Q: What is the easiest way to remove U shape staples from salvaged hardwood flooring? I want to reinstall it.
A: It depends how far into the wood the staples are. If they are near flush you may need to get under them with something akin to a pointed ice pick just to lift them high enough to grab them with another tool. For others that are sticking up far enough to grab, probably the best tool is a type of pliers that look like something you might use for pulling teeth. They look much like tile nippers. Each jaw end is broad and rounded meaning less marring of the wood surface. Or you can just use a pair of wire cutters and place something thin between them and your flooring if you need to push the cutters down on the wood surface for leverage. You are trying not to ding up the surface or cause the staple legs to snap off.
Follow-up: Thank you so much for your help. A friend and I went at it this afternoon with wire cutters.. tooth pulling type. They worked pretty well. We did try to get the blade off my late husbands angle grinder but we couldn’t budge it so glad the nippers worked.
A: You’re welcome. Those ‘U’ shaped staples are about the worse. It’s all labour and one tool helps more with one staple than with the next. Strap on the knee pads and have a couple of different plier type tools with you along with something to punch under those ones near flush with the floor. Nothing magical. Just a lot of hard work and blisters on your hands.