Restoring Pine Kitchen Floor

maureeninmdSeptember 4, 2008

The kitchen floor in my 1930s colonial is covered with several layers of vinyl and who-knows-what. I have not lifted it all up yet to investigate as I am afraid I won't be able to get it back down.

I know there are pine floors under there because I can see from the basement that the wood matches the wood in the rest of the house EXCEPT the smallish nails that show through every 6 inches.

What do you think was nailed down to this floor? Do you think these floors are fixable?


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What was nailed down (and may, or may not, be still there) is some kind of floor covering. Anything from early true floor cloths or linoleum - it was in narrow strips compared to modern materials- to some other underlayment as padding for your resilient flooring.

Be aware, though that some types of old resilient flooring contain asbetos, as does some kinds of the mastics (glue) used for sealing it down. Not cause for abandoning the house, but defintiely cause for awareness, possibly testing, and very careful, informed, handling as you remove it.

The nail holes will either need to be filled, or ignored.I personally woul go for ignoring, but people have different tastes in this.

Some older pine is very difficult to refinish if what you have in mind is a smooth, glossy, gym-type finish. Old pine, unless you sand the bejabbers out of it and risk thinning it down too much can have very uneven absorption of finishing chemicals, inlcuding stains, sealers, oils, etc. IT would wise to do a test patch in a hidden place to see how yours react. A friend of mine redid his old wide board pine floors with pure tung oil, with a stain mixed in. It came out pretty blotchy because the stain didn't absorb evenly. It would have been better to use a clear, or untinted product.



    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 1:36PM
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Thanks for the info - I was wondering what type of flooring it was as I thought that linoleum was glued down, not nailed. I guess I won't really know until I rip it up!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 4:45PM
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If the flooring turns out to contain asbestos, I would leave it for a professional to remove and haul away acording to EPA regs. I would not want to mess with that stuff.

Another concern: If the floor was painted (not unusual for its vintage), the paint probably contains lead. Very difficult to remove safely.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 4:18PM
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