Is it possible to salvage old strip hardwood flooring to use again for hard
wood flooring ?
I am about to start a remodel project and looking for some cost cutting mea
sures plus I hate seeing things go into landfill when they can be repurpose
d - reused etc.
So I have two and half rooms with about 750 sq ft total of strip oak floori
ng (built in early 60's) that will be demolished and probably go into landf
ill and be replaced with some other product unless I come up with some swea
t/labor and solution to reuse or salvage it.
Is it possible, is it viable, any special considerations for removal , stor
age and so on ?
Thanks for any helpful advice you can give.
On 8/7/2014 10:55 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Without fail the first thing to go, after any usable crown, base and
shoe, when a house is being demolished to build a new one is any
hardwood floors are taken out, board by board, and recycled by the
It is even generally specified in the contract with the demolition
company, and part of their profit considered in their bid.
Go for it. It's not rocket surgery.
On Thursday, August 7, 2014 12:45:42 PM UTC-4, email@example.com wrote:
hardwood flooring ?
g measures plus I hate seeing things go into landfill when they can be repu
rposed - reused etc.
looring (built in early 60's) that will be demolished and probably go into
landfill and be replaced with some other product unless I come up with some
sweat/labor and solution to reuse or salvage it.
storage and so on ?
The floors do not appear to have been refinished maybe once since the origi
nal installation. I removed a stair cap once and the edge of those boards l
ooked very thick. I guess I will not know for certain toil I pull somethin
Do the old flooring boards need to be edge plained or process for good fit
during installation ?
Thanks for help.
On 08/07/2014 2:18 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Shouldn't -- there should be minimal damage at all on the groove edge as
all your reclamation work will come from the tongue side other than
maybe just a little help to separate once you've gotten the fasteners clear.
A quick pass w/ a belt sander to just wipe of the dust/grime would
probably be all I'd consider...
But, clare, "yes, I've run a _lot_ of reclaimed lumber thru both planer
and jointer" -- and once or twice I've knicked a blade. But, the cost
of a resharpening or even a set of blades or knives pales in contrast to
the cost of several hundred or thousand feet of hardwood new...not to
mention the difference in what 100- or 200-yo stuff is like compared to
present harvest, even in hardwoods as common as oak.
On Thursday, August 7, 2014 4:54:13 PM UTC-4, dpb wrote:
Thanks to all for the info and affirmations.
I plan to reclaim and hit it with some fine grit on belt sander to get dust, trash, dirt and knock poly-coat lip off as suggested.
I keep the nail problem solutions in mind, I don't fancy knocking all the nails out so the angle grinder sounds like a winner there but I will not know till I start.
Thanks again for all the help,
obably be all I'd consider... > > -- [trim] Thanks to all for the info and
affirmations. I plan to reclaim and hit it with some fine grit on belt sand
er to get dust, trash, dirt and knock poly-coat lip off as suggested. I kee
p the nail problem solutions in mind, I don't fancy knocking all the nails
out so the angle grinder sounds like a winner there but I will not know til
l I start. Thanks again for all the help, Rob
Getting in the mix late....
Oak is pretty hard and my experience is it may pop up pretty clean, dependi
ng on what it's nailed to. If there would happen to be some abnormally la
rge nails in it, maybe a Cresent nail puller - http://www.sears.com/crescen
id 930443000&kispla 930443000P&mktRedirect=y - would help that si
tuation. I've used this tool so many times, salvaging, it's like my third
Another option for finishing the boards: Flip the boards and use the under
side. It may be cleaner, hence easier to prep and refinish.
Probably not but I sure wouldn't want to do it. I'm assuming they have
been angle nailed through the tongues with those hold-on-forever serrated
cleats. How DOES one get out boards without wrecking them?
In the '60s I'd expect the cut nail.
It's not terribly bad; you generally will sacrifice one or two rows by
ripping along the side to be able to get access to the tongue-side of
the main run and then just pry and pull. Often a head will pull thru,
it not another ploy is to get just enough gap and then use the sawzall
and cut the nail and clean up later.
It's always handy if the ceiling underneath happens to be open to be
able to drive the initial set up from below to get that initial purchase...
On Thursday, August 7, 2014 1:42:37 PM UTC-4, dpb wrote:
I've been in the tight crawl space and I believe you are correct with the Cut Nail so I guess that would help for easier removal.
