What's under there?

kindred_nyNovember 9, 2010

K, so I pulled up the metal holding the sheet vinyl flooring down at the top of the basement stairs. (I'm hoping the curious cat will get the early worm, or something like that). Under the new flooring is old sheet vinyl. Under that is 1/4 inch subfloor. I couldn't pry that up to get a good look, but I got a cross section view looking at it sitting on the basement steps. It looks like a thick (1" or so) piece of wood under the 1/4" subfloor, the tongue and groove boards under that. The tongue and groove is parallel to the floor joists, and in the basement looking up there are boadrs going perpendicular to the joists.(I'm guessing that's the original subfloor?) The house is 1916. And idea if the tongue and groove boards are old wood floors, or did they build houses with subfloor going both directions? (sounds dumb, but what do I know?)Also the tongue and groove are going parallel to the other hardwood floors in the rest of the downstairs. (The one area covered is the kitchen). I will try to attach pics so you can get a better look. Thanks for ANY ideas. I love a good mystery!

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kindred_ny

http://kindred_ny.WebStarts.com/index.html

The pic is on my web page at the bottom. (I hope!)
I forgot to mention the tongue and groove does not appear to be the same width as tthe rest of the hardwood in the house. And it's much thicker. ???

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 9:52PM
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fanner

I am in the same boat, almost exactly! I posted here just a month or so ago. Just as you said, only instead of the 2 layers of vinyl I only have 1. But here is sub floor in the basement, then I can see the hardwoods through the spaces in the subflooring. I pulled up the metal strip holding down the vinyl between the dining room (where there is hardwood) and can see 1/4 inch of underlayment. One of these days I am going to get brave (ie bored!) and pry that up so I can see better underneath it. Please let me know how it goes, I am going to need moral support. Also hoping this will be our spring project. And like you, this is the only part of the house that isn't hardwood. I would love to restore it. Oh, I also got some great feedback on the "flooring" forum if you didn't try that yet. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 10:16PM
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kindred_ny

mrsrichards, that is too funny! And thank you for the suggestion to go to the flooring forum. I didn't think to ask there. Good luck to you in your avdenture to figure out what's under there! BTW, I lifted a heat grate and looked insideto get a cross section of the dining room hardwood floor to see if it looks like the mystery floor. Will have to look again, though, because the cat was thinking I opened it for her to go exploring... Have you tried that? Will compare to the one in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 6:12AM
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fanner

Well, we have radiant heat so no registers. BUT, the vinyl extends into the connected pantry. I can pull the bottom cupboard drawer all the way out and see the hardwood there also. I'm %99.9 convinced that it is all hardwood. My main concern is what shape it is in under all of that. Where there might be glue or holes cut for various kitchen "upgrades" etc... One other issue is the fact that the cabinets a built on top of the underlayment and vinyl. That can be covered up with trim, but we will need a professional to do the careful cutting along the edges of the baseboards. All in all, though, it shouldn't cost us any more to have the old flooring pulled up and the hardwood repaired/replaced as needed, as opposed to just buying all new vinyl at a quality that I could tolerate ;) We have poured 10's of thousands into our exterior (I just posted about our new paint job!) so we can't afford much in the way of new flooring. So cost is a major factor at this point. Anywhoo, we can go into battle "together" on this challenge, lol!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 7:21AM
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kindred_ny

I'm looking forward to it!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 8:14AM
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jiggreen

I'm a couple of steps ahead of you in my foyer...we pulled up carpeting, then linoleum, then subflooring and got down to the original (200 year old) tongue and groove. It's definitely not "decorative hardwood flooring", it is the original functional floor boards. Perhaps this is what you have under all of that?

At some point in time apparently a PO had runners, and painted the wood around the runners. That paint is really hard to get off, so I do not know what we are going to do. For now I've cleaned the floor...I've sanded and sanded, but I don't think that's going to do the job on removing all of that yellowish paint, so I'm in a holding pattern right now.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 12:39PM
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Moccasin

How fascinating that three of you folks are digging deep into the history of what lies beneath your feet. It reads like an archeological dig in full swing.

I look forward to hearing what you each find out.

Just a thought here, based on what my DH told me about our house, which was built in 1950. He said that the roof decking in our house was tongue and groove boards, about 4 inches wide. And that same board, laid on the diagonal, is also what we found when we recently ripped out the bathroom floor.

Perhaps if you are short some tongue and groove you might take a look up in your attic for a source of lumber the same age to fill in for any damaged flooring. Just a possibility? Good luck everyone.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 5:43PM
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kindred_ny

What's got me so confused is the boards I see in the basement ceilling running perpendicular to the joists, then these boards running above those parallel to the joists. Would there be two sets of functional boards? So confused!!!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 6:44PM
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jiggreen

kindred ny, I don't know if this is the case in your situation, but underneath our subflooring, when we looked at a cross section (just like you did, from the top of the basement steps!!)...it appeared that we also had another set of (thick) boards between subflooring and original floorboards. When we ripped up the plywood subflooring, we found out that it was not truly another floor..instead it was boards that were nailed overtop of the subflooring, with about 18 inches in between each board. Here is a photo of hubby working at prying up the subflooring...it shows the boards that were running beneath the subflooring. Because there was a board laid at the entrance to the basement staircase, when we looked sideways at the layers of flooring, it had originally looked like yet another layer of flooring, but that was not the case.

