Wood flooring changes in procedure and products in the last 50 years?

Q: Our house was hit by Hurricane Ike in Galveston this past month and took in about a foot of water. It was built in 1955 with 80% wood floors on planks. We tore out the old floor and there was a black tar type substance under them. The foundation is in a bowl of sorts. The insurance covered everything, but my question is about wood flooring changes: is there a newer replacement out in the last 50 years, new products, new procedures, or is everything done just the same?

Do we replace and paint the sheet rock before the floors are installed?

A: Not everything has changed but there is a wider selection of woods to choose from. 3/4 Plywood replaces planking for a sub floor. The black asphalt roofing paper is meant to be a vapor retarder. I would make sure everything is dried out well and install the plywood, then install a 3/4 thick floor on top. The sheet rock should be done first. In fact all wet trades ought to be done before the floors, which will be about the last thing done in your house. Makes sure the flooring contractor checks everything with a moisture meter.