120 yr old home with plank subfloor can this be used for new hardwood

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Old 06-22-13, 08:33 PM
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Question 120 yr old home with plank subfloor can this be used for new hardwood

I am in the process of removing the old hardwood flooring from a 120 year old home. The subfloor is a diagonal plank that is 1" thick. The problem is these planks have hole from knots that have either fallen out or decayed. There are also areas of wood that splintered from age. Nothing in this home is built to any specific 16 OC and the planks are similar but varied widths with space between them ranging from 1/8 to 5/8" spacing. My husband talked about replacing them but they run under the walls. I plan to install new 3/4 x 3 1/4" Brazilian teak. I am thinking I may need to install a plywood subfloor but that interferes with the tiling in front of the fireplace. I know a proper subfloor is essential before laying the hardwood. We are also thinking about sanding the boards to try to get them to a better state and closer to being level since the thickness also varies. Any suggestions for the knot holes (that can be 2" in diameter) would be appreciated.
 
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Old 06-23-13, 03:39 AM
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Welcome to the forums! I guess the hardwood can't be salvaged and refinished, right? Hate that. It may help us to help you if we could see what you see. The tile area especially in relation to the flooring. How big is the tiled area? What type tile, etc. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html

You will need at least a 1/2" plywood base over the existing planking. I would not remove the planking, as you say, it goes under the walls. Although it is not an unsurmountable project, just a lot of work that may not be necessary. We'll wait on the pix for further advice.
 
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Old 06-23-13, 07:09 AM
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Any old house I've ever working on has over spanned, under sized floor joist which will cause sags in the middle of the floor.
May want to pull a brick string tight across that floor to see just how far it's out before doing anything.
It's not the big a deal to remove that old one X subfloor. I use a Toe Kick saw and a sawsall or oscillating saw to cut out the corners and a Gutster index pry bar to pop them out. That way I can get to the floor joist.
Often times there needs to be a few footings pored and a support beam installed in the middle of the spans.
 
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Old 06-24-13, 05:00 AM
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Sounds like you are looking at my home. I have very similar sub-floor (~1"x8", rough cut planks).

As others had mentioned, I wouldn't consider replacing it. Getting it out from under walls (and supporting those walls in the mean time...), will be one heck of an undertaking.

I would start by looking at the condition of your floor as Joe mentioned.
Is it flat?
Is it reasonably level or have a noticeable slope? I say reasonably level as you probably can't get perfect in an old house.
What size and shape are the joists in? They may require support through sistering with another joist, replacement or other supports.

Once the subfloor is straight(ish) and ready to work, the large knot holes can be filled with wood filer. Simply screw a small piece of plywood or similar (~1/4" to 1/2" thick) on the underside of the subfloor covering the larger, then fill with wood filter. I'd keep this for the larger holes only and not worry about the small stuff.
Once everything is squar(ish) and good to go, glue and screw down your sub-floor, 1/2" plywood as Larry suggested.
 
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Old 06-24-13, 05:35 AM
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#1 There is no need to remove what's under the walls, just need the old deck boards to come out. A Toe Kick Saw will cut right up tight to the walls once the baseboards removed.
There's 0 need to spend time filling in knot holes if you going over it with plywood.
Plywood installed as an underlayment would never be glued down to the subflooring. You would end up with gaps and a high places.
If you do not remove the old subflooring and address the problems with the floor joist just laying 1/2" plywood over it will just follow the highs and lows of the subflooring.
 
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Old 06-24-13, 02:20 PM
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Thank you. I will post some pictures later this week since I am out of town on business the first few days of the week.
 
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Old 06-24-13, 02:27 PM
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joecaption1,
The floors have sagged at spots even with a large beam in the center of the house, which we have installed several metal post supports. There is a full basement below.
 
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Old 06-24-13, 02:33 PM
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Northern Mike,
Thanks for the advice. I had thought about filling the holes. Sanding the entire floor is something we thought might help with the uneven boards to some extent. I think the joists are 2" (a full 2" inches not like today's wood) x 10 or 12". As I mentioned I am out of town on business until Thursday when I can get accurate measurements. We are probably going to screw down the planks since many are loose.
 
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