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Old house - not hard wood flooring questions

11 years ago

I know we have other things to do (like repair ceilings!) but we are also starting to think about what to do with our unfinished floors in the house. I don't think we are taking action anytime soon (not before the new year before, probably until summer), but still starting the decision making process.

Upstairs two of the bedrooms were uncovered, and the "dressing room" (former servent or bedroom turned shower room) we removed the 25+ year old vile carpet. All of the floors are about the same. Wide planks with varying size spaces between them. One was left totally unfinished in the center, and the edges have had a serious of treatments. The other rooms the centers had the same treatment but the center was never left unfinished. I say treatment because I do not know exactly what was done to them.

I first thought they had been stained a dark brown, but the more I looked at it (laid on the floor staring intently, taking pictures, touching and chipping away at things) I think they may have been painted "wood colored" a few different times, mostly just around the edges like for a rug of one size one time, and later a different rug...?

So that is in our bedroom. The dark edge is the more "recent" treatment, the lighter stuff in the middle is not the natural wood. Both are chipping away. where you can see natural wood there is step down from the dark wood.

Here you can see the unpainted wood on the right, then the older light brown, and the "newer" dark brown. By new I mean really old! For the past 20-30 years the floors were covered in rugs, before that there is some evidence of fake wood flooring having been put on top (maybe instead of repairing the finish? lol) Behind the dark brown here you can see some green... not sure what that is.

We need to do something in the nearish future - we get frequent splinters in the rooms and the kids like the play on the floor! I love the look of natural wood, but I also like the look of painted wood floors. I don't want to do something irreversible... but it also was historically correct at times to keep plain floors painted....

We do most of the work ourselves on the house. We have never refinished floors, it we were to rent the equipment we would want to do it not room by room... I have no idea when we could MOVE OUT OF THE HOUSE, to refinish it... perhaps for our "summer vacation". Lightly sanding inorder to paint a fresh coat we could do room by room. Also these planks are about 1" thick sitting the floor joists (one plank is able to be pulled up)

My husband is in favor of sanding these down enough to paint now, and if in the future we want to refinish them we would have had to sand through what is already there already. What do you think that finish is? I do think the floors could look lovely as finished wood, but being able to do that might be too far down the road to be practical.... I have seen other homes of this age with the upstairs floors painted white/blue/gray ect.

DOWNSTAIRS - we ripped up 30+ years old vile carpet, found some tile underneath which had no adhesion anywhere (and none when put down), and below that wood. Likely the subfloor. The three formal rooms of the house have a beautiful narrow strip tongue and groove flooring. The room we did this in used to be part of the kitchen and and then part of a small addition. I can see that the flooring here runs under the finished floor, and also is 1" + thick resting on the joists.

I don't know what this room was I used to think bathroom but I am now confused)

this is the former kitchen floor (I think)

Here you can see the line where the addition starts. Both sets of wood dip away from where they meet (on the foundation) and the whole floor undulates a surprising amount (yes we know this means there are some issues with the support, the addition does not have a proper foundation but a crawl space with inadequate piers likely our summer project). We are picking up a rug or two for this room for now (it's our office and I like to lay on the floor when I work) and find the roughness of it charming for now but at some point should probably do something. Our thoughts were maybe new wood flooring on top some years down the road.

So all of that was absurdly long. Mostly I would like some idea on what the finish might be upstairs. Someone commented that is might be thick layers of tinted shellac? So I guess I could do some experiments to determine that? And I guess I am asking for opinions (OMG!) about painting vs. trying to finish the floors upstairs. Not sure if I have any questions about the floor downstairs but if someone wanted to make a suggestion I would take it :)

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