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Old 04-04-2011, 10:21 PM   #1
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What to do with this Kitchen floor?!?!

I am just starting to redo an old house that I bought. The kitchen is ~230 square feet. I am rearanging the counters, so I cannot keep the current tile. The floor is hardwood covered with thin plywood, maybe 1/4" then linoleum, then another layer of plywood, then more linoleum, then tile backerboard with drywall screws every 6" or so, then tile... There are also 2 layers of some roofing felt type paper, but one side is blue, mixed in.

I have only torn up a few sq inches, just to see what I was dealing with.

I would like to refinish the hardwood floors, but I'm not sure if all the screw holes would make it look too bad or not. And, it is going to be a PAIN to remove all of the other flooring. The screw heads are filled with mortar, so a phillips bit won't work. Do they make some sort of bit that "clamps" around the head of a screw?

Should I just remove the old tile and lay new over the existing backerboard? Should I go to the trouble of removing everything and hoping the wood will look ok? If so, what is the best way to remove this stuff?


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Old 04-22-2011, 12:13 PM   #2
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:38 PM   #3
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Well, you cannot keep adding layers to that floor. Having worked on a lot of antique homes with hardwood in the kitchen I would not be optimistic about finding rescuable hardwood underneath all that. However, to do this right it all should come off down to the joists if you have the patience or at least to the hardwood layer.

They do make screw extractors that grab the outside of the heads but I have never gotten them to work especially well. Since you are sacrificing that part of the floor anyhow? I would just get a good angle grinder and a couple of cutting wheels and just cut them off flush. Safety goggles please! Gas off so the sparks do not ignite something.

You can get a floor scraper that is a heavy bladed thing on a handle to help get all the old flooring up. It is going to be some work though.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:21 PM   #4
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with all those layers I would feel compelled to remove them all down to the hardwood flooring. From there if the floors were good I would screw them down with flooring screws ( not drywall screws, as they are not designed for that purpose and the heads break off too easy when trying to use them for this application). At this point you could install new (real) hardwood flooring. If you wanted to tile I would install t/g plywood glued and screwed and then tile, doing this would also allow you to adjust for any discrepancies in levelness of the floor.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:46 PM   #5
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A lot of the time those screws can still be pulled out with a good bit driver. Pulling up all of the tile will loosen a lot of the mortar and make the screws visible. The bit can usually loosen up the mortar in the screw head enough to extract it. Probably 9 out of ten can be removed like this. That hardwood is not gonna look good.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:45 PM   #6
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if it were my place i'd rip it up and start fresh...if the hardwood has nail/screw holes in it then I don't see any way it could be restored to original glory.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:59 PM   #7
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I just finished tearing up a layer of tile, which came off pretty easy. Followed by a 1/2" layer of plywood screwed down with liquid nails. I used the point of my 5-1 paint tool to clean out the heads of the screws. The mortar came right out and I was able to back out 9 out of 10. The ones that didn't I used a pair of vise grips around the head after I ripped the plywood up around it, and turned them out. It's a pain, but in your case, you really do need to get rid of all those excess layers. The other thing you might try is to get the tile off and then take a circular saw and saw in between the joists, just leaving about a 2-3" strip on top of the joist. Then pry the strip off and start from your joists and work your way back up with fresh subfloor and finish floor.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:08 PM   #8
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Never done a whole floor, but I have used a plug cutter and plugged screw holes in an entry with contrasting wood. Depends on how many and how they are laid out. Plugged a few with matching wood.


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