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?