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My home was built in the 1930s.

I recently pulled up my carpet to get it replaced. When I did this, I noticed that the plaster walls stopped half an inch above the hardwood floor. It looked very deliberate: there was no lath, just a big gaping hole. It opened the room up to the wall cavity. It seems that the gap was only present on exterior walls. Also, the walls are uninsulated.

Is there a reason why this would have been done?

Also, was I wrong to fill the gap with gap filler foam?

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Old houses that had interior plaster as a finish had what they called a plaster stop to control depth of the plaster. This was usually a strip of 3/4 wood at bottom of wall and around doors and windows. It looks like this strip was removed but normally it was always left in as a nailing strip for the baseboard. Your application of the foam is good idea.

  • Interesting. I wonder why it was removed in those two rooms. Hopefully the gap filler helps keep the rooms warmer in winter. – Walter Stabosz Jul 4 '16 at 14:07

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