Can the hardwood be installed over top of staples in plywood?

Q: I just removed all the carpet in my house, and plan on installing hardwood. Do I need to remove all the staples from the carpet cushion? Can the hardwood go over top of the staples in the plywood?

If I have to remove the staples, what is the best way to do so? Can I hammer them into the plywood?

A: You can knock them down if you can get them flush. You don’t want to install your new floor over hundreds of little bumps. I usually use a side cutter and flat blade screw driver to remove them.

Vaguely Related Q: We’re considering buying a pre-war apartment that had water damage 5 years ago. The owner fixed the damage and installed new floors, including herringbone in the dining/living room. To give some visual separation to the dining/living areas, there are about 6 or 8 straight strips between the herringbone. In those strips and in much of the contiguous herringbone, we see what look like sunk staples. We see these marks elsewhere as well, and not just along edge pieces. Could there be something structurally wrong or is this just a cosmetic issue?

A: If I understand you correctly, it sounds like the floor had been carpeted with under-pad that was stapled to the floor. If that is the case, it is cosmetic.