dislodge the strip from the floor, tap the end of the pry bar with the hammer. Continue doing this along the tack strip’s edge until the entire strip is loose and should separate from the concrete once you reach the edge of the strip.
If it doesn’t, you’ll probably have to go back and press the pry bar’s edge deeper into the entire width of the tack strip.
You may need a thick pair of workman’s while holding the pry bar and hammer.
Do I Patch Tack Strip Holes In Concrete?
While you don’t have to fill in the tack strip holes, it will improve the appearance of your floor—especially if you plan to paint it.
Also, if you plan to cover the floor with carpet, make sure any holes or dents in the concrete are repaired beforehand.
You need a bit of hydraulic cement patch compound, a trowel, and a strong wire brush to remove loose material to repair the holes.
What Do You Do With Nails On Concrete Floor?
If you have a Dremel or other rotary tool, such as an angle grinder, you can remove nails with a metal cutting disk wheel attachment instead of hammers.
When nails are driven in with a power tool that uses a gunpowder charge, it is far easier than prying, which can be nearly impossible in concrete; cut nails are the easiest and fastest way.
The best option is to use a cut-off wheel or a grinder. You can save the cost of purchasing one by renting one. Using an angle grinder will grind away a small amount of concrete, lowering the nail below ground level.
The finished surface can then be leveled by patching the low sections.
Be careful that any tool, such as a grinder cutting wheel, will cause sparks, and grinding the concrete will generate a lot of dust, so take the necessary safety precautions.
Small holes may usually be filled with a concrete blending compound, which works similarly to wood filler or drywall spackle. (Read Concrete Drill Bit Sizes Chart)
Pre-blended and ready to apply to a clean concrete surface, the compound arrives pre-blended. The solution should be smoothed over with a trowel or putty knife after application to achieve a quality finish.
Finally, the mixture will require some time to set. Depending on the elements in the compound, the time to set can take. Most curing times are in the range of 30 minutes to over 2 hours.