So a guy from Empire came out to do an estimate on either carpeting or
hardwooding our floor. He pulled up some of our existing carpet, saw that
it's a hardwood floor underneath (it's in pretty crappy looking shape;
before you suggest just finishing it, I do plan to try sanding, staining,
and polyurethaning a 2' square section, but I have no hope of it looking
like something we'd want to be our floor), and he said it's impossible to
put a hardwood floor down because there's already one there. He said if we
do a hardwood floor, we HAVE to tear up all the existing hardwood, and that
in doing that we would probably destroy the joists.
I went to the basement and looked at the ceiling, and it doesn't appear that
the hardwood floor upstairs is the same as the ceiling downstairs.
Downstairs as the ceiling, there are wide (around 12") wooden planks that
run diagonally, and the hardwood floor upstairs is thinner planks that run
straight, so it seems that the hardwood floor is nailed either into subfloor
or straight into those planks that comprise the ceiling of the basement. So
why would we be destroying the joists if we tore it up?
Now, I realize that if we DID put down a hardwood floor, we'd need to put
some kind of subflooring down first (maybe about 1/4"?), and that the room
we do would then have a higher floor than surrounding rooms (assuming we
didn't tear up the original floor first), but I don't see what this guy was
saying about how you just can't put hardwood down if there's hardwood there
already. I asked a couple handymen I know (they're not hardwood floor
installers, but they seem pretty savvy about house stuff overall), and they
said they can't imagine what the problem would be as long as there's
subfloor between the old hardwood and the new hardwood.
Are we all missing something?
Thanks for any help, details, thoughts, etc.