In Search of Flooring Solutions

by projectbuddy

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“From the top down” has been my approach to renovating and restoring the dining and living rooms. After finishing the ceiling, moving down to the walls, it’s now time to consider the floors in those rooms. This has worked well since dust and drips fall downward. Some things are easy.

What’s not so easy is deciding what to do with these floors. (Don’t be fooled by the picture above. This one is “nice.” As you scroll down you’ll see what I mean.) On my first day as a homeowner, my first project was removing the old carpeting and padding, fused in places to the floorboards, soiled by cats, and discolored by years and heavy traffic and sunlight. It was tough.

As a new old house homeowner, you seldom think about all of the tough work ahead. You are just happy to no longer be paying rent. My heart sank as I began cutting and pulling up sections of carpeting. There was water damage, rotting boards, damp places. A real disaster.

This weekend I cleared out as much as possible to take another good look at these floors and to better decide what to do without any old rugs, painters drop clothes, furniture, or tools to cover up the problems. There are some beautiful boards. There are some big problems too.

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This is another view looking towards the dining room. The thick piece of plywood in the foreground is covering a hole where an old oil heater had once been.

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This photograph shows a very good section of the floor with only a few scratches that would be fairly easy to make less noticeable. The color of the floor boards is particularly nice in this photograph.

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This is a close up view that shows some of the minor issues (yes, minor) that would need to be addressed to preserve the floor. There are loose boards, chipped out boards, sections that show interior rot (even though the room side is presentable) due to moisture, and cracks from shrinkage that had once been filled with an unknown product.

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This is just about the worst spot in the living room floor. This extreme discoloration and rot was caused by moisture trapped between the carpeting and the rug for many years. Although not obvious until the carpeting was removed, this is a major problem if the floor is to be preserved in some way.

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This would make a really nice beginning to a horror movie titled “It Came From Beneath the House.” I’ve intentionally used a very dark photograph because the damage is really that bad. This was mainly caused by moisture that was trapped between the floor and carpeting around the heating/AC system vents.

These photographs were taken January 2014.

To pick up where I finally decided how to approach this challenge, please check out this post “Stop! Read This Before You Cover, Destroy, Or Otherwise Obliterate That Old Floor!”.