Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>Refinish, Replace or Deal with it?
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Refinish, Replace or Deal with it?

We own a 1910 craftsman. The floors are original in all but 3 rooms and the hall. There are big gaps between some of the boards, some of them are lifting up, there are huge gashes in some areas, as well as some black spots where I *think* water damaged between the boards. But I am not a flooring expert so I honestly have no idea what I am talking about here :) Also, in our bedroom ,there is almost an entire corner where it was filled with a yellow wood filler.

I do know that underneath the floor is just the wood boards and then the crawl space. No insulation, no sub floor, nothing. We can sometimes feel a draft coming between the boards.

So I am wondering, as far as resale eventually-would it be better to replace the floors, or refinish the original floors? I honestly dont know how much it would take to repair all that appears to be wrong with the floors but there are some major issues

Re: Refinish, Replace or Deal with it?

for a house thats 100 yrs old thats pretty common, over the years the wood has gone through so many warm and cold seasons that it will move eventually opening up as you describe.

if its really bad simply sanding the floors wont do anything other than give remove years of wear on the face of the wood, then the other thing would be to fill all the cracks with filler but that doesnt always give a perfect color match to the species. all you can really do is deal with it or replace the floor.

as for the draft the big thing there is to get insulation in between the joists to stop heat loss and air movement

Re: Refinish, Replace or Deal with it?

Your floors sound almost exactly like ours. Our house is circa 1900 and had little to no insulation. We've addressed the hot/cold seasons with an enclosed crawlspace and air infiltration reduction. The energy guys actually said it was one of the leakiest houses they'd ever seen. So I'll be interested to hear what you decide to do about your floors. I think ours would need to be pulled up and completely relaid before sanding or any repair could be done.

Re: Refinish, Replace or Deal with it?

This sounds like my house too. When I drop dollar, I have to go under the house to fetch it. Gets mighty drafty on windy days. There's no insulation in the walls either. The least drafty areas are the painted shut windows.

Talk with your realtor about "preservation value" as opposed to re-sale value. They will give you the cost effectiveness. Then ask local flooring installers for pricing on complete overlay. You're probably looking at sistering the floor joists and /or adding more piers and beams to the framing. Thi$ will get expen$ive very quickly.

Some people call older homes charming, historic, and a labor of love. Some think of them as money pits. Choose wisely grasshoppah.

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