Author Topic: Is this a good wood floor?  (Read 4223 times)

mozar

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Is this a good wood floor?
« on: October 10, 2016, 03:14:18 PM »
I'm taking off the linoleum tile and carpet. There is a tiny bit of buckling so far. I will have to decide whether to refinish or lay something else on top. I don't want a new carpet. The white stuff is from the tile.

Also any recommendations about getting up the sticky residue?
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bostik-Ultimate-Adhesive-Remover-Towels-G65639/202274324
https://www.amazon.com/Bruce-Laminate-Hardwood-Floor-Cleaner/dp/B000ALK3X8/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1476133162&sr=1-1&keywords=bruce+wood+floor+cleaner

I also have some Murphy

Another link
https://www.bona.com/en-US/Bona-Professional/Products/

Goldielocks

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2016, 03:27:44 PM »
Looks like a sub floor to me, but the pic is a bit fuzzy.   My guess is based on shorter / fat / random sized wood strips...

mozar

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2016, 03:47:56 PM »
OK, so I would have to lay wood floor over it?

Goldielocks

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2016, 04:27:03 PM »
I'm not the one to ask.  I have not yet covered the subfloor on my primary interior stairs yet, just painted, and it's been over 5 years....    Many people are happy with painted sub floors, and it is not a great photo to really tell, they may still be a finished wood, anyway..

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2016, 04:52:44 PM »
Does not look like a sub floor to me. Usually sub-floors are plywood/OSB sheets, not strips.

I think this is a hardwood (maybe oak) floor. Maybe a cheaper one if the length of the strips are not very long.

Call in a finishing guy to get it checked out and get an estimate.


mozar

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2016, 06:00:50 PM »
I guess most like the last one. I'll just finish and get the sticky off and call someone.

MsPeacock

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2016, 06:36:44 PM »
It looks in the photo like the boards are either really short - or they have lines in them from the tile you are taking up. If the boards vary in length (are 2-3 feet long mostly) but are consistent in width  then it is most likley a normal hardwood floor, not a subfloor.

Agree w/ PP that subfloor is usually plywood or something, not planks.

You might call a floor refinishing company and ask them to give you an estimate - they would be able to answer your question for sure.


Papa bear

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2016, 06:55:48 PM »
Does not look like a sub floor to me. Usually sub-floors are plywood/OSB sheets, not strips.

I think this is a hardwood (maybe oak) floor. Maybe a cheaper one if the length of the strips are not very long.

Call in a finishing guy to get it checked out and get an estimate.

While I agree that it looks like a finish floor above a sub floor, only "newer" houses had plywood or osb.  There are a lot of tongue and groove 3/4" pine subfloors in older homes.

If you want to check to make sure, go pull up an HVAC register vent and see what layers there are, or look in your basement / crawl space and see what the subfloor is made of.

As for is it salvageable? I don't have a strong opinion without many more photos or seeing in person.   I have a few places where I installed new 3/4" solid hardwood over a 3/8" oak finish floor (3/4" t+g pine subfloor) and have had great hold up for more than 10 years. So if you opt to go that route, you should be fine.

Good luck! 


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BlueHouse

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2016, 07:12:06 PM »
it looks like there are some wedges in the wood floor around the edges.  If the floor is buckling, that's why.  those wedges are meant to be removed after installing the wood floor.  When the floor expands, if those wood wedges are still around the edges, the floor will buckle.

rothwem

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2016, 07:25:32 AM »
How old is the house?  My house was built in 1951 and has pine tongue and groove flooring over the subfloor, and the subfloor is made of pine that's laid horizontal to the joists.  I wish I had a picture, but there was asbestos tile on top of the tongue and groove wood, so I didn't stick around long before calling in the remediation guys. 

Jack

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2016, 07:43:13 AM »
That picture shows some pretty deep cuts into the hardwood (they aren't short boards; they're regular boards that somebody took a circular saw to while cutting through the layer of flooring above them). You may or may not be able to sand them down enough to get rid of those cuts. Also, the flooring itself isn't particularly "special" -- it looks to me like normal oak strip flooring, as opposed to something used back in the day that's more expensive/harder to replace (e.g. wide plank longleaf pine).

That said, I'd suggest saving it if you can. I've got some wood flooring in even worse shape that I'm debating with myself about...

While I agree that it looks like a finish floor above a sub floor, only "newer" houses had plywood or osb.  There are a lot of tongue and groove 3/4" pine subfloors in older homes.

Yep. Those pine plank subfloors are laid diagonally, so that makes it easy to tell, too. (By the way, plank subfloors aren't always tongue and groove -- the ones in my house are straight cut, with gaps between the boards big enough to stick a 10d nail through).

there was asbestos tile on top of the tongue and groove wood, so I didn't stick around long before calling in the remediation guys.

FYI, asbestos is only dangerous when it becomes friable and dusty (which is why the worst kind to find is asbestos insulation). The tiles are safe to be around until you start cutting into them or ripping them up.

rothwem

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2016, 09:42:47 AM »

there was asbestos tile on top of the tongue and groove wood, so I didn't stick around long before calling in the remediation guys.

FYI, asbestos is only dangerous when it becomes friable and dusty (which is why the worst kind to find is asbestos insulation). The tiles are safe to be around until you start cutting into them or ripping them up.

Agreed. I was getting ready to repair the subfloor of my place due to some water damage though, so I was going to have to tear the asbestos up.

