06:08AM | 09/09/04
Member Since: 09/08/04
2 lifetime posts
I just recently purchased a fix-it up home, and have 2 flooring questions, as I've uncovered a nightmare!

1. 1930's home, all hardwood floors. Have ripped up carpet and all is in good condition except front room and dining. In front of the entry door, the floor is BLACK and wood is decayed. Can I cut this out, and install some sort of tile as a small entry without ruining integrity of floor? I can sand and refinish the rest.... Keep in mind, I am a novice.

2. Kitchen-- tiles appear to be 1950's? Yellowed 12" with gold running through. Most are all fully intact. What options for new flooring suggested without removing existing floor? Vinyl, Laminate? I want to keep the project relatively inexpensive, as I am fixing up for investment purposes, but don't want to slap on something cheap, that looks cheap....

I am desperate for advice? I am a novice, and am beginning to wonder just what have I done? Before this, my toolchest contisted of a screwdriver and a hammer --- what I learn daily..... Thanks, Jennifer


06:52AM | 09/09/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1248 lifetime posts
Hi Jennifer,

If the floor is rotten it should be replaced--but WHAT is the EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE, and WHY is it rotten?

In other words, can you look to see if there's damage to joists or other structural members (perhaps from a room below)? Has there been water coming in over the years and, if so, has this been resovled?

Was this home inspected? Were any problems disclosed by the seller?

Also--by "black" and "decayed"--does it seem ROTTEN and falling apart, or does it have integrity? Does it feel as if you can put a screwdriver (or your foot) right through it?

As you can see, I have more questions than answers at this point; please post a reply.

As for kitchen floors, it MIGHT be possible to put something over the existing floor. Tile comes to mind as you can build up a new base of hardibacker then tile it atop existing floor. But this would raise the height of the floor--which could be an issue relative to other rooms, stairs, etc., out of the kitchen.

I have removed such (1950s) tiles in the past and it gets really nasty--plus there's the possibility of asbestos. If it were me I'd probably find a way to cover it up. As for laminates, these are a possibility but I don't have experience with these....anybody else?

As for "investment"--what's your timeframe? Are you living there in the meantime? I ask because sometimes a home can become more "long term" than you first anticipate!

As for "what have I done", hang in there and welcome to the forum, and to the world of DIY!


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


09:42AM | 09/09/04
Member Since: 09/08/04
2 lifetime posts
Thank you for your response -- I'm just overwhelmed..... getting ready to move in, but doing some initial painting, patching, cleaning, before I could even think of moving in...... some rooms haven't seen paint in 20 years!

As far as the floor, where black and decayed, there is still integrity -- it's still strong, but from what I can tell -- this was the only main entrance and years of tracking rain, snow on top of cheap carpeting took it's toll. That is why I'd like to put tile, marble something in the damaged woods place. Joists are okay -- it's just ugly floor damage.

Kitchen -- I've got to find flooring that can go over the existing -- height shouldn't be a problem, because kitchen is seperated by doors. Are vinyl tiles an option for laying on top of existing?

I will be living there and hope for a 12 -18 month investment. I've never worked with tile or much of anything for that matter, but boyfriend builds homes. He subs out flooring work, but he knows his way around the tools -- so I'm not totally blind, and have resources. I just want to keep the total costs less than 20K, and get it updated, to sell. It's in a very desirable area, and the yard is beautiful. Just need to restore the home to some of it's glory...


01:57PM | 09/09/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1248 lifetime posts
Glad to hear that probably the floor is at least sound.

Vinyl tile: I really don't care much for this stuff. I would think it would be awful above your existing floor.

Perhaps sheet vinyl might be a better alternative--but this is best if put down professionally (esp. for the 12' sheets) and it'll need a new subfloor (smooth plywood--as every imperfection shows).

I've done quite a bit of ceramic tiling and usually recommend it for most homeowners. It can cost plenty---or not, if you find 'seconds'; enough to do a job--at a tile store. Your boyfriend probably has that figured out.


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


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