Since I've never seen this done I would like to go about the most reliable way. Tricks from the masters :)
On 08/07/2014 2:49 PM, email@example.com wrote:
I presume they're oak? In a "former life" we recovered quite a lot of
wide clear pine from ante-bellum mansions in Lynchburg for use during
refurb of others where the one didn't want to retain the originality and
the latter did. In it, not be so terribly hard, it was often possible
to pull the head thru with a combination of pulling up and then driving
the fastener. They again were all cut nails in those days, of course.
With the oak that may or may not prove effective; some will depend on
what the joist material is as to how hard it is, too...
You can always decide it's not feasible; if you don't give it a try the
result is a foregone conclusion and you'll always wonder what if...I'm
one that I'd surely try, I've been known to save used nails when
demo'ing stuff here on the farm if they're over 8d :) and the barn and
machine shed has piles of old construction material going back nearly
100 yr--I can recognize the place from which some of it came--I used
some of the siding from the old chicken house when re-furbing the
original shop building Dad had basically abandoned after we first came
back. I don't recall for sure, but my best recollection would be the
chicken house came down in the very early '60s and we came back after
Dad passed away in 2000...so it waited a while to find a use but it was
still there... :)
On 8/7/2014 11:55 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Do I understand you to be asking if the floors can be salvaged *in
place*? Because that's how your question reads to me. If so, the answer
is definitely yes. Practically any surface damage can be sanded off,
yielding a brand-new surface.
We from one apartment into a larger one in the same building, in perhaps
1986. The building was built in the '30s. A lot of the tenants had
wall-to-wall carpet, but I knew there was oak flooring underneath. Nice,
too. every room had a "border" of 3 strips of contrasting woods (darker,
lighter, darker) all around the perimeter.
The flooring under the carpet in the new apt. was as dessicated as you
could imagine; dried out and completely gray, impregnated with the dust
of decades being under carpet.
Two guys with a drum sander and a detail sander made short work of that.
The job, including a couple coats of poly, was done in maybe 3 days. As
the apartment was empty, we left the door open to the hallway while they
A neighbor came by, looking puzzled. He couldn't understand why anyone
would install a beautiful, new and obviously expensive solid wood floor
in a rental apartment. It told him it was there already; we just had it
refinished. It was very reasonable too.
A look of wonder came over his face.
"That floor, that's in MY apartment too?", he asked. Suffice it to say
that *three* of my neighbors had their floors done that summer.
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On Thursday, August 7, 2014 1:00:31 PM UTC-4, Greg Guarino wrote:
hardwood flooring ?
measures plus I hate seeing things go into landfill when they can be repur
posed - reused etc.
ooring (built in early 60's) that will be demolished and probably go into l
andfill and be replaced with some other product unless I come up with some
sweat/labor and solution to reuse or salvage it.
storage and so on ?
I mean to say the remodel requires total demolition of the rooms to the di
So, the floors will be destroyed and probably thrown into the dumpster/dump
truck unless I salvage them before demo starts.
The new rooms will need flooring. It would be nice to re-use existing oak f
looring wood if possible and viable. Additionally I like idea of reusing th
ings when possible.
Thanks for any useful advice.
Hardwood lumber, yes. but hardwood flooring, you just install it "as
is" and then run a floor sander over it and refinish it. And even when
planing old lumber, you go over it all 3 or 4 times with a metal
detector, and take the first cut with a "rough" blade that doesn't
care if it picks up a bit of sand or other crap.. Best way to
"repurpose" old wood is with a drum sander.
On 08/07/2014 6:25 PM, email@example.com wrote:
I've done both...altho late commercial flooring is generally not worth
the planing. Most of the salvaged heart pine in Lynchburg was 5- or 6/4
initially but being pine had quite a lot of wear and all given the age
so sanding in place wasn't really the easy way to get a new surface. If
on has a drum sander it can do wonders indeed; if not the planer works,
Leave them in! Cut off the nail where it comes out the bottom, and any
splintering, too. A thin blade in an angle grinder or die grinder will trim
them up faster than you can pull the nails, and with a lot less damage, too.
Pegged heart pine is a totally different situation than nailed or
stapled oak. And even nailed pine used fewer, larger nails that are
easier to find and remove. But a broken off cut nail can chew up a
planing blade pretty quick too.
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