I have a few flooring questions, thanks in advance. I am renovating my
kitchen floor. The house is a New England cape that was built in 1947.
My goal is remove the linoleum and have a wood floor in the kitchen.
There is 2 ¼ inch red oak flooring throughout the rest of the house.
When I tore up the linoleum in the kitchen I found a layer of tarpaper
that has bonded to some wood flooring that is 3 ¼ inches wide. I
expected the wood to be 2 ¼ as it is throughout the rest of the house.
The tarpaper is very difficult to remove even with a blade scraper. Is
a floor sander the best way to get this tarpaper off? I am hoping this
wood is oak. Does anyone know why the builders would have installed a
wider floor in the kitchen area? If this turns out to be a softer pine
that was just used as an underlayment for the linoleum, would you
finish it or just tear it out ( along with the ¾ inch subfloor) and
put down new ¾ x 2 1/4-inch hardwood over a ¾ inch plywood subfloor?
The rest of the house is hardwood over some sort of sub-floor, possibly the
same wide board you just found.
I doubt it is oak. In 1947 it was common to put linoleum in the kitchen,
not hardwood. What you have is a sub-floor. No, I'd not try refinishing
it, put a finished floor on top as it was intended.
There is no reason at all that the wood in the kitchen must match the rest
of hte oak in the house. Personal taste is what matters, If it was my
house, I'd put a different species, possibly a wide board in the kitchen.
But that is me so do as you please. There are many varieties of beautiful
floors. Take a look at some available here:
If the oak floor is ~3/4" higher than the kitchen strip flooring, then
it's probably the subfloor. Normally a subfloor made from individual
boards would be wider, say 6 or 8 nominal, due to the higher labor
costs installing smaller boards. In your case they may have used the
narrower boards on top of the true subfloor, or run the subfloor flush
with the strip flooring in the rest of the house. The reason for using
anrrower subfloor boards is so that there would be more joints, and
therefore less gap movement between adjacent boards, which could lead
to cracking of the linoleum.
You won't know what you have on your hands until you get down to the
surface of the wood. If the underside of the subfloor is visible from
the basement, or you can poke a hole or remove a light fixture to
investigate, you would be able to tell if the floor joists are the same
height under the kitchen and the rest of the house, and if the subfloor
in the kitchen is indeed the 3 1/4" strip flooring. Pine flooring is
not necessarily a liability. Red oak stains a nasty dark color when
exposed to water - I usually counsel against using it in a kitchen. If
the pine is a nice straight grain, you might actually have fir
flooring, which is a very nice floor material.
Thanks all for the great input and website reference. I did some
homework. Here is an update. The oak flooring and the kitchen strip
flooring are the same height.
In the basement the floor joists are exposed and its easy to see that
the subfloor throughout the house is the same - ¾ inch pine boards
of various widths 4 -7 inches, no tongue and groove, and knotty. In
the kitchen I shaved away a small square of the tarpaper - the wood
has no knots, clear ` and no exposed nails. It also looks like the
original installers used a rotary sander to prepare this floor for
tarpaper. I am concluding the kitchen has a tongue and groove floor
over a subfloor and is possibly fir. My goal is to remove the bonded
tarpaper using a rented floor sander and see the entire wood surface.
If it looks ok, I'll do some final sanding and finish it with a few
coats of poly and consider myself lucky.
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