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Floors

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The house we are buying has a strange area in the middle of an otherwise finished concrete floor in the unfinished basement. The rest of the basement is nice and smooth albeit 90 year old concrete, with a drain, etc, but there is this strange 6′ x 10′ or so area right in the middle over to one side that is dirt. You can tell they used some old board frames when they poured the basement to exclude that area and it isn’t even perfectly square. The dirt area appears to have been surrounded by some old wood stud walls with 1 x 3’s with 3-4″ gaps in between nailed up to the ceiling – almost like an animal pen – however only one wall still remains – the owner’s son removed the other walls 20 years ago when he was making a work area. She says she never knew what the area was for originally. The house was built in 1920. I’d like to eventually dig down the dirt and pour in some concrete to finish out the basement as a rec room, and the dirt area isn’t part of any of the foundation or support beam areas – just an open square area of dirt in the room so digging it out a few inches and filling it in wouldn’t be dangerous to the house as it is more or less in the left center of the room. Does anyone know what this area might have been used for and has anyone else run across this before? This room isn’t a cellar, its about 50% below grade with front and rear doors under the stoops with 4 windows and about a 9′ ceiling, so it’s a basement and not a cellar and there is no sub cellar underneath, it’s just never been used for anything but mechanicals and laundry.

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The basement room in my apartment has wall-to-wall carpeting. Under the carpet and some layers, there is concrete. I am looking for a reliable concrete company that will tear up the carpet, clean, seal (if necessary) and polish the concrete floor. Do you know any companies?

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We are doing a gut reno with new subfloors and looking for recommendations for good engineered brands over radiant heat. Prefer a dark wood color and in the $5-$6/sq ft price range. We’d prefer to put the same wood over all floors, including a finished cellar (cement over radiant).
Any experience and recommended floor species and brands would be highly appreciated.
Thanks

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We have, unfortunately, “cheaped out” in the past on some home renovation projects on which we felt we could reasonably save some money, and went on to regret it. I don’t want to make same mistake, but also don’t want to spend huge bucks over what is necessary to have a nice quality job. We are looking to replace about 2,000 sq. feet of old, scuffed, mismatched, 2 1/4″, 100+ year old Maple floors (and quite probably quite a bit of squeaky pine subflooring as well) with 5 or 6″ pre-finished hardwood – don’t know what kind yet. We’ve had a few estimates, and they are hugely discrepant. Anywhere from 10.00 per sq. foot, all in, from LL, to $22.00 per sq. foot for really high quality wood from a company who received good reviews in the Franklin Report (and I liked and trusted him btw, but that’s a BIG number!) My question is, what can one reasonably expect to pay for a really nice job?

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This is a follow up to my earlier post looking for flooring… as an alternative…
I may have to get a bit creative with the last 400 sqft of flooring in our place as we have run over our budget (big time). We have a number of old beams that I was thinking of milling down to create endgrain “tile” blocks (see picture). I don’t have enough, but close. Is there anyone out there who would be willing to part with some of their old wood beams/joists? If you are like me they are sitting in your basement waiting for a project! 🙂 Catch is that they will have had to be inside so they are dry. Any tips on where to find some welcome too! (BIGNYC is out). I don’t know if it matters but I’m in Clinton Hill and will of course come to you.
Also, has anyone done this? Any advice welcome-particularly the non-snarky kind.
Thanks all! (info145halsey at yahoo dot come)

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Hi there,
Don’t send it to the garbage!
I need 400+ square feet (think about the size of a big front parlor room) of wood flooring and know that someone out there is tearing something out! It could be pine (wide, narrow, underlayment boards etc), oak, parquet whatever, just as long as it is old. I would also be happy to have my very careful and skilled contractor remove it for you if you are planning a new floor? Only catch is I need it soon. I am happy to buy it from you, remove it, save you the labor and garbage hauling fee etc! If you have anything you think might work please send me an email at info145halsey at yahoo dot com. Thank you!!

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Im looking to install a concrete epoxy floor in the bathroom . I want to have a seamless clear, glossy finish. The contrctor is suggesting Ardex. Anyone knows about it? are there any differences in the look?

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We need to have our floors sanded (they’re a mess) but don’t know how to deal w/the furniture. We’re in a 4th floor, walk-up & wd prefer not to have to move everything out.
Suggestions?

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We salvaged this flooring from a bedroom and planned to re-install it in a hallway, but plans changed. We did install some of it in a closet, which is pictured above.

We stripped out the nails and it’s ready for installation. There’s about 150sf, give or take. It’s 2 1/4″ oak tongue in groove. Boards are short – 10″-30″.

Want it? Contact me at jenabrams [at] mindspring.com

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I live in an 1890s brownstone with typical top-nailed parquet floors. I’m hoping to refinish them, including sanding if possible (as opposed to just screening). There is a tongue in groove subfloor that is just under 1″ thick, and the oak parquet boards on top are about 1/4″ thick (some are slightly thicker — maybe 5/16″). Is that parquet too thin to sand? I’ve found past posts about sanding thin parquet, but I couldn’t find anything specifying what thickness is too thin to sand. I’m planning to get bids soon, and I know that some flooring companies try to up-sell and push for new floors by telling you the old ones can’t be sanded, so I’m hoping to get some background info before I start that dialogue. Thanks.