Fill/cover pipe hole in old wood floor

by Tera
I've got an old pipe running through my closet/secret passage(yes, a secret passage with a revolving wall from I can only assume the late 1920s!)- it was cut off from the roof in the past and serves no purpose currently. I have a ton of damage to the plaster around it from water (first step, roof replacement) but once the roof is replaced I plan to remove the pipe and put up a layer of drywall over the damaged plaster. At the base, the pipe comes up through my nice hardwood floors... It's probably about 3" in diameter. How do I fix/patch/replace that hole? Am I crazy? Should I leave the pipe?
This is not all plaster, some is diatomaceous earth because I live in the south- and cockroaches don't like DE.
The ceiling- not super easy to make drywall fit around it, plus- why must I have this useless pipe?
Hopefully I'll build a library here that makes it even more "Clue" like
  8 answers
  • Arnold Christensen Arnold Christensen on Jun 28, 2018

    You need to know where it comes from. It could be an air vent from a fixture. Could be from sink or drain down below. You need air vent or vents so water can flow out of a sink or tub . If you cut it off you may get bad stink coming out of it depending on the fixture.

    • Tera Tera on Jun 28, 2018

      Thanks for the response! No bathroom anywhere near there (it's all visible in the basement), and no stink in the attic, where it just ends (was cut off) just before reaching the roof. The house used to have radiant water heaters throughout, but those have been mostly removed and no boiler remains, though various pipes still run throughout- most ending in the basement where they were cut off or unscrewed. We know where the vents are for most of the existing fixtures- they were running through pipes that went straight through a corner of the kitchen, which I just covered with a box when I realized I couldn't remove them. Yay for 100 year old houses!

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 28, 2018

    You want to know what the pipe is for before thinking about getting rid of it.

  • While I get is useless and you have definitely ascertained that it serves no specific purpose, yes, you can get rid of it. You can get a plug cut of similar type wood to fill the hole.

    Or leave it, repair everything and caulk it off so you do not get any bug type intruders. I like quirky things like this in old houses and would leave it and embrace it. Even highlight it in future design of the area.

    If you do decide to remove it, hang onto it and we can come up with a way to repurpose it in some way, maybe for your garden. Gotta love vintage houses! Always fun little surprises. 🌞

  • Ervin Mendez Ervin Mendez on Jun 29, 2018

    If you don't need the pipe cut the pipe get rid of it. Get a bottle of foam the kind that dries and expands they also have the kind at Home Depot that insects do not like even cockroaches tape the hole on the ceiling. Put foam in the hole let it expand and dry. Cut it once it's dry on the floor nice and even to the floor. Add shellac and let it dry your hole is covered. On the ceiling get some sand paper make it even paint over it no more hole. Repeat for every floor you have. Inexpensive whole is is covered like if it wasn't there pipe is gone and you have those extra inches to do whatever you want with. Oh and cockroaches don't like that type of foam.

  • Once you remove the pipe, measure the diameter of the hole. Find a wooden dowel the same size, cut a slice and gently tap it into the hole. I would also add some wood glue around the edge of the slice.

    BTW...I'm very jealous of your secret passageway, Tera!

  • Tera Tera on Jun 29, 2018

    Thank you guys for all the great advice! I greatly appreciate it! And we totally bought the house the same day that my husband jokingly said (after 3 days of intense house hunting and flying back the next day) " if we don't find something amazing, I don't want to buy- I want a secret passage or a beer and wine cellar or" ...etc ad nauseum. Next house we found. Secret passage, rounded door and roof, rock chimney and amazing fireplace... Of course, the kitchen and bathrooms were horror shows, the roof we were told was fixed (lies! Although even big box stores and mega chains have buckets under their roof leaks here) And it turns out the whole neighborhoods basement floods when there's 3+ inches of rain in a day (actually happens quite often)... why build a basement in the swamp?

    Anyway, thank you all so much!! I'm trying to take pictures along the way, just need to get the time to post our remodels so I can share.

  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on Jul 20, 2018

    Cut out the pipe, sounds like you are pretty sure it has no purpose. Fill the wood floor with a piece of wood and wood filler and patch the ceiling with plaster repair, or do drywall or do what we have done and use bead board on the ceiling.