Finishing subfloor, or...

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  #1  
Old 01-07-16, 05:22 AM
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Finishing subfloor, or...

Hey, I have a few questions I'd really appreciate some opinions on. First one is - below the plywood in my entire house are these 6" or so wood planks. Not sure what kind of wood, I'm assuming pine. If it is pine, maybe yellow? Will attach picture down below. My second question though, is - The baseboard moulding was installed before the plywood, because the plywood is in front of (or next to I guess you'd say) the moulding. Isn't that strange? We are there third owners, the house was built in 1968, but could there possibly be finished planks below the plywood, or maybe even hardwood? I've started chipping away at some plywood upstairs to try and take up one of the little squares to see what's underneath, but it's so difficult. I'm scared of using a circular saw and cutting a square because I don't want to ruin any good wood that might be under it. Any advice would be great!
 
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Old 01-07-16, 05:27 AM
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It's doubtful it's hardwood, probably T&G pine subfloor with the plywood added at a later date. If yous set the depth of your skil saw just short of cutting thru the plywood you should be able to remove a section of the plywood easier.

Is it possible to inspect the wood from below? or along the edge of a HVAC vent?
 
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Old 01-07-16, 05:29 AM
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https://plus.google.com/108624021046...ts/c1MPor8UgXR



Link to picture above ^^^ I hope it works.
 
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Old 01-07-16, 05:35 AM
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That looks like white pine.
 
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Old 01-07-16, 05:35 AM
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I will attempt to use the saw today and do that, I need to woman up and just do it! I do believe it is T&G, I see a little section by the fireplace in the basement and that stuff is T&G, and I went up into our attic yesterday and there is also some in there as well. We have a couple of vents, but they are newer so the lowest wood I see is the plywood. There's also an orange-y looking paper between the ply and subfloor planks I came in contact with while I was chipping away at it yesterday, why would that be? Is it normal? Maybe because the planks were previously finished?
 

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Old 01-07-16, 06:03 AM
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The orange kraft paper is there as a vapor barrier and also it helps quiet the floor down. The fact that your molding goes behind the plywood tells me that there should be a finished floor underneath. I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess finished pine. If there was hardwood, I would have suspected the subfloor would have been set on the 45 degree plane so that the hardwood could be set perpendicular to the floor joists.
 
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Old 01-07-16, 06:40 AM
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I got the saw out being super careful not to cut through to the pine, and finally got a little square up. https://plus.google.com/108624021046...ts/99YWPgay13U
Hopefully that picture link worked. All I see is some water damage, I assume from our crummy windows, they leak and ALWAYS have condensation on the inside, that's a near future project. Anyways, there is a small gap between planks, and there's the same size gap between the planks and moulding. Is this okay? My thinking is - as long as I seal everything really well it could work. Or is there a way to fix this myself somehow? As in add little thin pieces of wood? I don't know all the lingo, sorry guys. Also, the planks aren't all flush with each other.. But I like the rustic look so thats fine with me. I'm just unsure if it will create problems in the future. We're trying not to hire anybody, but I totally get it if there's nothing I can do, don't be afraid to let me know. The nails are all uniform so they don't look bad at all, just need to be hammered down some. What are everyone's thoughts? I hope all that made sense, I go off on rants sometimes. Anyways, thanks in advance!
 

Last edited by TaylorHuntress; 01-07-16 at 06:58 AM. Reason: I guess I should proof read a little better.
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Old 01-07-16, 06:50 AM
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but could there possibly be finished planks below the plywood, or maybe even hardwood
I don't know what species it is, but that's #2 Pine planks. I doubt if it's finished under the plywood.
If it was a finished floor, the 3/4" planks would be the only thing separating your floor from the cold, and that wouldn't be very practical. In a house built in the 1800's I would expect to see a finished plank floor, but not in 1968.
 
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Old 01-07-16, 08:54 AM
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I agree, the pine is the original sub floor. I have seen pine like that finished but only on low budget cabins, it's not something that would wear well.
 
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Old 01-07-16, 11:36 AM
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https://plus.google.com/108624021046...ts/hAmzYcHa8V1

^Theres an update^

I'm liking it so far, and it's holding up, I've barely put any dents in the floor with all I've been doing in there today. I'm going to attempt to sand and finish it. Wish me luck!

Any opinions on what to use to seal it? Obviously something that will make it as durable as possible, but also that won't change the color too far from natural.

Thanks again guys!
 
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Old 01-07-16, 01:48 PM
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Oil base poly is more durable than most water based polys. Oil base will deepen the colors that are naturally in the wood and amber some as it ages. Personally I like that look but some don't. Water based polys go on milky, dry clear and don't change the color of the wood any. Since pine doesn't wear as well as hardwood I'd probably use a satin poly ..... so worn spots/dents don't show as well.

It generally takes 3 coats of poly, sanding between coats and removing the sanding dust.
 
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Old 01-12-16, 10:28 AM
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Update

I just wanted to update everybody. Despite all of the questions and 'what ifs' this floor has seen, I decided to go for it. I definitely didn't do it the right way, but I did do it in a way that left the wear, and also left as much of the wood present as possible. I could have rented a floor sander, but I'm fine with the finished product, and think my house will look great when all of the floors are done. It was hard work, using a small little 5" random orbital sander (I know, it's weird), and being the only one that worked on it. The price, though, is what sold me on it all! I think I spent $60 for everything. Each room will end up costing me around $50, that's a can of poly and a lambswool applicator. I can't wait until I get all of the trim painted white, that's when the room will look more complete and I'll get to see my hard work come together a little more.
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  #13  
Old 01-12-16, 11:03 AM
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Dang, that looks nice!

Thanks for the update.
 
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