While the husband and I are - shockingly - considering a new kind of linoleum plank flooring for our mudroom (looks great, easy to install, 25 year warranty, etc.), we're generally not too enamored with that plastic-y fake floor covering. Once you remove it you can either be really lucky and uncover great hardwood floors underneath it, kept safe from abuse for years underneath a layer of foamy plastic, or you can find a hot mess underneath it.
While we were really lucky and very happy with what we uncovered underneath the dirty linoleum in the kitchen, we knew we were probably more likely to find contestant no 2 underneath the layers of linoleum in our upstairs hallway.
Bingo! After removing Linoleum layer 1, a layer of Luan and Linoleum layer 2 and 3., we unearthed this sad sight
Despite being severely damaged by generations of greedy termites, riddled with holes and tunnels worming their way down the boards the long way (termites like expensive wood and seem to eat away one board at a time, before moving on to the next delectable one which may or may not be the one right next to where they started), the floor did not come up too easily attesting to the high quality of the materials builders used back when these old houses were built.
Finally, groaning and creaking, the first boards came out revealing a subfloor in great shape. I have now learned that a) not all houses in Springfield have subfloors (upstairs and/or downstairs) and b) that sometimes the flooring was installed over the entirety of a floor so they don't end at walls but the walls are built on top. Crazy, but it obviously works since the houses are still around.
Another reason that these houses hold up so well to time and wear is the use of no-nonsense method and materials. I bet my house has bigger nails than yours!
These are the nails keeping our hardwood floors in place upstairs. I kid you not!
I squirreled some away as a keepsake and might frame them in a shadow box together with a bit of left over wallpaper that we pulled out from the original ceiling. And maybe, maybe, of we're really lucky, we will one day find an old photograph of the Ugly Duckling. That'd be too cool!