My Hardwood Floors

When we purchased this house 15 years ago, we had wall to wall carpeting put over the hardwood floors to protect them from our young sons.
We will be selling this house in the next few years. Are there any surprises to anticipate if we take up the carpeting?
Dick
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On Jun 18, 9:12 am, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Dick Adams) wrote:

If there were animals or kids expect some stains.
Expect black marks anywhere tack strips were nailed down from the nails.
Don't be surprised that the padding is stuck to the floor. Messy but usually comes up fairly easily.
The biggest problem you will probably run into is disposing of the old carpeting.
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On Wed, 18 Jun 2008 13:12:35 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Dick Adams) wrote:

Yes, since you had children. Pets can cause a lot of damage too. But, you never know until you look. Good luck!
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I have lived here since 1972, nearly all hardwood covered with wall to wall.
just pulled all carpet, hardwood in pretty good condition, all needs refinished......
trying to figure out how to do that with 3 dogs..........
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Phisherman wrote:

For the benefit of OP and others reading this group- carpet does NOT protect hardwood, if anything it puts it in more danger. I predict when OP pulls up the carpet, he will find rust marks around where the tack strips were nailed down (not the mention having to patch those holes), dark spots/seams from where pet accidents/kid and food spills/plant watering spills happened, and spots where the grit that filtered through the carpet and pad ground away the finish. And if if was a fancy rubber pad, there may be whole patches where it has fused to the finish on the hardwood, especially in high-traffic areas.
Hardwood was the standard floor for everywhere but kitchen and bathroom from the 20s through the early 70s, when it got too expensive for most people to afford, especially since most people thought W/W carpet was more upscale anyway. Thankfully, style is headed back the other way. Sometimes, in pet-free houses without humidity problems, where weekly vacuuming was the custom, you get lucky when you pull out carpet, and all the floor needs is a cleaning and waxing, plus of course putty for the nail holes. But more often, at least spot refinishing is needed, and to get it real pretty, a full sand'n'refinish is needed.
If I hadn't been in a hurry when I bought this place (and feeling broke besides), and if they hadn't just put fresh carpet in the front living room and hall, I would have had the carpet ripped out and the oak floors refinished, including the half-ass DIY refinish previous owner did in two of the bedrooms. Maybe when I prep the place for sale in a few years, if the work is cheaper than replacing the freaking <cream color> carpet that will be stained beyond redemption by then.
I'm not a fan of modern 'engineered' floors, especially if the top layer isn't really wood. But I love old-style real hardwood t&g floors, that can be sanded and refinished 3-4 times once you trash the rock-hard factory finish after 30 years or so. And I think it is a sin to cover real hardwood with carpet.
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote:

If the carpet is in decent shape, I would leave it. Let the buyer make the choice. If the floor is damaged, it is "buyer beware". If in good shape, a pleasant surprise. The fact that it is there should still be a plus. There shouldn't be moisture damage to the wood unless there was repeated wetness for extended time. The most likely damage, aside from tack strips, would be sand that sifted through carpet and pad (unlikely) or pad that is stuck fast. But, then, there is still hardwood there. We pulled up carpet that was over 35 yrs. old, from a slab floor. Concrete was pristene, aside from paint drips from original painting. If prospective buyers are picky, take up one room, clean it up with mineral spirits after mild soap and cool water. Folks try too hard, IMO, to make the choices that the unknown buyer would want.
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I have hardwood floors that were covered by carpeting for years. You will find that your your young sons peed on them, threw up on them, spilled everything under the son on them, and you will not believe what a mess the floors are. Been there, done that....pull up the carpeting and see what is underneath it. 36 years of carpeting on the floors can do an amazing amount to damage to the floor underneath. If the floors were not in good condition when they were covered (and they probably were not), you will find at the very least badly stained floors, and quite possibly some warped spots if there were persistent spills/leaks/plants in the same spot.
The good news is that since they are real hardwood and not this horrible laminate that is so popular today, you can sand them down and refinish them and get a beautiful finish out of them.

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that since they are real hardwood and not this horrible

Why on earth do people use laminate? I've seen laminate cost more than real wood, and it can be ruined in 5 minutes by just a little bit of water. With real wood available for less than $4 a foot, why would anyone use laminate?
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<h> wrote in message wrote in message > The good news is

Good quality laminate is very durable and usually cheaper then hardwood and lasts many years. For most people, that is long enough because most people don't keep the same house long enough to wear it out. It's like cheap carpeting - people buy it, knowing it's cheap and won't last long, but they don't care. When it's life is over, and you have to either cover it or replace it. Laminate is like cheap carpeting - people don't care.
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On Thu, 19 Jun 2008 09:16:59 -0400, <h> wrote:

The solid wood floors may be too thick for doors to clear. I would not use any wood nor laminate in the kitchen, bath, or anywhere else water may be an issue.
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What did older houses use in the kitchen? My house was built in 1948, and it had hardwood floors everywhere but the kitchen. I don't know what was in the kitchen (it may have been hardwood also) because the previous owner replaced whatever was originally there with tile.
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On Thu 19 Jun 2008 11:18:23p, Zootal told us...

My parents' first house was built prior to 1920. The kitchen had hardwood floors, but not finely finished like the rest of the house. The floor was also covered by "battleship linoleum". Other older homes they owned, none built more recently than 1950, had similar floors.
--
Wayne Boatwright
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I just started pulling up the wall-wall in my dining room tonight. The beige carpet is really stained and stinky from pets. To my horror, there is padding under the carpet, then an underlayment and under that, plywood. The plywood looks like it's really stuck to the floor (nailed or glued?). I stopped and laid it back down. My sister thinks this is a good thing that the previous owners may have done to protect the hardwood. When we pulled up the carpet in the upstairs bedroom, the pad was stuck to the floor... more pet damage, but it was easy to pull out. The floor was in really good shape with little moisture damage even though I had shampooed the carpeting because of all of the urine smells. I've decided to peel off the paper and redo the walls in the dining room before I find out what's under that carpet. If the plywood is nailed that's not too bad. If it's glued, refinishing it will get rid of any glue residue. I am looking forward to it now. No matter what's under your carpets, refinishing will reveal a beautiful natural wood floor. I agree with Norminn- let the new homeowner decide. Just let them know that there is hardwood beneath. They may want to keep the carpet for a while.
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Pats wrote:

What year was your house built? If you are finding underlayment and plywood under the carpet, there is probably NO HARDWOOD down there. When hardwood started getting expensive, and synthetic-fiber carpet started getting cheap (in late 60s/early 70s), lots of builders decided to save a buck by including 'free wall to wall carpet' in cookie-cutter houses. If you bought the house early enough, you could even pick the colors.
Quick check to see if hardwood is present- if you have forced-air heating with floor vents, pull one out, and look in the cracks with a flashlight. May need to pry a crack open with a screwdriver. You should be able to see the various layers of the floor.
-- aem sends...
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