Originally Posted by davesink
After some basement flooding, my wife and I pulled up the carpeting to reveal bare concrete. We'd like to either re-carpet or tile the floor, but when I pull up the wood border, there are large nails which protrude about 1/2" from the floor. I'm unable to pull up these nails by hand, so my question is, what power tool could I rent or buy that would either pull up these masonry nails with minimum damage to the concrete or cut them off so they're flush (or nearly flush) with the floor level. Thanks very much
By "wood border" do you mean the tack strips that were nailed down around the perimeter of the room? If so, then these nails aren't very long, and they DO pull out (sometimes easier, sometimes harder). You will see a chip in the concrete where you pull out each nail that's holding well, but these chips can be easily filled with any cementatious material, like a cement based floor leveler or even brick mortar with some adhesive painted on the exposed concrete and some adhesive in the mortar. Patching those tiny "craters" is the smallest problem.
It's very possible that those nails were driven in with gun powder charges. In that case, they may be a real fight to remove and cutting them off flush with the concrete might be the better way to go. If you could supply a pic, that would certainly help us to figure out what's going on, and what those nails are.
Cutting something off with a "Metabo" is like saying that you're going to cut something off with a Makita. Metabo is a brand name, like Porter Cable or DeWalt or Milwaukee. What I expect Kok meant to say was "grinder". That's a pretty general term, and there are different kinds of grinders, but it's a safe bet that he meant a 7 inch angle grinder. (Prolly didn't mean "bench grinder.
If you have a hand grinder, you'll be able to buy metal cutting disks in any welding shop rated at 12,000 rpm or more. Those will allow you to BOTH cut the nails off and grind anything sticking up flush with the concrete. You can do the same thing with a larger 7 inch angle grinder, but it's a larger and heavier tool that requires that you hold it with both hands. You don't need that much power to cut a nail off, even a hardened steel nail, so if you're gonna buy a tool to do this job, I'd recommend a hand grinder. Just be sure to shop for the disks in welding shops where they have disks rated at the 10 to 15 thousand rpm your hand grinder will spin at. You don't want to put a disk rated at 7,000 rpm in a grinder spinning at 12,000 rpm. The disk could come flying apart and create a dangerous situation.
Both carpeting and ceramic tile are "forgiving" flooring materials. Your concrete doesn't have to be completely smooth before you can install either ceramic tile or carpet over it. He11, you can just about stretch carpet over a dead animal without having a "bump" show under the carpet.