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Old 01-13-2015, 03:37 PM   #1
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Ok to remove laminate and finish old fir?


Hi everyone, new to the forums but I've been a lurker for a while now. I wanted to ask for advice on whether or not fir flooring under plywood and vinyl in the kitchen would be salvageable? Our house was built in the early 1900's and our entire house has fir floors, we have removed the carpeting in living and dining rooms and refinished the floor and it looks great except for some expected wear and tear for 100 year old floors.

Our kitchen has this vinyl flooring that's supposedly made out of cutting board material (?) and it's on top of a layer of plywood which is over the fir (I have seen the cross section and there is definitely fir under there!). The person who did some tiling work for us in the bathroom said that the floors would be trashed if we removed the vinyl and the plywood because of nail holes every 6 inches and what not, he said it would not be worth trying to save it. Has anyone ever tackled a project like this and was the floor underneath ok to refinish?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:51 PM   #2
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A lot of people think that nail holes, odd knots, and slight blemishes are part of the "Charm" of refinishing old floors.

So it is a matter of what you would like .

Remember that " You will never please everybody, and will go crazy if you try."

So just please yourself.


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edit: Oh and welcome to the light, now quit being a lurker.

Last edited by de-nagorg; 01-13-2015 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legomom View Post
Hi everyone, new to the forums but I've been a lurker for a while now. I wanted to ask for advice on whether or not fir flooring under plywood and vinyl in the kitchen would be salvageable? Our house was built in the early 1900's and our entire house has fir floors, we have removed the carpeting in living and dining rooms and refinished the floor and it looks great except for some expected wear and tear for 100 year old floors.

Our kitchen has this vinyl flooring that's supposedly made out of cutting board material (?) and it's on top of a layer of plywood which is over the fir (I have seen the cross section and there is definitely fir under there!). The person who did some tiling work for us in the bathroom said that the floors would be trashed if we removed the vinyl and the plywood because of nail holes every 6 inches and what not, he said it would not be worth trying to save it. Has anyone ever tackled a project like this and was the floor underneath ok to refinish?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
Certainly do-able in the eyes of those of us that don't require total perfection in such cases. Just depends on what you really have there to work with.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:39 PM   #4
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I definitely don't mind "character" and imperfections, I just hope there aren't foot long splinters and fir flooring coming out in planks when trying to remove the plywood! Maybe I need to do this when I have a good set up for a temporary kitchen just in case..
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:44 PM   #5
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I definitely don't mind "character" and imperfections, I just hope there aren't foot long splinters and fir flooring coming out in planks when trying to remove the plywood! Maybe I need to do this when I have a good set up for a temporary kitchen just in case..
Only one way to know what will happen.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:41 AM   #6
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Contrary to what a lot of DIY beginners believe, you can not just add layers of flooring and coverings forever. At some point you must remove some of the old stuff and start fresh.

You have nothing to lose but time removing and seeing what you have. I've gotten lucky once or twice and I have not a few time more. Unless the under-layment job was done by a pro, the chances of it truly being nailed on a 6x6 pattern is very small.

I would create a temporary kitchen in another room as you are less likely to cause unnecessary damage if you work slowly and for small periods of time. It is brutal work.
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:14 AM   #7
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That is great advice, thank you. I think I just needed that push to do what I wanted to do anyway.
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