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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I'm renovating a 100 year-old rowhome. On the first floor I'll be removing linoleum and a layer of thin, damaged plywood to reveal the original floors. These were pine planks nailed straight into the joists. (There is no overlap between the boards, and no subfloor underneath them.)

Quite a number of the boards have termite damage. I want to purchase some old reclaimed pine boards to replace these damaged boards. (I know they won't match, but I'm fine with an unmatched/rustic look.)

Can anyone give any advice on how to proceed... is it as simple as

1. sourcing some old wood boards and seasoning them in the house
2. tearing out the damaged boards
3. cutting replacement boards to size
4. nailing them into place
5. sanding and refinishing the whole lot.

Have I missed an obvious step. How do I go about replacing a board that runs underneath an interior wall?

Finally, if I end up giving up on repairing the original floor and install a new floor on top, do I still need to replace the termite-damaged boards, or can I put a new plywood subfloor straight on top?

Thanks

Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks... I'm in the Philadelphia area, where there are a lot of homes similar to mine. I think I can source boards out of a similar home of a similar age.
 

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If you want to come to my house and tear them up, I have 800 square feet of 140 year old pine floors you can have. Same setup - pine tongue and groove floors nailed to joists, no sub floors.

But a more practical solution would be to call a few stores that do salvage. Most cities have at least one.
 

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What you have there is the sub floor.Depending on the structure under it you may be better off replacing the bad boards with new and putting a new wood floor on top.You can still use reclaimed wood if you wish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks mako1. It's not really a subfloor, because when these houses were built they did not have a subfloor. The original floor was one layer of pine planks, straight onto the joists!

I could use it as a subfloor as you suggest and put a new floor on top, but I would have to deal with height changes for the fireplace hearth, entryway and stairs.

If it's possible, I'd prefer to refinish the original floor.
 

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Are these tonged and grooved?
What's below these floor?
How's that going to work to keep out the cold air from below and not flex and squeak.
What's been done to treat for the termites?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
These are not tongue and groove, and there is nothing below (just the basement). There are small but visible gaps between the boards.

My previous home had similar floors. They were refinished beautifully, though you could see the light coming up from the basement!

Termite treatment has been done, and all the termite damage is old. (Previous owner just covered it up with plywood and vinyl.)
 

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Don't WANNA do it myself
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Mine are tongue and groove, but the same as Charlie's - just pine planks laid perpendicular to the joists. Mine don't squeak all that much, but you know when the basement light is one because it shines through the occasional crack or knot hole. In the late 1800's they used soft wood for the floors and put rugs down, because that was an indication of some wealth. If you put rugs on hardwood, the wood ruined the rug from the underside. It's the opposite way of how we think now of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We have never been bothered by the lack of weather sealing between the basement and the first floor in our previous home.

Obviously if we laid new floors on top it would be an opportunity to weather seal, but as I said earlier, I would prefer not to do that. (I'd really dislike having the height change mouldings at entryways, transitions and around the original stone fire hearth. I also don't want the floor to run widthways, so I'd have to lay a plywood layer over the pine before laying the new floor. Would add an inch of height at least.)
 

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Call it what you want.If it is nailed directly to the joist it's a subfloor.Or subpar floor.If your in Philly I would want to put down a barrier and a new floor on top to do away with any cold air intrusion I could.Would pay for itself quickly on the heat bills.
If you like the exsisiting floors and want the house to look original,Pull the old floor up,put down a 3/4" t&G subfloor and lay the old floor on top.Best of both worlds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Mako

I guess you're right - what people say about old building methods being better is obviously not always true!

Your second suggestion is what I would most like to do. I'm not that bothered by the original floors, but I am bothered by the height.

I'd love to take up all of the existing floorboards, replace with a regular OSB or ply subfloor, and then lay a brand new floor on top.

I'm just worried that this is going to be a HUGE job. And I'm also concerned about structural issues at the borders and interior walls if I remove all of the existing pine floor.
 

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Post some pics of what you have down now.
If you take the planks up we will be able to tell you how your joists are by posting pics of the joists.
 
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