Monday, October 10, 2011

Removing Plywood

This is what our kitchen floor has looked like for the past year or so. I started off removing the vinyl flooring, but it was extremely time consuming, and the other half of the kitchen has an additional layer of older vinyl or linoleum, with what appears to be an asbestos adhesive. Not something I wanted to mess with.
We made an executive decision last weekend to take up the old plywood. It would end up costing us some more money, because we'd be buying brand new plywood, but the amount of time it would save alone makes it completely worth it. Plus we got a thinner plywood, so the top of the new finished floor will be level with the hearth and Dining Room floor.
We made it our goal to get at least half of the kitchen done today. It was mostly R tearing up the plywood (which was nailed every 2"!), but I would start each piece off, removing any screws and taking up the first couple nails. By the end of the day, we reached our goal and got all of the plywood out on the fireplace side of the kitchen. And we went and bought all the new plywood. We didn't find too many strange things, except that the floor we've been walking on in our hall is actually the kitchen's sub-floor, the plywood went underneath the "wall" separating the kitchen and hall (it's basically just a piece of drywall screwed into some wood paneling... no structural support at all.. about 1 1/2" thick), and that the floor wasn't in as bad shape as we originally thought. It's still not good enough for us to use as a finished floor, but it's not as unsafe as we thought. We've been walking on it for almost a week now and it's supporting us just fine!
The threshold between the kitchen and hall.. we've decided to run the new floor into the hall, to get rid of the awkward, thin threshold. The new thresholds will be between the hall and bathroom and hall and living room, and will be normal width and less of a tripping hazard.
The only area (so far, fingers crossed) that was in bad condition, though not bad enough that it needed to be replaced, was in front of the window, where the 700 lb. radiator sat for 60 years. There's a little water damage and some broken wood.
(If you look carefully, you can also see that I did a little paint test on one wall.. we both hated the color at first, but a couple days later it had grown on us and we like it now :) )


  1. Wow, that sub-flooring looks like wide-plank oak to me. It was the go-to flooring choice in 18th century Connecticut houses - I have it in mine. You would be amazed how well it can clean up with a little work. Even just an intense scrubbing can make it look great. If you like a more formal look, it can be sanded and oiled. Just something to think about before you put down more plywood.

  2. Trust me, if we could keep this floor, we would. Unfortunately it's very spongy. When you walk on it it moves... a lot! Plus a lot of it is cracked and damaged. The rest of our house has the same flooring (though with different finishes) and they're all in good shape. I think that some day we'll go back to this floor and get it repaired (maybe supported from underneath?) and refinished.