Peeling back wall-to-wall carpeting in an older home could mean discovering a precious hardwood floor just waiting to be brought back to life… or a sorry mess that’s simply not worth the trouble. Chances are good that hardwood flooring under decades-old carpet will fall somewhere between the perfect and the disastrous. So, how do you decide whether vintage hardwood flooring is worth restoring?
Let’s take a look at the factors to consider when deciding whether to restore an existing hardwood floor:
First, take a look! To see what’s under the carpet, look for a floor vent and lift it out. You will often be able to see a cross section of the floor along the edge of the vent hole. If floor vents are unavailable, you might be able to catch a glimpse of what’s under the carpet or linoleum between the ceiling joists in the basement. If the home is yours, you can grab a corner of the carpet with a pair of pliers and pull back gently. Use a butter knife to push the carpet back under the baseboard.
Take a deep breath. Unless the floor is pretty close to pristine, know that restoring older hardwood flooring is usually an expensive proposition. Then there is the issue of deeply scratched or worn boards or old glue that may have been used to fix the linoleum or carpet to the floor. These problems call for a complete deep sanding and refinishing. Make sure to check the available wear layer (the area above the tongue and groove) to make sure there is enough wood left to sand and refinish. Other issues may include rusty nails, staples and screws, and rubber residue from the carpet underlayment. If the overall condition is not too bad, then a light sanding and refinish may be all that’s needed.
Time to replace your flooring. You might find rotten, squeaking or deeply stained floorboards that will need repair or replacing. Old hardwood floors can decay and become potentially dangerous. If they have been refinished several times the wood could be compromised. In these cases it would be a good idea to consider installing new hardwood floors. This upgrade can be completed quicker than refinishing your floors in most cases and will also add value to your home.
Not sure? Take a picture. If you are able to get access to a significant amount of the hardwood flooring, take a picture and take it to a reputable flooring store or hardwood floor installation specialist for an opinion.
Do you need advice on what to do with your vintage hardwood floor? Contact us at Nu-Way Floor Fashions! At Nu-Way Floor Fashions we are one preeminent flooring stores with decades of experience in hardwood flooring and installation.
-Nu-Way Floor Fashions
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