All of the floors in the house are original 3 1/4″ thick quarter-sawn fir, some of which span up to 22 feet in length. None of the floors appear to have ever been refinished, and all but the kitchen ended up being in pretty darn good shape.
When I ripped up the multiple layers of laminate and linoleum in the kitchen we discovered that the original wood floors were still there but that in many spots the boards were worn down more than 1/4″. There is still a lot of good material left, but a ton of repairs would be needed in order to salvage the floor. We decided to turn a negative into a positive and to remove the original floor and install in-floor radiant heating below whatever we end up finishing with: either tile or wood. The radiant heating will involve stapling hydronic coils down to the subfloor and then pouring a concrete topper over them. The coils will circulate warm water from our boiler which will heat up the concrete floor, now just a big thermal mass, which will in turn heat up the kitchen! It’s a bit of a luxury, but it’s also a very efficient form of heating and actually makes sense economically because the kitchen is already completely stripped back.
I have been carefully removing the original floor boards so that we can possibly use them in the kitchen again: since we don’t need to have nice flooring underneath the new cabinets, island, pantry, and desk unit, there might be enough original boards to finish all the walking spaces. Fortunately most of them have been coming up really clean. Above is a photo of the kitchen with half of the fir floors removed, and also a photo of one of the more worn boards showing what 110 years does towards the right hand side of the photo.
Since we’re putting the radiant in-floor heating in the kitchen we thought why not do it in the bathroom as well ;) The bathroom will get tiled for sure, so we’ll use all those floor boards for various floor repairs in the other rooms.