When to replace a softwood floor.. And with what??

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Old 07-08-15, 04:55 PM
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When to replace a softwood floor.. And with what??

My spouse and I are thinking of buying a home from our relatives. The house was built in the 1960's and has softwood floors in the kitchen and entryway.

Well, our family is a little particular about the condition of the floor. Since its in a high-traffic area, it's been dinged and scratched and refinished multiple times since they moved in in the 1980's.

The floor has gaps, and feels thin in spots. There are places where you can see the finished basement below from the kitchen!

Personally, I don't like the high gloss finish on it, and I know that it'll continue to get abused by my dog, my spouse, our future kids and the occasional pair of high heels after we move in.

My question is this- when do I know it's absolutely time to replace it? Is it possible to use it as a subfloor for something more durable?

Since I'm very new to this, I'd also love to know what you'd chose to replace it, repair it, or cover it up. Thanks!
 
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Old 07-08-15, 05:09 PM
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Must be a really old house if that's the way it was done.
Lot of different ways to address the issue, none are cheap or easy.
Without more info and some pictures hard to make any suggestions.
Soft floors does not tell us much, pine?
If there in good shape and flat you may be able to add some decking screws to what's there now and add subfloor rated plywood or Advantec over it.
Depends on what you intend to use for a finished floor.
 
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Old 07-08-15, 05:15 PM
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My question is this- when do I know it's absolutely time to replace it?
Since you are married, that answer is when your wife tells you to replace it. As far as replacement goes, I like rubberized flooring.

Rubber Flooring Rolls - Rolled Rubber Flooring, Rubber Mat Roll
 
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Old 07-09-15, 03:23 AM
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Welcome to the forums Rachel!

A satin finish generally looks better on worn or distressed floors than a shinier finish. Usually it's ok to floor over what you have but a lot depends on the condition of the current floor and what is going to be used for the new floor. As long as the existing floor is safe, you don't need to replace/cover it up until your wants/budget says so
 
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Old 07-09-15, 04:05 AM
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There are many styles of floating floors that you can put over the top of the existing floor without having to remove. Look into engineered click lock flooring as an excellent option. Comes in pretty much any style wood you like. The top layer is actual wood so you get all the warmth without the complication of a nail down installation.
 
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Old 07-09-15, 05:16 AM
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If you can see the basement through the floor, you can see the floor from the basement, so check it out, and you very possibly will see that this type of flooring runs throughout the entire first floor. Or, if it has already been replaced in some areas, and you may be able to see the printing on the plywood to know exactly what was used in the past. We have run into a number of homes like this, where the original flooring was worn, previous owners either didn't want to mess with it or were tired of it, so they carpeted over it, and we were able to go back and salvage it. Takes some work to get the staples out, etc., but, in my opinion, well worth the time. You won't find them through the big box stores, more likely through one of your local independent lumber yards, but there are crews that can make those floors look great again. The primary floor refinisher that we use has a large inventory of old flooring they have removed from other projects, and they can piece in as needed to get it back to its' original intended look. And, as Mark said, a satin finish will make it look better, and not show as much of what you are concerned with. If this does not appeal to you, I would start by checking the finish floor height changes from this floor to the others, to see how much you may want to build it up, but would probably end up going with a floating floor or vinyl.
 
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Old 07-09-15, 08:09 AM
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Since you are married, that answer is when your wife tells you to replace it.
Umm... Pulpo - this is the wife asking the question.

Rachel: Good questions so far, we'll wait on your answers to provide more specific advice for you.
 
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Old 07-09-15, 02:39 PM
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Umm... Pulpo - this is the wife asking the question.
stickshift, you're 100% correct

Rachel, tell us the truth, you want a new floor immediately. Am I right?
 
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Old 07-15-15, 09:51 AM
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Personally, I don't mind a satin or distressed finish in a floor, but because the floor feels thin, and has gaps which allow you to see the basement underneath, I'm wondering if it's safe. I'm also concerned about resale value to some extent!

I do thinking that the pine boards run the entire span of the first floor, and there are carpets laid in two rooms on the first floor. The floor is thinnest in the kitchen... it sounds like I should probably have a contractor come and look at it!
 
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Old 07-15-15, 11:16 AM
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Can you measure between the cracks to find out how thick the boards are? Do they feel unstable when you walk on them? The gaps don't necessarily make the floor unsafe but if the floor has give to it - I'd be concerned.
 
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Old 07-15-15, 11:19 AM
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The safety of a floor is determined mainly by the beams & joists not by the finished section. Look at the structure from underneath. Post some pics from the top & bottom, if you are not sure.
 
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Old 07-15-15, 11:26 AM
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I'm assuming that the concern is the boards being too thin ..... which would make them give between joists.
 
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Old 07-15-15, 11:27 AM
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Old 07-15-15, 11:51 AM
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marksr, even if the boards are too thin & have an unusual amount of give, the underlying structure should be checked first.
 
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