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Old 11-11-2013, 01:33 PM   #1
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Is this Hardwood or Sub Floor?

My house was built in the 1920's and was a total rehab when I purchased it in 2008. I have been living with carpet since then, but I cannot stand one more year of wall to wall carpeting!

I started to peel up the corners in my dining room, master bedroom, and on the staircase and have come across what I am pretty sure is hardwood. They are painted (maroon downstairs and a brownish upstairs) and will likely need some work. Is there anyway to discern if they are actually hardwoods before I rip up carpet and am sorely disappointed?

The house has an amazing pine banister, and floors creek when you walk on them, so I am very optimistic as to what I will find.

Also, if they are hardwoods, we would be refinishing them ourselves. We have a circular saw for cutting replacement boards and are pretty handy in general.
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Is this Hardwood or Sub Floor?-dining-room.jpg   Is this Hardwood or Sub Floor?-staircase.jpg   Is this Hardwood or Sub Floor?-banister.jpg  

Last edited by chelznicks; 11-11-2013 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:21 PM   #2
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Pretty hard to tell from the pictures…….just a bit too much glare on the area that may be hardwood. My guess is that it is hardwood underneath, but, don't get too excited. In some homes from the '20's era, they did indeed use nice oak or pine on the lower level, but upstairs in the bedrooms they often went cheap with uglier looking second hand wood flooring and sometimes they did the perimeter of the room with good wood but did the rest of the room in cheap wood that would be covered with an area rug.

If they are painted, you may have quite a project on your hands. If they were painted before 1978, the paint likely has lead in it and to sand it off would be to release lead dust into the air which is a HUGE health hazard. You may want to at least call in a flooring expert to get some sort of idea of what you may be up against.
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:33 PM   #3
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All I can see is tack strip and padding.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Canarywood1
All I can see is tack strip and padding.
Second on this. All I see is pad and and a double row of tack strips.

I have a 1914 'traditional four square'. When I pulled up the carpet in the living room I found what is apparently common in this style home: nicely finished good quality hardwood floors around the edges of the room, going in about 3 feet from the baseboards, then the center area is done in cheaper pine (apparently they used the cheaper wood in the areas that were expected to be covered by large area rugs). That was a big bummer for was the same in the dining room and foyer.

So, you never know quite what you have til ALL the padding is removed. Take it from me, as I made my plans just based on pulling carpet up a foot or two away from the walls and thinking "oh awesome, beautiful hardwood floors!"

And the center portions were UGLY. I can put up with a lot of stuff, but even I didn't want to see THAT stuff everyday. Ugh. I ended up putting in new carpet for those rooms until I can afford to do what I really want with it.

Hope this helps...

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carpet removal , hardwood floors , this old house

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