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kilroyrock 03-26-2010 10:39 AM

Going back to original flooring in Baltimore House
Hey everyone, I've been searching for days, I can't decide what to do.

I'm buying an old Baltimore rowhouse, built in 1900. House is in fantastic shape, everything is great, except the flooring in the living room and dining room is linoleum. And ugly linoleum at that!

I would like wood floors, to match the second floor. These houses have the original thick red pine floors that you just can't buy anymore. I looked into a forced air vent, and this is what I saw:

Linoleum layer
Linoleum Layer
Wood floor.

From what I'm told, if the subfloor was done right, there will be nail holes every sq foot from securing it to the original floor.

Is it worth it to pull all this up, and refinish those original floors?

Or should I just float a floor on top of all this, where I can only afford to have laminate or cheap engineered wood?

The area in mind is about 552 sq ft.

Any suggestions/things to expect would be greatly appreciated!

oh'mike 03-26-2010 06:04 PM

The pine floor will be filled with nail holes---However--you may find that they are still worth saving.

I worked on an old place--1863--maple floors--after the insulting floor coverings were pulled out the floors were sanded--filled and finish sanded and finished---It looked good.--

Sure there were the scars of time--but in that antique house it just looked right.--Mike--

rusty baker 03-26-2010 06:39 PM

Those nail holes will just add character.

chrisn 03-27-2010 04:53 AM

Is it worth it to pull all this up, and refinish those original floors?

Absolutely, no question about it.:yes:

kilroyrock 03-29-2010 09:53 AM

Ok, you've convinced me. I'm going for it.

I'll post a couple pics so you can see the pain I've gotten myself in to :)


cellophane 03-29-2010 10:19 AM


Originally Posted by rusty baker (Post 420112)
Those nail holes will just add character.

I pulled up a few layers of older flooring to get down to the original wood floor in my kitchen and now that it is finished it looks fantastic!

It was slow, hard work but totally worth it. I would recommend buying or renting a shingle removal tool to tear up the old tiles. The teeth on it will pop a lot of the nails out that a floor scraper wouldn't hit. If you can find one with an angled or triangular head on it you will be able to get some additional leverage to tear up the tiles and nails. Once that is done you will have to go through on your hands and knees and pull or set any nails that were missed. It's not a fast process to do it well.

My kitchen was about the same size as the area you are working on. It took about 8 hours to tear up the old flooring (two separate installations each with nails about 1' o.c.) and another 8 or so hours to pull / set all the nails. This was spaced out over a few days.

You will also need the more obvious equipment like a prybar of some sort, a hammer, glasses and a dust mask. I would also get some knee pads ;)

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