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Old 08-06-2014, 05:06 PM
 
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Its all a matter of how it was built, that holds as true now as it did 200 years ago. The only real difference is that some older homes are built with materials or in a manner that would be cost prohibitive to do today, but on the flipside, some new homes are able to include materials that were not existent for home building in the past.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
It depends upon what you mean by old. I've looked at many houses over the last year and a half, and in my experience virtually none of the 19th century homes had hardwood floors - even in some of the grander houses. They tend to have pine floors, although they are often "heart pine" - which is from the center of very mature pine trees we no longer see much today, and behaved more like a hardwood in terms of durability.

True hardwood floors, in my experience, are most common in houses built from around 1920 to 1960 or so. Older, but not really old.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PghYinzer View Post
I believe they were not even thinking about it at that level, but simply between carpet and wood (of any type) floors.
My childhood home, built in 1918, did not have hardwood floors. It had some type of pine that my parents deemed necessary to cover with carpeting. I agree that the floors of that era were not hardwood, but some type of wood that was meant to be covered. Kitchen floors were frequently linoleum.
Linoleum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PghYinzer View Post
I believe they were not even thinking about it at that level, but simply between carpet and wood (of any type) floors.
If you use that definition, then essentially every old house has "hardwood," given wall-to-wall carpet wasn't really a mass product until after WW2. Thus floors were always meant to be seen, except maybe for house styles which had subfloors meant to be covered by tile (which were rare in this part of the country regardless).

Last edited by eschaton; 08-06-2014 at 06:08 PM..
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:36 PM
 
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House framing is so far advanced from what it was pre war. I find things that would scare the hell out of some of you on a daily basis. I bet if everyone who owned an old house could see how your plumbing drains were run, or how your windows were framed, or looked at how your floor joists were notched incorrectly on undersized wooden beams.

Old housed were not over built, put a level on your floor by your chimney, see how far your floor sags, check level in front of your tub. Take a ice pick and see how far it goes into your basement floor joists with little effort. Old houses stood the test of time because of proper maintance and care, not because of better quality, if old houses with slate roofs are so much better how come there are thousands of them waiting to be torn down all over the mon valley.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:49 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
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Historically wood floors were for poor people while carpets were for the well to do. Think Oriental rugs.

You probably don't see it now but I remember years (well, decades) ago going into old houses and you could see the rug line around the room a foot or so away from the walls. That area was usually darker while the rest of the wood floor was lighter.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Downtown Cranberry Twp.
34,585 posts, read 13,488,154 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy2073 View Post
House framing is so far advanced from what it was pre war. I find things that would scare the hell out of some of you on a daily basis. I bet if everyone who owned an old house could see how your plumbing drains were run, or how your windows were framed, or looked at how your floor joists were notched incorrectly on undersized wooden beams.

Old housed were not over built, put a level on your floor by your chimney, see how far your floor sags, check level in front of your tub. Take a ice pick and see how far it goes into your basement floor joists with little effort. Old houses stood the test of time because of proper maintance and care, not because of better quality, if old houses with slate roofs are so much better how come there are thousands of them waiting to be torn down all over the mon valley.
This.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Historically wood floors were for poor people while carpets were for the well to do. Think Oriental rugs.

You probably don't see it now but I remember years (well, decades) ago going into old houses and you could see the rug line around the room a foot or so away from the walls. That area was usually darker while the rest of the wood floor was lighter.
Yes, rugs/throw carpeting was in fashion, and originally quite expensive. But wall-to-wall carpet was a mass-produced low-cost innovation post WW2, and was decidedly not for the well-to-do.

Today the same norms have basically established themselves. I don't know anyone under the age of 45 who prefers wall-to-wall to wood floors. But I know plenty of people who put in wood flooring and then cover 3/4ths of it with throw carpeting.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Brookline
3,060 posts, read 2,636,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
My childhood home, built in 1918, did not have hardwood floors. It had some type of pine that my parents deemed necessary to cover with carpeting. I agree that the floors of that era were not hardwood, but some type of wood that was meant to be covered. Kitchen floors were frequently linoleum.
Linoleum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I just removed a tile floor in my kitchen to then discover 2 layers of linoleum, down to the original...quite ugly btw, some sort of faux marble with pinks and greens....but turns out they are red oak, and were never sealed, just covered from day one...a strange choice, but I think that they simply used the leftovers from the 2nd floor to finish the kitchen, since they knew it would be covered, and the rest of the first floor is plain oak.

I really think it really depends on house and the person....my old house could be falling down around me, and I would stand here in a pile of rubble swearing that it is better quality than a new one....I am one of the few that love the layouts of old houses, the smaller rooms, and the LACK of an open floor plan.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Western PA
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Not a fan of the open floor plan, either. I don't want people looking into the kitchen with dirty pots and pans at a dinner party. Nowadays, a lot of first floors look like one big room with a stove, refrigerator, dishwasher and sink in one corner, separated by a counter with stools, then a dining room table, then a couch, loveseat and coffee table. Give me defined rooms to work with.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Awkward Manor
2,576 posts, read 2,893,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geeo View Post
Not a fan of the open floor plan, either. I don't want people looking into the kitchen with dirty pots and pans at a dinner party. Nowadays, a lot of first floors look like one big room with a stove, refrigerator, dishwasher and sink in one corner, separated by a counter with stools, then a dining room table, then a couch, loveseat and coffee table. Give me defined rooms to work with.
Yeah, I am glad our condo has an actual kitchen with a door!
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