Is it possible to use old subfloor as current floor?


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Old 08-05-14, 10:46 AM
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Is it possible to use old subfloor as current floor?

Hey all,

I've been watching too much DIY network and it has led me to realize that the old flooring in my house is wooden plank flooring about 6" wide. My question is: Is it possible to strip off all of the existing flooring and use this plank flooring as my current hardwood?

The house was built in 1885 and has been remodeled many times since then. The current carpets are completely soiled with animal nastiness and need to be removed, and the laminate hardwood that they put in the living areas is incredibly dated. Underneath the kitchen tiles is at least 2 layers of laminate and some plywood subfloor, but under that is still this wood planking.

The wood seems to be in fairly good condition through out the house when looking at it from underneath, and I can see that only small areas of it were ever nailed through, leading me to believe that it was the original flooring not just a subfloor underneath. The attached picture is from the crawlspace looking up up at an area that I lightly sanded to see the characteristics of the wood. There are areas of the house that have been added since the original house was built, so I would have to replace some of the plywood subfloor with similar wood if I could find it.

Thanks for taking the time to read, I've seen similar projects done from looking online, but there isn't too much information available on the subject.

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Old 08-05-14, 11:02 AM
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Short answer is maybe. I would uncover some from the top and see what you're actually going to have to deal with here.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 11:15 AM
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If you decide to go with the subfloor planks as your finished floor - it will have a rustic look to it. You won't have the tight fit that you get with regular hardwood flooring. Some of the gaps might be wider than you want but it might be a viable option, hard to say until you expose it all.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 11:23 AM
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Alright, looks like more demo tonight then huh? The dining room has laminate placed directly on top of this subfloor and I never use the room, so I could pull out a couple of pieces to get a better look at it.

I'll post more pics tonight of the top side if you want to check back in about 7 hours.
 
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Old 08-06-14, 09:37 AM
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Sorry for the lack of pics last night, turns out you can't post pictures from your phone on this site....

Here's a couple of pics of the hardwood that was buried underneath the laminate, but is above this subfloor.

Now I need a whole different level of advice.

There are some areas that the floor has been replaced by plywood (presumably due to damage), is there anything that can be done to repair that?

How can I go about pulling plywood subflooring off the top of this hardwood? The kitchen and hallway both have the hardwood underneath plywood and I would like to minimize the amount of damage I cause.

Finally for now, should we paint the rooms before we sand/finish the floors? or should we do the floors then paint?

Looks like another fun project!
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Old 08-06-14, 09:57 AM
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Finally for now, should we paint the rooms before we sand/finish the floors? or should we do the floors then paint?
finish the floors LAST

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Old 08-06-14, 10:01 AM
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Johnsc: That's what I thought and just wanted to confirm.

I'd rather have to fix a bit of stain on the wall then fix a paint spot on newly finished floors.
 

Last edited by Deaner13; 08-06-14 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 08-06-14, 10:28 AM
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Ya, it's easier/quicker to touch up the wall than to cover up the floor. Either is doable but painting first is preferred.

Your floors look like they might clean up nicely
 
 

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