Repairing and Refinishing Floors: Introduction

A handy guide to most flooring repairs—from simple to not-so-simple:

sagging floors—their causes and remedies

• squeaking floors—annoying but fixable

• squeaking stairs—several solutions

• refinishing wood floors— exacting but rewarding

• floor surfaces—repairs that work wonders

• carpet repairs—tricky but not impossible

Whether planning minor re pairs to the surface of a dam aged floor or considering a major renovation, the prudent home owner will make sure that the floor is in good structural condition before beginning any finishing work.

Surface problems such as cracked ceramic tiles, loosened or cracked resilient flooring, or squeaks in floors and subfloors can often be traced to defects in the subfloor, joists, girders, posts, footings, or even foundation sills and wall studs (see drawing, facing page). Fortunately, some common structural flaws are relatively simple to correct with readily available tools.

Structural problems caused by stress or deterioration in the foundation require the special talents of a contractor. Rot or de cay, the working of time and moisture, can make it necessary to reinforce or replace weakened joists, girders, or posts. Sills and studs are also susceptible to decay and moisture damage.

Reinforcing weak joists, replacing posts, or using adjustable jack posts to support sagging joists are projects that can be undertaken by the home handyperson. Replacing girders or joists or repairing sills and studs are jobs best left to professionals.

Examining the underside of your floors may not be as re warding as getting on with the job of bringing an old oak floor back to life. But resist the urge to skip the preliminaries. A little time spent checking in the basement or crawl space under the house may save you a lot of time, expense, and frustration in the future. If your inspection shows that everything is in good order, you can go ahead with your flooring project confident that you’re starting with a solid base.

Prev: How to Establish and Use Working Lines

Next: Sagging Floors — Their Causes and Remedies

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Friday, 2008-12-12 21:55