Hardwood on top of hardwood subfloor?

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Old 01-23-08, 09:16 AM
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Hardwood on top of hardwood subfloor?

I could use a little help here. I bought a 1928 Bungalow that has the original hardwood flooring. From the basement, all the wood looks incredible, just unfinished. On the topside, it has a decent finish, but I would like to install a new hardwood floor as the one I have now has a patch from an old coal furnace that came up through the floor. (Also has the old piping in the ceilings from the gas lights installed throughout the house to give you an idea of how old it is).

My question is, can I just lay down 3/4" hardwood on top of the old hardwood, using it as the subfloor? If so, can I run the new flooring in the same direction as the old boards, or do I have to run it perpendicular to the old boards? What problems might arise from nailing the new floor to the old?

Thanks for your help
 
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Old 01-23-08, 10:00 AM
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If the old floor is solid/level/not full of squeaks - you can lay new hardwood over it in any direction. You've got (if solid) one of the beefiest subfloors you can get. I've got to question your methodology though. For a lot less $$ - you can have that floor patched where the holes/bad wood/damage is - have the entire floor sanded/stained/sealed - and end up saving money, trees, and the character of the original finish.

I had similar issues with the hardwood floors in my 1920's home. As an ambitious DIYer - I took up the entire floor - cleaned up the boards (quite a chore) and reinstalled it after tightening/leveling the original subfloor (No more squeaks). I had to add about 20% new wood to compensate for damaged planks. Once the floor finishers got done ($2.75/sq ft) - the finished product is absolutely gorgeous. I got a "new floor" (600sq.ft) for a total cost of just under $2000. And, best of all, I can tell my wife not to complain about my lack of "recycling to save the world" - when I toss a beer bottle in the trash.
 
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Old 01-24-08, 09:15 AM
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Well, I guess here is my dilemma. Over the last 80 years, the people before me were not so careful with the finish in some spots, so I suppose I could just replace the boards that need to be replaced and have the floors refinished. The will mean pulling up the floor though. The hardwood floor has NO subfloor. The hardwood floor is actually just laid over the floor joists (I can't tell from the basement how it is secured so well). There are no squeaky boards at all. There is only one board, about 4 feet long that I can see light come through from the basement.

My thinking was this. I will have to take up the floor to repair it. Then pay to have it sanded, stained, and refinished. The thinking was to put a new floor over the old. For about $4 a square foot, I can install a new hardwood myself. I have done one before at my parents. My room is about 22' x 12', so that comes to be about 260 sqft. I figured this would be easiest and most cost effeicient?
 
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Old 01-24-08, 09:45 AM
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No subfloor? Ouch... That makes your existing floor your subfloor. Everyone figures costs differently - - - From my point of view - raw wood (select grade) costs about $2/sq.ft. -- Figure your labor is free (love the DIY aspect). Cost to have it professionally sanded/stained/sealed is around $2.75/ft in my region - bringing the finished cost to right around $5/sq.ft. (I don't sand/stain/refinish as, in my opinion, it's best left to the pros).

Boils down to cost - and how much you can do yourself - "comfortably and with good results".
 
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