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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

alas, ye floors

We were originally really hoping to save our hardwood floors. They're original to the house, and in most places the wood itself wasn't in truly horrible condition. Unfortunately, one of the major structural problems we found ourselves needing to address was the fact that every single floor in the house was severely out of level -- to the point that when I sit in my desk chair in the office, I roll backwards constantly! If I don't catch myself or lock my foot around the desk, I'll find myself all the way across the room in relatively short order. It's like that everywhere. The upstairs landing in particular had a huge dip when we bought the house; this is what we found when we tore up the carpet:


The thing is, even though those floorboards look like they're in pretty good condition aside from the whole massive-tilt issue, they have to come up. There weren't any subfloors in the house (hence the subject matter for my last I don't even know how many posts). So to level the floors so I'll stop rolling around the house every time I try to get some work done, we have to install new, level joists and a carefully leveled subfloor.

All that said, we thought we could still save the floors and maybe carefully put them back over the new subfloor, with a little fiddling to eliminate the obviously warped ones. Unfortunately, when the demo crew went to pull up the boards, we discovered that they're so old, dry, and hard (the boards, not the guys) that they crack and splinter no matter how carefully they're pulled up.

So, new floors it is. Or will be, someday. For now, we live on plywood.

2 comments:

Oblio70 said...

So sorry to hear about the state of your floors. I seems endemic that once an hardwood floor is "left behind" (i.e. covered with carpeting), it is never again to be resurrected. This was as it was for our house. And yet the issue with levelness seems to be something altogether different. Have you looked into the state of your foundation as a possible cause? There are house lifters who can level a house much cheaper than a bevey of framers could, so long as the foundation is stable.

Don said...

We've found that the foundation is completely level while we have been putting in the new subfloor on the first floor. The first floor was more a mater of not being able to refinish the floors. While we were at the joists though we might as well fix it up. So far we've found 1 dryrotted through and 2 not attached to anything on one end.

The upstairs (which is most unlevel) is due to an array of problems. 2 joists are cracked (one all the way through). A change in the joist direction has given way to a week point which (after 80 years) has given and sagged. The week point is at the top of the stairs and is the culprit of what you see in the above picture.