Century home pine wood flooring: Patch or replace?

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Old 02-06-14, 05:18 AM
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Lightbulb Century home pine wood flooring: Patch or replace?

Hello! My wife and I bought our 100-year-old home about one year ago. One of the first projects I took on was tearing down a wall that divided two very small rooms in order to make a large master bedroom, and ripping up the old carpet and linoleum flooring in order to uncover the wood floor underneath.

That's when things got complicated.

It turns out our softwood floor (pine, I think) has been cut into many times in the past for various renovations. My initial plan was to patch a few sections and refinish, but given the number of missing sections, I'm not sure what to do. Pictures are below. (The floor is extra dusty since I had just exposed that brick!)

What would you do in my situation?

Try and patch the floor in order to keep the original boards, or install new hardwood? And if we go with new hardwood, do we rip up the existing floor or install overtop of what we have?

You can see the section where the wall was taken out (that's the long strip dividing the room), where some plain boards had been used to fill a gap (the triangular section), and where plywood was nailed into the softwood to install about five layers of flooring on top.

The room is 15 x 17 feet. Thank you!
 
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Old 02-06-14, 06:02 AM
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Why is there a pipe in the middle of the room?

Any old house I've ever worked on used under sized, over spanned, notched floor joist.
So the floor almost always has sagged in the middle, dropped down on the outside edges and often low in the middle of the roof from a sinking footing.
Sound about right so far?
If the floor system is not address under what goes down as a finished floor it may end up showing gaps, squeaking and have floor bounce.
If that was my house I'd get rid of all that old pine flooring, remove all the old pine 1X's, jack up the center beam if it's sunk, and add more footing and piers to support it, address the lack a center of a center support beam by adding one and the needed footings and piers, sister any sagging or cracked joist.
Add blocking between the floor joist.
Then go over the whole thing with 3/4" Advantech T & G subflooring that installed with construction adhesive on top of the floor joist and 8D ring shanked nails every 6".
Vapor barrier then prefinished or engineered word wood flooring.
Then you would have a rock solid real wood floor with no gaps like you have now.
 
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Old 02-06-14, 06:29 AM
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>> Why is there a pipe in the middle of the room?

Thanks for the reply! I wish I knew.

This room is on the second floor above the kitchen, so it may have been from an old stove pipe. The ceiling on that part of our first floor appears to have been "dropped," as well, which means there's a confusing mess of things underneath this floor. Nearly two feet of space between the first and second level. From what I can tell (from dates stamped on wood, and an old penny), most of this work happened in the late 70s.

Here are photos showing underneath the floor. (Taken by leaning down in the hole). Can you help identify what I'm looking at?
 
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Old 02-06-14, 06:34 AM
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I suspect the ceiling was lowered at one point so they could better heat the house.

Personally, I like the old floors and rustic feel they give but whether or not to save them would depend on how much wood I could salvage from other rooms [or elsewhere] to lace in the repairs. It's next to impossible to finish new wood to look like adjacent old wood.

btw - welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 02-06-14, 07:20 AM
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Thanks Mark! I'm certain I'll be posting often in the future.

I also like the old, rustic look of the floors. It creaks, but so does everything else in the house.

Unfortunately, there's nowhere else that I can pull boards from. Could I rearrange and consolidate the existing boards that are here? (i.e., pull the boards from the right hand side of the room to fill in gaps on the left, and then put new boards in on the right side).

Ultimately, it comes down to what costs less: patching the floor, or putting in something new.
 
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Old 02-06-14, 09:53 AM
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You'd really need to pull the boards out of another room, have some rooms with the old and the room [s] where you robbed the boards would be floored with new wood or some other type of flooring.

Discounting labor, repairing is always cheaper but replacement is often quicker.
 
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