Reuse pine subfloor over new subfloor?
So, on to the next phase of this 3rd floor project. We remove all of the original 7/8th inch pine tongue and groove subloor so we could sister up the joists, level the floor, and lay down subfloor. Originally I was thinking I could use the old wood for the floor of a shed I’ll build some day. But this is such awesome wood, so old, such tight rings, almost no knots, and a lot of it has that straight grain look of quater-sawn wood. Some of it got damaged, in removal, but all of the damage is to the tongues for the most part.
It occurred to me that if this was lain over a solid subfloor, the condition of the tongues isn’t as important. Isn’t the tonge and groove partly to hold the wood solid when it’s installed directly to the joists?
Does anyone have experience with reusing ping tongue and groove. Could I make this work?
Request for comments.
I reused some flooring as a shed floor once, worked fine. A lot of tongue was missing so I face nailed it. Tongues are relevant to wood flooring even over a subfloor. It's a place to blind nail and the tongues also keep the boards from raising up.
You might also consider using the lumber for wall paneling or trim. With a table saw and a router with a few bits you can create beautiful trim out of that old pine.
If you don't sand and refinish, the edges will be at slightly different heights, which means they'll scuff and wear quickly.
If you do spend the time and money to sand and refinish, you'll get a much better looking floor, but unless you carefully face nail the boards with broken off tongues, they'll eventually shift and cause scuffing, too.
Cleaning the tongues and grooves is a pain, but scraping off the crud gets a tighter fit. Treat it like a production line. Lay 15-20 boards across saw horses, use bar clamps to hold them tongue up or groove up, then wire brush/scrape. While you're at it, glue any loose, split pieces of tongues or grooves.
Use the best of the old flooring where it counts. Use new flooring in less visible areas like closets and halls. In big rooms, get creative - showcase the old pine by putting a couple of feet of new flooring at left and right.
"plan B" would be to get a molding head cutter for your table saw and run the stock thru to create new tongues & grooves. You'll lose some width but essentially have "new flooring" . you could also run the stock to clean it, just be sure the stock is clean of nails/metal
you may have long leaf pine for the sub flooring. If it's 7/8 thick you have some room for sanding/refinishing
you can also run the tongue thru to make a groove on each side (you could use a router after cutting off the tongue, or run it thru the table saw swapping sides to center the cut ) and then use splines to lock the flooring together
just looking pictures at your other postings about this project - hopefully you added some fire blocking at the walls at the ribbon - the old balloon frame construction acted as a chimney to spread fires, little bit of fire blocking helps stop it.
if the framing's still "open", something to think about
space looks like it'll be real nice when it's done