My husband and I just finished "uncovering" our beautiful hardwood
floors that lived in secret under ugly carpet for the past 30 years
before we moved into our house. I can't believe people would prefer an
ugly shag to that gorgeous oak. We just had to strip it and refinish it
(a bit of an ordeal), but I'm sure it will add thousands to the value of
the house if we re-sell. Besides having to sweep up little dust bunnies
that accumulate, we are so pleased with our remodel, as it totally
changed the look of our house. If anyone is thinking about the decision
to refurbish old hardwood, we highly recommend taking advantage of the
craftsmanship and quality that most old homes were built with.
For cleaning bare floors, one of the handier tools you can get is a
medium size shop-vav. 6 or 8 gallon size, and you want the one with the
1 1/4" hose as its easier to handle and manipulate than the larger 2 1/2"
Also get a Cleanstream filter. They are better than the factory ones.
Sears (and likely others) carry them.
Rich Greenberg N Ft Myers, FL, USA richgr atsign panix.com + 1 239 543 1353
Eastern time. N6LRT I speak for myself & my dogs only. VM\'er since CP-67
It was the style for many years. When I bought my first house in 1966, it
had carpeting. After a few months, we replaced with wall to wall also. That
was the way it was done. Later, in the mid 70's, we did a kitchen & dining
room remodel and removed the carpeting from the dining room and refinished
the floor. At the time, we were considered mavericks doing something so
drastic. We sold the house with the rest of it still carpeted.
Rueful chuckle- Yeah, I saw the same syndrome first hand. When my father put
me on broom duty in his construction company in that era, even entry-level
cookie cutters got an ocean of Bruce prefinish plank hardwood, basically
everything except kitchen and bathrooms. W/W was considered a luxury back
then, and usually equal or higher in cost to hardwood, since synthetic
carpets were just coming out. A lot of it was immdeiately carpeted over.
Sigh- all that prime hardwood, now worth a fortune, lost forever. (No
practical way I've ever found to salvage tongue-nailed strip put down with
cut nails and an impact tool.)
This 1960 cookie cutter I bought last year, while lower on the food chain
than the places my father built, still has hardwood in the original
footprint. The 3 bedrooms are now exposed again, 2 of the having been badly
DIY refinished by the previous owner, to repair what 40 years of carpet does
do hardwood. If the living room and hall hadn't had brand new W/W in them, I
probably would have ripped that out and gotten a pro refinisher in here
before I moved in. If I'm still here in 5-7 years when that carpet is shot,
I'll have to ponder the issue again, in spite of what a PITA refinishing
occupied space is. (I'd basically have to empty the rest of the house into
the kitchen/addition/garage, and plastic it off.)
The half-ass 1978 addition on the back, sadly, is another matter- cheap
berber over OSB. That, I should have replaced with something before I moved
Same here. this house was built in 65 and when we bought it, it had
cheap carpet in all the rooms. I suspected it had hardwood
underneath so when we went to tear out the old raggy carpet, underneath
was plywood and under that was HEART PINE.
Lisa^^ in florida
It used to be that only the well-to-do could afford wall-to-wall
carpeting, so having it signified wealth. Back in those days, carpets
were expensive and wood was cheap. Modern manufacturing methods have
made carpeting the cheap option, so that's been reversed.
We had nasty white plush carpeting on all the upstairs floors when we
bought our house, but it was on top of plywood, so after removing the
carpet, the 3/4" oak flooring had to be installed instead of just
being refinished. But the sudden drop of interest rates enabled us to
pay for all the oak and two motorcycles and still have a lower monthly
payment, so I guess we did OK. And we LOVE having oak on the all the
upper level floors!
He who laughs last thinks slowest
I crawled, walked. and ran around on Southern Pine wood floors as
kid. Carpet was unheard of....... enjoy the find.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Thomas A. Edison
Good for you! We just did the same to our house. Turns out our kitchen
had old hardwood, but it had been under two layers of cheap linoleum
flooring (what were those people thinking?). With a big clean-up and
refinishing process, we too transformed the look of our house. My kids got
me a Roomba for Christmas last year and a Scooba this year, and now I
hardly even have to do any upkeep. At first I was afraid it might scratch
my beautiful floors, but it has been harmless and extremely helpful. I also
use a oil soap once a month. But I wholeheartedly second your advice to
others to go back to the original!
We found the same thing when we removed the worn carpet in our home,
built in the 20's, but there was a square hole in the living room that
had been filled with plywood. I had a cast iron grill made to replace
the plywood; now I just have to find a way to get some ducting in to
turn it into a cold air return; I suspect its a fire hazard without the
Our main floor moldings all turned out to be lovely hardwood (maple, I
think) but had 5 coats of differently covered enamels over the original
varnish. Cleaning that up was a lot of work, but was well worth it.
One coat was what they called milk based paint, and it was almost
impervious to any paint removers I tried. Even the pine moldings on the
second floor were nice looking after being redone; perhaps the age had
improved the wood.
Perhaps I am insane but prefer carpet, since its quieter and warmer on
the feet, espically important in cold climates.
I grew up seeing wall to wall for rich people.
Currently we have cheap sheet vinyl over hardwood in poor condition.
The vinyly helps since we have a elderly dog............
Easy clean up after accidents poor fellow has occasional seizures
we came across the same situation. Beautiful white oak 1 3/4 by 3/4"
plank covered by carpet for 45 years. The finish was orange...not
sure if that's due to LCD or just age, but it's coming off.
We've redone two rooms...the dining room with chemical strippers and
the hallway with a hand-held belt sander (took forever, but it's a
really tough shape to get a drum sander in).
It took forever to redo just those two rooms, so we haven't started on
the 30' x 15' living room or the three bedrooms yet.
thanks for the reminder. ;-)
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