We removed a hideous old carpet from a multi-purpose room that wants to be a dining room. From the peeks we took around the edges of the carpet, we expected to find a 3" pine strip floor with lots of paint overspray, drywall mud, plaster, and ground in dirt. I was planning on sanding and refinishing this, but now that the carpet's gone, we can see that about 2/3rds of the boards had shrunk so much that there were gaps as large as 1/8" between many of them. So I come to two questions:
1) is there any way to fix this in place?
2) since I suspect the answer is "no": would it be worth being careful while removing these boards? They've got all of the above described abuse and then some showing on them, but not one of them has water damage or is broken. Is it possible to sell them for salvage? If not, is it worth maybe putting them through a planer and then re- cutting the tongue & groove on a router table? (possibly for use as patches when the carpet in the next room comes out in a year or two?) I currently plan on taking the boards out to put in a subfloor to bring the height up to nearby rooms that have newer floors anyway.
I'm also hedging my bets and keeping an eye out at flooring stores like Lumber Liquidators for inexpensive flooring. I'm sort of curious about cork floor, it seems like it would be too soft, but the samples I saw this weekend were actually pretty tough. Any ideas there?