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My Mystery Floor

I recently acquired an old house from my daughter, whose stepmother had gone over the place top to bottom, stem to stern, and declared that it pre-dates the Great Johnstown Flood of 1889. When we re-did the roof we found confirmation in that the trap door was obviously not part of the original construction but was added later. (The Moxham area where the house is located became part of Johnstown after the Great Flood, and because of the flood the city mandated trap doors in all roofs so that people could escape in case of flood.)

That's the background. Now for the mystery.

I moved in to a house with truly hideous, pet-abused carpet and decided that the carpet has got to go. I ripped up a bunch of carpet in what will become my kitchen and found it was glued to subfloor. I've been tearing up subfloor to find ugly yellow flooring (vinyl? linoleum?) made to look like carpeting. Under that I found green tile squares in a marble-look pattern. And between the green tile and the hardwood -- a layer of newspaper! I only uncovered about a square foot of it (Date: February 28, 1943) before my friend demanded that I stop because, she said, an archeologist would want to explore this.

I'm not sure archeologists are interested in newspapers under the floor tile, but I certainly am.

1. What's with the newspaper?

2. If the entire floor is covered with the newspaper, is there any way I can preserve it, perhaps under a layer of polyurethane, to have a truly unique kitchen floor? If so, how?

Re: My Mystery Floor

No idea why it was done, but I've seen it before.
Seems like a bad idea to save the paper and encapsulate it. The paper is likely to be stained and a moldy and be a mess when the linoleum is removed.

Re: My Mystery Floor

I remember my grandparents saving old newspapers for different purposes, such as collecting dust or give little critters a place to roam.

In your case, maybe they thought the paper could be an insulator or something else, who knows.

I wouldn't want to save it.

Re: My Mystery Floor

If you really want to keep it, frame a piece of it, and hang it on the wall.

Re: My Mystery Floor

Just a guess but I would say the newspaper was used as a pad to help keep the sub floor lines from telegraphing through.


Re: My Mystery Floor

Thanks to everybody for their responses. I think I will take the advice of saving a portion and framing it.

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