Q: I have an old (1920s) house that has a very worn linoleum kitchen floor. In beginning to remove the linoleum, I found that it is covering very nice redwood planks some 6 inches wide. The boards appear to be about 1 inch thick and are laid directly onto 2-by-8-inch floor joists. There is no subfloor. I would like to remove the linoleum to use the existing redwood. How do I best remove the linoleum adhesive so that the redwood can be refinished? Can you recommend a solvent to do this that will not damage the redwood, though I realize that the redwood will need to be sanded? A: You've uncovered one of the hidden treasures of the homes of yesteryear. What you see from above and below is indeed the subfloor, but it's probably not redwood. More likely, it's vertical-grain Douglas fir. In 1920, fir was relatively inexpensive and was a common choice for subflooring. Today, vertical-grain "Doug fir" costs an arm and a leg. The worn linoleum you're removing was installed directly on the...
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