As we worked our way towards the front of the foyer, the thickness of those boards, got thinner...they had used them to level out the flooring prior to installing the subfloor. Maybe that is the situation you are dealing with...you will only find out for sure when you get that subflooring up and can look underneath.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 10:15PM
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jiggreen

By the way...and I mention this because I am STILL so thrilled about it....that wall behind hubby? We found a DOOR in that wall! There is siding over it on the outside, and there was a wall over it on the inside..but something about that wall bugged me....so I had hubby remove the wall..and we found a door!

So, my advice to you...go with your gut, and indulge your curiosity. Eat your Wheaties and/or spinach and get that prybar out and do some exploring! You never know what you might find!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 10:28PM
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kindred_ny

Jiggreen, fascinating!!! That very well could explain the extra layer. Guess I won't know for sure until I get to work on it!
I laughed when you said you found a door. My mom was re-doing her living room (original part of circa 1860's home). because I told her she should ditch the 1960's paneling. She decided to do it. She,too,found a door! She remembered when she first moved in (early 60's) she and my father moved the very old, narrow stairway from the livingroom to the back of the house. Instead of closing up the doorway to the old stairway, they just closed the door and paneled over it! So now she has a new(vintage)knob on the door and has decorated around it!
BTW, how do you get pics in your post?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 10:10AM
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jiggreen

kindred, it's really easy to have the photos show up in your posting... I upload my pictures to photobucket.com and then underneath the photobucket photos will be several options...copy the code for "html", and then paste it into your gardenweb posting, like magic the picture will show up! Try it out!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 11:29AM
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kindred_ny

YEAH! I will! Thanks! :-)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 12:14PM
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kindred_ny

Jiggreen, are you considering moving the home's entrance to the hallway door? Or are you just leaving it decorative, like my mom did?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 1:31PM
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jiggreen

We have a summer kitchen, located directly behind our main house, which is currently not connected to our house. Next Spring, we intend to remove the siding from the outside of that door to finish exposing it and make it functional. We will also be constructing a breezeway/mudroom to connect the summer kitchen to the main house. The breezeway will be accessed via that door :)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 2:43PM
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kindred_ny

You must be SO excited for that project!!! I hope you will post pics!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 3:14PM
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kindred_ny

jiggreen, you're awesome! Thanks again for the help!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 5:17PM
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ks_toolgirl

Kindred, I'm not even going to TRY to pretend like I know what I'm talking about, however... I'm still going to "talk" & you take it with a grain (bag, lol) of salt, k?
From your pic, it looks like the T&G's are on the bottom, then another thick layer (which you're questioning, right?) And 1 more layer atop that? How thin is that top layer? It doesn't look thick or very strong, to have not "dipped" between the spaced boards if you had what jiggreen found, right? Or not? Someone else will know better than I!
Off topic, here.. But I gotta ask! Is that a live elecrical cord, and is it stapled/nailed there? From my small image (phone, as usual) I can't tell if it's that or a phone cord.
I'm enjoying following this one! :-)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 6:08PM
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kindred_ny

Toolgirl, that's the funny thing. In the basement I have boards (subfloor?) above the joists, going perpendicular. Then thease tongue and groove go parallel to the joists. I see what you're saying about the subfloor visable in the pics. It's very thin. I haven't noticed any sagging. That is a very valid thought, and one I hadn't thought of. It's taking every ounce of control I have to not rip it all up this minute and find out what's there! :-)But I won't be ready for the kitchen re-model until spring....
Oh, the cord you see is the phone cord. lol. This house has it's share of electrical issues,though! Like the fuse blowing every time we put the space heater in the bathroom and have the raido on... (space heater needed because of no insulation. Ahhh, the joys of old home ownership! lol

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 8:26PM
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jiggreen

Good job posting the picture!!! And Yikes ! that coral/pink color...I think the same person decorated my house and yours!!!!...I've been desperately painting since we moved in 3 months ago trying to rid our house of that exact same color! (Our whole house was painted 50 % that coral/pink color and 50% an institutional minty green...uggg!!)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 11:25PM
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kindred_ny

lol @ jiggreen! Yes, the color will have to go. I'm thankful it's only on the basement stairs, which no one really sees, but it's just nasty. Poor you with that AND minty green! Yuck! And, wow! You've only been there 3 months and you're tackling some prettty big projects! My hat is off to you ddefinitely!!!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 6:35AM
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ks_toolgirl

Omg, jiggreen & kindred - I think my mother may have decorated both of your houses! She's 73 now, and still paints her walls that color! Hee hee - she calls it peach, my sister calls it "flesh". :-)

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 2:40PM
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momofacacha

I pulled out my pink iron tub and found T&G floor boards under it. This is the first floor, the sub floor what have you. They run perpendicular to the joists and I see all of these 3-4inch boards from the basement. There is a black like sheet then a very thin board and then vinyl speckled flooring. Are these wood floors that everyone dreams of?? They built this house as a family and I know there is plywood under the living room rug. Are these original floors safe? Thick enough?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 7:09PM
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