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The interlocking design of tongue-and-groove boards means that it is necessary to cut through the board joints to release them from their position. A circular saw is ideal for this purpose. Take care to avoid damaging any utilities below floor level.
Use a nail cutting blade to cut through any concealed nails. Set the circular saw to the exact depth of the damaged board (Image 1).
Run the saw down the entire length of the board on each side of the damaged area where possible (Image 2).
Pry out the damaged board using a pry bar (Image 3). Rest the bar on a wood offcut to prevent the bar from damaging adjacent boards.
Remove the tongue from the new board, using a sharp chisel (Image 4). If the boards are very thick, you may need to use a saw.
Reposition the board in place (Image 5). Since blind nailing is not possible, use finish nails and fill the holes.
An alternative way to cut the damaged board is to cut it across the grain, along a joist. In this way a smaller section of board can be removed. However, the adjacent boards would also have small cuts on their edges. For an exposed floor these would have to be disguised with an appropriate filler.
Replacing a section of chipboard floor is similar to replacing tongue-and-groove boards. A circular saw is the best tool to use. Any superficial damage caused to other boards is not important, since the floor will be covered.
It is simpler to replace square-edged boards than tongue-and-groove boards, since they do not have interlocking edges. Take care to avoid damaging cables and pipes below floor level.
Mark a pencil line on the damaged board over the nearest joist (Image 1). If the damage is central, mark lines on joists either side of the damage.
Lever up the broken board, using a pry bar (Image 2). Rest the pry bar on a wood offcut to avoid damaging the floor.
Once the board has been raised high enough, place wood offcuts underneath to hold it in a secure position (Image 3).
Saw along the pencil lines to remove the damaged section of board (Image 4). Protect the floor with a spare piece of board.
Using the damaged section of board as a template, mark the new board and cut it to size (Image 5).
Position the new section of board in the gap, and nail it in place (Image 6).
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009
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