Salvage hardwood worth the effort?


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Old 06-19-07, 11:02 AM
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Salvage hardwood worth the effort?

There is a demolition planned for a 1987 home with 1,400 sq. ft. of hardwoods, and they are selling off materials. Owner says it looks like white oak with a dark finish. She also says it is nailed in some pplaces and glued in others. The floor is dull, dry and scuffed looking...(if that makes sense). But I am thinking it just needs to be sanded and re-finished.

How hard is this? My husband is not convinced it is worth the effort, though he does have several weeks off now because he teaches. We need about 1,000 sq. feet of good material, and have never done this before. Once they move out, we would have about 2 weeks to get it removed.

My questions:
-what if we run just a tad short? Could we buy other white oak and expect it to match once it was refinished?

-Why would someone finish a white oak with a dark stain? Aren't there darker woods to beging with. And is that why it has a scuffed look?

-We read the wood needs to acclimate before installing. Is that true of a used floor also?

-how hard is it? We DIY a lot, but never something this challenging....the installation alone looks like a job. And then we have the removal on top of it. But it could save a few thousand which is a lot of money to me.

-In Atlanta, we have seen a new trend of turning the direction of the boards where rooms meet. Not just one board, like a flush threshold, but the entire room is laid the other way. Is that just "cool" now or is there another reason?

Thanks for any help or experience you can offer.
 
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Old 06-19-07, 11:16 AM
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#1 You can purchase more white oak.

#2 Stain color is a matter of personal choice. Some prefer to leave wood natural, and others prefer to stain. If finish is scuffed, it's from use and abuse. You will likely want to sand and refinish the wood after installation. You can leave it natural or stain it.

#3 Wood should acclimate for several days to temperature and humidity of rooms where it is to be installed.

#4 Many recycle building materials, including hardwood flooring. With some effort and patience, the hardwood can be removed. Expect some damage to tongues. As long as there is some tongue, the boards can still be nailed. You'll need some nail sets to drive nails through the boards and a pry bar to lift them. Some helpers would be a good idea, too.

#5 Hardwood flooring is installed perpendicular to floor joists, as joists have to support the weight of the wood.

Go to www.nofma.org and click Publications and download for free the technical manual on installing hardwood floors. There is also a technical manual on finishing wood floors.
 
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Old 06-19-07, 01:11 PM
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Removing floor?

Thanks for previous comments. A few more questions:

- Could I sand off the old finish BEFORE removing the flooring? I am thinking I would rather have the dust in their empty plow-down house than my current lived-in home (with 2 small children).

-How would I remove the hardwood if it is glued down? I have not pulled any up yet, but the owner says some is nailed and some is glued.

- Could you explain "nail sets to drive nails through the boards"? What is a "nail set"?

-Have you ever done it? Does it take more strength...or patience & perseverance....or skill?

thanks so much!!
Cynthia
 
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Old 06-19-07, 01:42 PM
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#1 Sanding is done after floor is installed. That way boards are clean and flat.

#2 Glued and nailed? That would indeed be a challenge. I would want to see how easy a few boards come up before considering taking on such a project.

#3 A nail set or punch is somewhat like a big nail that is hit with a hammer to countersink nails or drive them all the way through the board.

#4 I have not done this project, although I have talked with people who have salvaged hardwood flooring from older structures. Does it take more strength...or patience & perseverance....or skill? All of these.

There are companies that salvage hardwood flooring and sell it as distressed flooring. Many will tell you that you will lose 20-25% or more removing the wood.

Perhaps reading this thread will help you make up your mind about salvaging the floor. http://boards.hgtvpro.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/2601029981/m/1241038542
 
 

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