Replacing Old Floors

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William E. Smith

Replacing Old Floors

Post by William E. Smith »

I am in the process of totaly remodeling my kitchen in a 150+ year old home . My problem is this . After examining the current floor it was revealed that there are two layers of linoleum on top of 5/8 plywood; under the plywood is an old tongue and groove hard wood floor, basically in decent shape. however the floor is all over the place as far as being level. I plan to lay down 3/8 lauan and cover with sheet vinyl. Is there any good product to level the old wood floor before applying the 3/8 lauan ? Or is it better to remove the old hardwood and start from scratch ? Any help will sure be appreciated.

Thanks William E. Smith

Ken Holmes

Re: Replacing Old Floors

Post by Ken Holmes »


Without seeing your house, it's impossible to give an answer I can stand behind, but you've probably got several things going on here. When you say the floor is "all over the place," I'd guess that it probably slopes (for starters) and that the slope has some humps in it. I'd also guess that none of the other floors in your house are particularly level, either.

So if I were gutting out the kitchen, I might use the opportunity to repair (if needed) and then jack up the undercarriage of this section of the house -- to push it back more toward level. Once that was done, I'd see if there were some particularly high or low spots in my floor and deal with them at that point.

As for all those layers of existing flooring: I'd definitely take out the old linoleum. If it's really linoleum, it's probably just laid loose on the floor (rather than glued down) and will come up in a few minutes.

As for the 5/8" plywood, the old hardwood, and the subfloor beneath that? It's impossible to say. These could be the cause of some of your floor's uneveness. Or they might not be a problem at all. They might be adding too much weight to your floor joists, or maybe not -- an impossible call without being able to poke around a bit.

Good luck, Ken Holmes

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