Sand or install new?

Q: My husband and I are trying to determine our options for getting rid of the old carpets on our second floor. We have lifted the corner of the carpet in a couple of the rooms and it looks like there is plywood that was put over top of the original hardwood floors (our house is circa 1918). We don’t know what the hardwood floors are like underneath and would like to know how we could go about determining whether it is worth trying to save the floors or whether we should install new floors.

If we choose the latter option, then we might install cork in the bedrooms and then might choose to keep the plywood. However, we are not sure how to decide.

A: That’s a tough one. I would not know any better than yourself what is under the ply wood until it is removed. Even if you decided on a new floor, I would probably suggest removing everything to the original sub floor and starting over with a 3/4 thick solid floor. That will last well beyond our life span.

I can only tell you what I would do if it was my house. You probably have to go on the assumption that the floor under the plywood is toast and develop a scenario from there.