1930's House Wood Flooring.

ivymlpSeptember 4, 2008

I bought a 1930's beach house with a 1997 addition. The living room had a horrible carpet in it that I decided to pull up. I did and under it was this horrible floral pattern linoleum. It was so brittle that it rips right up. Under it is a beautiful wood plank floor.

I'd like to seal that floor and use it as my flooring in the living room but my parents say that it's the subfloor and not meant to be uncovered. It is the last layer of flooring - I can look up from under the house and see the bottom of it. But it is wonderful shape both on the top and bottom.

Can I finish it. I live in MI so we do have some cold winters here - would the drafts be to much?

The floor looks as if it was tongue and groove.

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I have a second home with beautiful hardwood floors under the carpeting. It was built in the thirties and it was tongue in groove. Thick. The same piece of wood you see on the floor is the same piece of wood you see overhead in the basement. I guess it "could" be subflooring in your case, since it's a vacation house, but sub-floors generally are a more recent phenomenon. When I see the wood floors being installed now, I see how thin they are and to me they don't hold much more appeal than laminate. Nor are they much if any thicker.

Most subfloors are not 'beautiful'. If your's is beautiful wood, I don't see why you shouldn't expose it.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 5:05AM
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If you have access to the space underneath, you can install insulation (with the vapor barrier toward the heated space) and that should help a lot with the cold and draughts. If it's thick and it's beautiful, I don't see any reason not to expose it and use it as your floor. Nothing beats the beauty of old wood IMO.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:10AM
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My 1930's pine floors also form the basement ceiling.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 9:56AM
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We have a 1930 house in IL and the floors sound about the same as what is in our house as long as its thick. Underneath are crawl spaces except in the living room where there is a cellar under part of it. Thats the only part that gets drafty but that is from the door that lead to the outside in the cellar and the floors are beautiful and meant to be used as is.. I do reccomend using the vapor barrier like someone else said, if there are drafty areas if you want to save on your heat bill!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 2:51PM
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Everyone said that to me when I pulled up my carpet and refinished my douglas fir "subfloors", but I could never get an answer when I asked "What's the difference, and why is it bad?" In fact, my floors are beautiful, and it's better! You can't get the same quality wood now for "real" floors as they used back then for the subfloors because the wood harvested now is from young trees, as opposed to the old growth used in the early 20th century. So go for it! It won't be much colder than your old carpet was if it's not insulated underneath, so you would want to add that either way.

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 3:32PM
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It is important to determine how the brick wall was built: solid brick or veneer brick with a cavity. If it is a cavity wall you must open the wall and inspect it.

I would not buy a brick house because if there are hidden problems in the wall system the repair could be prohibitive.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 4:59PM
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