1890 Wood Floors

Questions and answers relating to houses built in the 1800s and before.

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LenaFlowers
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:19 pm

1890 Wood Floors

Post by LenaFlowers »

My husband and I have purchased and are renovating an 1890 home in Ohio. Things were moving along decently well, until the topic of refinishing the wood floors came up. My husband is EXTREMELY concerned that there is not a "Subfloor" beneath the floor you see in the picture. The main concern he has is the draftiness (especially in the downstairs) and the house not keeping the heat as well. He has also mentioned a concern with it not "looking like I think it will look"

To me, they look awesome already. They have been covered with carpet for at least 60 years, so they have been waiting to shine in my opinion! So has anyone had personal experience with "no sub floor" floors? Do you regret finishing them? Also did they turn out how you expected?
The pictures are a little dark because all the light fixtures have been taken out while we are painting, so hopefully the pictures give you a good enough idea of what we are working with.

I should add, my husband is the son of a Custom Home Contractor, so this is all very new to him and out of his comfort zone :) Good thing he loves me :) :P


Thank you!
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Nancy W
Posts: 1273
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:21 am
Location: Chaptico, Maryland

Re: 1890 Wood Floors

Post by Nancy W »

Most houses of that era did not have subfloors, my 1895 house does not. What does your husband want to do with the currant floor. Can you add insulation under the floor to help with the drafts? Are the floors tongue and groove or just planks?
Nancy
Image
Lower Brambly circa 1895
"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain

Nancy W
Posts: 1273
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:21 am
Location: Chaptico, Maryland

Re: 1890 Wood Floors

Post by Nancy W »

Most houses of that era did not have subfloors, my 1895 house does not. What does your husband want to do with the currant floor. Can you add insulation under the floor to help with the drafts? Are the floors tongue and groove or just planks?
Nancy
Image
Lower Brambly circa 1895
"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain

LenaFlowers
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:19 pm

Re: 1890 Wood Floors

Post by LenaFlowers »

I think they are just planks I believe. This has been a MAJOR renovation, so our budget cant allow for any more insulation as of now, but maybe in the future. Today was the big day, we decided to go forward with finishing them. If we need to throw some big area rugs we will :)
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James
Posts: 1640
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:36 pm
Location: Rural Eastern North Carolina

Re: 1890 Wood Floors

Post by James »

I have that exact same floor arrangement. No subfloor, butt joined planks, NO tongue and groove downstairs. Insulation WILL not stop the drafts. I have insulation and house wrap over that and you still feel cold sucking thru every time the forced air system kicks in. If you have radiators you will do better. What you need to do to stop the drafts is install a "subfloor" by cutting plywood or to fit reasonably tight between the floor joists and then hold them in place with 2x4's nailed to the joists. Get that in tight enough and it will stop the air. Insulation, as I am seeing from experience, doesn't do the job.
Locust Quarter, circa 1770 Georgian Gambrel roofed cottage.

SouthernLady
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:29 pm

Re: 1890 Wood Floors

Post by SouthernLady »

From your description, that's the exact flooring I have (circa 1895). It was just inspected this week, and the inspector of 30+ years experience was bragging on that kind of construction. Hope that has some kind of help with the hubby! :wink:

jenniflowers4
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 7:02 am
Location: USA
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Re: 1890 Wood Floors

Post by jenniflowers4 »

Just renovate it girl and don't ever try to confused about everything. Its a pleasure to read your threads!

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