Here's what the floor looked like after remediation and before repair:



mozar

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2016, 10:23:16 AM »
The house was built in 1941. What's an hvac register vent? Oh wait, I don't think I have that. There is a big hole I can look in. No crawl space access.
 I live in a coop with 1700 similar units so I think someone around here might know. And what does it mean that wedges should be removed?
@jack why would someone be cutting wood on top?

Jack

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2016, 10:43:53 AM »
The house was built in 1941. What's an hvac register vent? Oh wait, I don't think I have that.

A good example of an HVAC register vent is in the picture rothwem just posted: the rectangular hole in the bottom left corner. You can see the sheet metal of the duct around the edges.

Even if the floor in that pic were intact, you'd still be able to remove the grate from the top, bend the sheet metal away from the edge of the hole, and look at the layers of flooring edge-on to see what was going on without having to do anything destructive.

@jack why would someone be cutting wood on top?

Because if they're going to cover up the wood floor (with linoleum and then carpet, in your case) anyway, the construction workers don't care what condition they leave the wood in. Therefore, if they're cutting something and a sawhorse isn't convenient, they might do it directly on the floor.

My floor has similar cuts in it (along with globs of drywall mud all over it because they put in ceiling texture without even bothering to put down a drop cloth first).

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2016, 11:02:27 AM »
Looks like regular oak flooring to me - I've refinished a couple of these.  The first, I paid a company to come in and do the work, the next time I did it myself by renting a floor sander.  The tongue portion of the floor may be thin if the floor has ever been sanded/refinished.  But depending on how long the stick-on-tiles have been in place, you may have a wood floor that's never been sanded.  If I were you, I'd take a hand sander, and using very fine grit paper lightly sand the entire length of the two boards closest to the wall in your photo. This should remove the 'lines' left by the 12x12 stick-on flooring tiles.  If (as I suspect) the 'board' closest to the wall looks different than the board next to it, remove that board, and remove 1/4" from it using a planer or table saw, and replace.  [that strip along the wall looks like a plywood strip IMHO].  That should take care of the 'cupping' or buckling in the floor surface.  If after sanding, you lightly dampen the wood with a sponge, you'll get a good idea what the wood will look like once the floor is fully sanded, and re-finished with a clear polyurethane finish.

Do you know what type of finish you'd like to use?  Stain, polyurethane, or varnish?  Minwax makes some really good finishes for the DIY'er.  Look up 'hard wood floor refinishing' videos on YouTube to get an idea of what's involved.  It's messy, dusty work, and depending on the finish you use, it *could* be smelly to the point of forcing you out-of-the-house for a weekend after re-finishing.  Even if you refinish with polyurethane, you'll want to avoid walking on the floor for a few days while the finish hardens.   BUT... doing it yourself will save hundreds of $$, and it's very satisfying to walk on a floor you've refinished yourself.

mozar

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2016, 01:22:12 PM »
Thanks, I'll try that! Currently can't do polyurethane because my roommate /tenant is an idiot who will walk through anything.

BlueHouse

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2016, 05:30:13 AM »
Re: wedges.
In your pic mozar, it appears that there are small wooden spacers around the perimeter of your wood floor. These would be wedged in between the last floorboard and the wall or baseboard. If those are still there, they should be removed.

mozar

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2016, 08:28:47 AM »
Mystery solved! I got down on the floor and stuck my nose real close, and the lines are just dirt!
Re:wedges why would they put spacers around the edges? Upstairs there are no wedges.

Goldielocks

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2016, 11:40:14 AM »
Mystery solved! I got down on the floor and stuck my nose real close, and the lines are just dirt!
Re:wedges why would they put spacers around the edges? Upstairs there are no wedges.

Spacers is so that you can have a gap for expansion / contraction throughout the year.

To install a floor, you need a hard line to tap against.  But then remove the spacers after to create the gap.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2016, 01:35:13 PM »
Had another look at your picture. I'm almost sure that is oak seeing the grain. Looks like it is a pretty decent floor.

Jack

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2016, 02:41:26 PM »
Had another look at your picture. I'm almost sure that is oak seeing the grain. Looks like it is a pretty decent floor.

The funny thing is, that's a standard "cheap" floor by 1940s standards. They hadn't figured out how to make every damn thing out of oil yet (e.g. nylon carpet), so solid oak strip flooring was the default "builder-grade" option! It's also why tools and cars and toys and stuff back then were made entirely out of steel instead of the much worse plastic shit they get made from today.

rothwem

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Re: Is this a good wood floor?
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2016, 06:43:21 PM »
Had another look at your picture. I'm almost sure that is oak seeing the grain. Looks like it is a pretty decent floor.

The funny thing is, that's a standard "cheap" floor by 1940s standards. They hadn't figured out how to make every damn thing out of oil yet (e.g. nylon carpet), so solid oak strip flooring was the default "builder-grade" option! It's also why tools and cars and toys and stuff back then were made entirely out of steel instead of the much worse plastic shit they get made from today.

Well, due to deforestation and such, hardwoods cost a bunch more than they used to. Oak flooring used to be dirt cheap. I suspect that a large part of the popularity of hardwood floors these days is due to the fact that they're expensive, not necessarily that they're better.

As far as older tools are concerned, instead of cheap plastic shit, they had cheap "pot metal" shit. Pot metal is usually some sort of zinc alloy, used because it casts well, not because of its superior mechanical properties. Sure, older cheap tools were heavy, but they probably weren't a whole lot better than the plastic crap we have now.

I suspect that the reason you think 1940s tools are durable is that the 1940s tools that are still around today were the expensive good ones. The crap ones on par with our harbor freight things have long been broken and thrown away.