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Old 08-31-2007, 02:07 PM   #1
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How to tell what hardwood...


So back in May I bought a nice relatively small stater home (built in 1912) and is approximately 1250 sq ft.

It had carpet throughout but as I expected there was hardwood underneath it. We ripped out the section in the dining room, initially I wanted to refinish it. I ended putting down a lamaniate floor that I now hate. What stopped me from giving a diy effort at refinishing was some planks where warped where it looked like water damage (outside traffic area) and I didn't think you could replace them. Of course after reading this forum and many other sites repair work on older hardwood is common.... which brings me to my next dilemma how do i determine what hardwood I have in my home?

My guess would be Pine or Oak but I want to be safe and I want to go find out how much replacement planks would cost. More than likely when I begin refinishing I will start upstairs where two rooms have hardwood exposed and it is not in horrid shape (although one room is/was stained reddish and I hope it comes off, I am more of a fan of natural hardwood colors).

My and the wifes end goal is all hardwood as we hate carpet (save for refinished basement)

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Old 08-31-2007, 02:56 PM   #2
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How to tell what hardwood...


Describing wood grains is..can you post a picture or two.

Pine was common in all area's of the house in very modest homes.

Pine in kitchen & bedrooms / oak in common areas in modest homes

Oak in most all other homes, except the kitchen was pine ( the wife or the maid did not rate oak).

Your problem will be red oak or white oak? plank width.. this will need to be milled, buying antique wood for replacement. Buying old wood will help blend your replacement planks. Aged wood will not take stain and/ or sealer the same way new (More freshly cut) wood will. This is all depends on the age of the tree, distance from the heart, and age when it was felled.

I love natural wood also, but consider being flexible on staining in the rooms you need to replace planks. Some tricks with stain might help blend the restoration.

Good luck

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Old 08-31-2007, 03:31 PM   #3
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How to tell what hardwood...


I will work on getting some pictures... might not be until monday I will how tonight goes as I want good lighting when I do it.
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:43 PM   #4
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How to tell what hardwood...


Close-ups with a tape measure and some 10' range please LOL
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:56 PM   #5
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How to tell what hardwood...


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Close-ups with a tape measure and some 10' range please LOL
10' range downstairs is a issue I will try accommodate much as i can but can't just go ripping up the laminate or old carpet ... have to keep the women happy
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:28 PM   #6
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How to tell what hardwood...


This are the upstair rooms with have a width of 2.5 inches (maybe a hair less)








The next two photos are the downstairs hardwood, this is the only section I could visibly photograph by I did verify it is the same all downstairs. The width downstairs appears to be 2 inches even.






My father is pretty insistent that it is hard yellow pine throughout the house but I figured I would see what the consensus is here.
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Old 09-06-2007, 08:33 AM   #7
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How to tell what hardwood...


PINE...

last picture... looks like pine with an Oak stain.

Take all your carpet up to check for conditions ( pet stains or other bigger problems) be fore you decide or have a back up plan for each covered area.

At your repair area you want to use antique no knot pine, plan on milling to the right width.

The good news is pine is prized for the cozy informal feel it gives.

Last edited by Big Bob; 09-06-2007 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 09-06-2007, 09:41 AM   #8
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How to tell what hardwood...


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PINE...

last picture... looks like pine with an Oak stain.

Take all your carpet up to check for conditions ( pet stains or other bigger problems) be fore you decide or have a back up plan for each covered area.

At your repair area you want to use antique no knot pine, plan on milling to the right width.

The good news is pine is prized for the cozy informal feel it gives.
The last one is stained? I thought that was natural look although it is a bit yellowish. I wonder what that would look like natural look.
The second from last is the bedroom it looks like it my have been finished at some point recently but extremely horribly done, there are so many uneven slopes and dips. I hope when I redo it that it will look better.

What places would I look for antique pine wood and the milling i will have to do myself?
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:03 AM   #9
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How to tell what hardwood...


I assume you are planning on sanding all the floors?

Last picture: Uniformity in color tone of wood grain plank to plank suggests stain to me. This could be a photo thing. Also top coat probably varnished years ago appears long gone from rubbing action of carpet & pad.

Sand a few test areas / wipe with mineral spirits / this will give you a good idea of how your natural finish will appear.

Know that your refinished pine will slowly darken with age. (This is not a bad thing)
You have an older home.. enjoy it. Don't try to make it look cookie cutter new.

Repair and refinish of Old pine floors can be a bit messy (lots of dust) furniture moving / etc. This can be a big job, hard work, equipment rentals, lots of sand paper, then more sand paper. You may want to get a price from a local flooring contractor. At least you might comfort yourself with the money you saved by DIY.

Source for antique pine can be tough. Seems like a few sources are in South Carolina: will mill to your specs +0R- a 16th be ready for min charges.

They salvage old lumber. Ask locally at your area lumber yard or at a local mill shop / big box stores will give you that deer in the headlights stare.

Good luck!
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:42 PM   #10
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How to tell what hardwood...


I know it will cost more than I want to spend plus this is a project I am really eager to do myself

I am going to be starting upstairs where save for the hallway and stairs are already exposed so I know there is no patchwork required. This I figure will give me good practice. Definitely sanding since they are really in need of it.

Not a band idea to try a test area, especially in the closet so it wouldn't be in plain view. (would hand sanding for that test be a bad idea?)

Another thought I was thinking is just ripping up all the old carpet (this carpet is gross, at least 25 yrs old i think and stains and other crap) downstairs cleaning all the crap up and then using less expensive area rugs as a temporary solution to any really bad spots... this will of course require the wifes approval hehe... I know one of her concerns will be the thing we noticed when i took out the dining room carpet before we moved in and in the traffic area where you go to the kitchen there was like this black stuff caked on I assume from the padding from the carpet and I was unsure how to get it up.

I know the upstairs is fairly straight foreword just will take time and patience but downstairs is fun due to those patch spots in addition to the fact that i would like to take out a wall (living room going into front/sun room) and make it one big living room and weather or not I could patch the hardwood where the wall was (although I suppose I could live with carpet there.)

I will check out local lumber and mill places....

Thanks again! Hopefully sometime soon I have the money to start this project (at least the upstairs)

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