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Old 07-31-2009, 10:36 PM   #1
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Hardwood floor questions (56K)

Hello all! Can't believe it took me this long to join this forum!

I'll cut to the chase: we recently bought a condo with old hardwood floors (we're talking 1953 here). I believe it is white or red oak, in 1-1/4" strips by 3/4".
The floor is generally in good shape (minus a few squeaks and creaks, which I will nail down), but the bedroom had some noticeable humps, and a real bad sink near the radiator (hot water leak...). It also had a lot of play in certain areas (as much as 1/4-1/2" deflection! Right now I'm in the process of removing the bedroom floor in order to fix the subfloor, which happens to be 1x4 planks nailed on a diagonal (yea...its old). Since most of the construction sits on this subfloor, removing it is out of the question. My approach is to remove any weak/rotten boards and splicing in new ones over the joists. I will drive a few hundred screws into the planks as well, to minimize squeaking. Do you think it is worth skimcoating these boards to ensure they are even, and reduce flexing in the flooring above? You can see the floor being removed by my BIL, and the subfloor planks behind past the construction paper...

Next step I would want to do is sound proof the floor while adding some structural rigidity on top of the planks. I'm thinking of using 440 Sound Barrier by homasote for this (from HD), although I'm a bit concerned about its water absorbtion properties (can't be worse than wood however). Any sound advice on this material? Should I still use rosin paper on top of it? Or should I just instal plain old plywood and roll out a sheet of soundproofing material or cork? Homasote instructions don't specify whether the floor can be nailed to or through their product...

As for the hardwood, unfortunately we live on the 2nd floor, and the bylaws require us to instal carpeting. Because of this I am lenient on investing in a new hardwood floor, and would rather refinish this floor. Since some of the boards are ruined, I will be be using some unfinished 2-1/4" red or white oak every few boards to develop a pattern. Installation will be done with a manual nailer ($100 from a friend). One thing I noticed, which may have lead to many of the humps in the floor, is that the floor was laid tightly against the walls. I believe there is supposed to be at least a small gap between the two. Any special instructions on nailing these considreing they are not the standard width all instructables cover?

Refinishing is currently my biggest dillema. I am debating on whether or not to rent a drum sander for this floor... The project will get very expensive quickly if I choose to rent equipment, however it will be quicker and easier... The biggest thing to remember is that this floor is old, and especially in the areas where it has warped or sank it will need more tender attention. I'm actually juggling the idea of using a handheld belt sander for the job, but redoing the whole floor will probably take me a week (500 sqft of total floor). The bedroom will sort of be my prooving grounds, since it will be carpeted. We will be using area rugs in the living room on the other hand, so the stain and finish there has to look good.

Any suggestions are welcome! I know the carpet and pad will provide some sound insulation, but since I have the floor out, I simply cannot resist throwing something extra down...Thanks in advance!


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Old 08-02-2009, 01:08 PM   #2
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