pulling up and reinstalling Hardwood floor

Hi, I posted a few months ago about our very squeaky floor. We had the floor & subfloor replaced in the main hallway and the foyer hallway (perpendicular to the main hall). The original subfloor was 1/2" thick and was replaced with 3/4" plywood and with new 3/4 tongue and groove oak put on top. One interesting discovery by our floor guy was that the nails holding the original tongue and groove oak were spaced about 1.5 feet apart (more or less). Between the scant nailing and the too thin subfloor no wonder the floor was so squeaky. The new floor is quite solid with no squeaks what-so-ever which actually makes us more aware of how squeaky and soft the rest of the floor is.
At this point we have five rooms with the original oak floor and sub-floor (three bedrooms, living-room, dining room). We kept the oak boards from the hallways and even though the floor guy wasn't being careful, most of them are in good shape (I've been knocking off the nails with an angle grinder). I compared cut-offs of both the new and old oak flooring. I know the new hallway flooring is red oak and I'm pretty sure the original flooring is white oak.
So now we're thinking about fixing the other floors, one room at a time. Our thought is to carefully pull up the original oak floor, replace the 1/2" subfloor with 3/4" ply and re-install the original white oak. We could use the boards that were removed from the hallways to replace any broken boards and to replace some badly stained boards. We suspect that even if we're careful, we might not have enough of the original oak and will need to incorporate some new tongue & groove oak. After it's all installed, then we plan to sand and refinish. To keep costs down, we are trying to figure what we can do ourselves (Pull up the old floor? We know we can do the sanding & refinishing) and what we will have our floor guy do (installing for sure).
Question: 1) Is pulling up an old hardwood floor for re-use a DIY job? Are there special tools for easing the boards/nails up or would your basic crow-bar do the job? How does one start - at a wall or in the middle?
2) If we need to incorporate some new oak with the old, does it need to be the same type of oak? I mean - if we had a board of red oak in the middle of a white oak floor, will it be obvious after we've refinshed the whole she-bang? I've compared the new red oak boards and the old white oak boards and they do look different (the new red oak has more contrast between the dark and light stripes (I don't think stripes is the right word but I think you'll know what I mean), the white oak stripes are finer, the boards are darker with not so much contrast. However I also wonder if the finish, stain and age can also make the boards look so much different.
3) Any other comments or advice about this job?
Chris
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I recovered some red oak flooring and reuesd it to patch in where the old wall and closets used to be during a remodel. It was not tounge and groove so it came up easy with a pry bar. I knocked the nails out which trashed the top surface due to the fact it was face nailed and wood filler on top.
I flipped the boards over and used the unfinished bottom side and put the old nails back into the old nail holes. So far so good. The pain was the fact that the bottom was not sanded flat as the top and the whole repaired section needed lots of sanding to flatten it out. I defenately would not want to do a whole floor that way.
Given that you will need to have the whole floor sanded and finished like it were a newly installed solid hardwood floor (as opposed to an engineered or laminate flooring system) the totol labor might exceed your threshold for cost and you might decide to go with a new flooring materials which are more easily installed DIY.
Or live with the squeeks. Can you access the floor from a crawlspace or basement, may be able to remediate the squeeks from below.
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if any part of the old nais is exposed when you sand it will e terrible.
have you tried screwing from the bottom thru the subfloor and into the finished floor?
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When the old tongue & groove oak was installed, the installer shot the nail at an angle through the tongue to the subfloor. The nails are no-where near the top surface and I would have to sand down to the tongue level (1/4" ?) before I would hit nails. If I understand it correctly all tongue & groove is installed that way.

The downstairs is a finished apartment (ceiling two layers of drywall) and we're not about to tackle this problem from below. We've tried various methods of correcting the squeaks from above with little to no improvement (we tried squeak-no-more screws, deck screws (inset with plugs), injecting adhesive). The problem is that the subfloor is too thin & flexible. I've experimented in a sacrificial spot and figured out that it takes deck screws in every dang board and into every dang joist to tighten the floor. The floor IS tighter in that spot but there are still squeaks (albeit not as many and quieter). It took a lot of effect and the floor looked weird (many plugs). The result hadn't been refinished but I doubt those plugs were going to disappear even though I made an effort of match plug to the board. On the bright side, I learned how to counter-sink screws, put in plugs and I bought a drill guide (kind of like a portable drill press) to cut the plugs out of an old board of the oak flooring and to do a neater job of cutting the holes for the screws.
After seeing how the old oak came up with little damage, our floor guy said that it could be re-installed. I'll ask him for his opinion about what parts of a removal & re-installation can be DIY but I thought I would also get opinions from you fine folks in alt.home.repair.
Chris
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It appears you are a "thinking" person. First let me say laying a wood floor correctly is not a job it's an art and a craft. ( as is most "finished" work) With all deference to this group I don't think you can gain enough knowledge here to do a good job. Your best bet is to find some good books on the subject. If you wish to save money,you might deal with a floor layer for you to do the demo and disposal work especially if you live in a city that will pick up "home owners construction" debris for free. Mating the different species of wood could be problematic in laying and finishing due to grain pattern (stripes),density and matching the T&G in new and old wood. Xeno
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I agree, to a point. Finish work is definitely an acquired skill but with a bit of practice, I don't find it hard to complete projects that are every bit, if not better, than a professional can do. A true craftsman would run circles around me but it's nearly impossible now to find that person. Usually it's the hack that shows up and a day later leaves a job that's worse than what I could have done myself. I just put wood down over my concrete floor (glue down). The first room came out ok. The last room is every bit as good as any professional installations I've seen, and better than most. So to the OP, I'd say give it a try. At the end of the day, if it doesn't work out, then all your out is a bit of time and maybe frustration. As well, you will have removed the old flooring and replaced the subfloor so if you did hire it out, then that work would already be done. Give it a try on "your least favorite or used" room so to speak to learn on. And decide from there. Cheers, cc
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