This is a 100-year-old, single family house in Washington, D.C. The floors are aged and worst of all terribly squeaky. The main issue we are trying to solve is to not have the floors squeak.
Unless we hear better advice here, I assume this means replacing the floors. As was typical for houses during this period, the second floor hardwood is installed directly on the floor joists - no subfloor. (On the first floor, there is subfloor made of diagonally running 3/4" boards with 1/4" finish parquet floors nailed to it.)
We are considering replacing the floor "in-kind" - removing existing trim, finding 3/4" tongue and groove long boards and installing directly onto floor joists, room by room.
Clearly this is not how it is done nowadays, but installing subfloor is a much bigger job since the only way to do it well is to remove the stair railing, otherwise the new floor will be 3/4" higher, plus this messes with the height of the first and last step on the stair run (first step riser 3/4 shorter, while the last step is 3/4 higher).
Questions for the community:
- I don't believe that the old way of doing is inherently flawed and prone to squeaking? Meaning, when this house was build, floors probably did not squeak on day one and presumably held well for many years. If we redo it "in-kind" they should similarly be good for the foreseeable future. Thoughts?
- What actually causes squeaking? Individual boards have some "give" now if you press on them, so the nailing must have gotten loose over the years? Is it the bending of each board or them rubbing against each other?
- What type of wood is this and where can I source the same kind? I hear it is "hard pine", but not sure.
- Any other things you can think of why replacing "in-kind" is not a good idea or any potential gotchas?
Thanks a lot in advance for wisdom and insights!