I am installing new 3/4" engineered hardwood. The existing floor is 1960s 1/4" hardwood. Do I have to strip the old hardwood or can I lay the new enginnered hardwood overtop? It seems to me that the existing hardwood is a nice even solid substrate.
Are you trying to save your back? :) The old floor is 1/4 thick and was more than likelynailed to the floor boards by hand, I bet it has a few sqeeky spots. You can screw down loose boards, but I advise stripping off the old floor, leveling floor boards as needed, and then installing your new floor on top. I advise nailing it down. Here's the bottom line: the new floor is as good as the one beneath it. Good luck.
Mel Fros froscarpentry.com
I bet if you sand off the finish on the existing floor, use some good adhesive (bostick's best), and make sure the nailing extends into the subfloor you'll be fine.
It's kind of hard to believe that a 1960s floor is only 1/4" thick.
Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville
While it is true that 1/4" - 3/8" thick T&G strip flooring can be refinished, I advise great caution, because the nail heads are only about 1/8" below the surface of the floor. It is easy to sand off too much. Ideally a floor like this is refinished as soon as it shows a bit of wear. If you refinish, choose a tri-disc sander and don't start with discs below 50 grit. Use 50 grit to break through the finish, and 80+100 grit on raw wood. I prefer to use my grinder, a 7" flex disc by Milwaukee with velco 7" sand paper. My grinder has a top-notch dust shroud that is hooked to my HEPA vacuum. I can achieve "baby bottom smooth" floors with this machine, using 50, 80 and 100 grit paper. The single-disc sander has the advantage of allowing you to work across heaves and low spots in an old floor, whereas a tri-disc sander covers a much larger surface area and is not as able to deal with trouble spots...know what I mean? I follow up with a small flat finish sander. Good luck whatever you choose to do. Ask further questions and the good folks here, m'self included, will be happy to offer insight.
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