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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Question Flooring: circa 1832

    I have a 175-year-old house with original plank flooring throughout. As you’ve already guessed, nothing is level, even or smooth. The planks are actually in pretty good shape, however, the nails constantly pop up, the planks move and sag and there is no sub floor (when you turn on the basement light, you see beams of light through the floor). I love the floors... the look, the feel and the original quality. However, I really can't tolerate the constant movement and sinking, owning no socks without snags and the barrage of safety comments regarding the floor, while entertaining. I'm wondering how I can level the floor and add some stability without covering it up. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Fayette County, Ohio

    Default Re: Flooring: circa 1832

    With the nails constantly working out I suspect the the problem is more likely inadequate floor joists for the span which are flexing. I would suggest first getting some lumber and build a temporary wall across the middle of the of the room in the basement perpendicular to the joists, use a jack post to jack it up level and build the wall. If that seems to take care of the flexing and leveling you will have to do a more permanent job. The floor it's self then can be addressed. If the support works the floor can be sanded and refinished.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Exclamation Re: Flooring: circa 1832

    I agree with the previous poster. I think you will need a few more floor joists or perhaps have to replace some. While doing that check your sill plate for termite damage as that could be part of your problem. If there is no visible damage as seen inside your basement then I would go ahead and proceed to jack the floor up. However don't jack the floor up too fast or you will get cracked floor joists because of their age. Also don't expect to get rid of all of the dips in your floor as that probably will not happen.
    Once you get the other joists in put some wood boards between the joists underneath your flooring. Screw the boards to the joists and then the board to your flooring. You will need some help to jack the floor up and someone to step on the flooring while you are scewing into it from the bottom. While you are jacking the floor up with a partner you should have someone upstairs who can let you know how your jacking is doing.
    Afterwards you may still have some cracks in your floor due to shrinkage in your boards. I have heard that you can use rope to fill in the cracks and it looks really good. Whatever you do it will take some time and a bit of work. Good Luck!

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