The Floors (Part 2)

In the interest of just getting this out there, I am certain I’m leaving out a lot of useful information. If you want to know more about the technical aspects of our process, or if you want to know how we are holding up mentally (uhhh…), leave a comment and I’ll respond.

Before we even closed escrow, we had a plan. If the floors were not usable, we were going to:

  • install new prefinished hardwood in the living room (prefinished to save time and effort, but install it ourselves)
  • have carpet installed in the downstairs bedroom (playroom), carpet in the boys’ bedrooms (carpet because it’s nice for the kids, but also cheap, and would save us time installing something ourselves)
  • install floating laminate flooring in our bedroom and the hallway (cheap, easy)

It was going to be the quickest and easiest and cheapest temporary solution for our floors.  The eventual goal would be to install the same hardwood throughout the house. Eventually.

Living room, before.

When we saw the living room floor, we didn’t think we could refinish it. We assumed we wouldn’t do anything with it, and went forward with our thinking.  But since the particle board was really gross in all the rooms, we kept pulling it up.

Downstairs bedroom (playroom), before.

And we kept finding floor.

Matthew's room, before.

Floor that might look good refinished.

Our room, before.

So when our friend Mark came by and recommended a floor guy, we decided to give him a call.  We assumed the floor would be pretty bad in Max’s room — where the fire started in the 70s, so we were only going to have him refinish the living room, and our room and hallway upstairs.

Max's room, before. This is where the fire started in the 70s.

And we pulled more particle board.  Then we thought, if someone can do most of our floors for us, why don’t we have him do all our floors?  So we hired Rick Willits to refinish our floors. (I can’t recommend him enough.)

Close-up of the living room floor. It was covered in an underlayment paper that had to be removed.

We (Ben) needed to prep the floors for refinishing. That involved pulling thousands of nails from the particle board. And pulling tacks. And setting each and every nail down an 1/8 of an inch. (Thank you Rick H. for helping with the nails.)

Matthew, pulling a few nails from our bedroom upstairs.

And cleaning the soot from the gaps in the floorboards from the fire.  The soot was in every room, and he came home covered in filth.

Ben cleaned cracks. For hours and hours he cleaned cracks. Cracks cracks cracks. All he thought about were cracks. (Thank you Mat for helping with the cracks.)

All the dirt and soot had to be cleaned out of every gap between every board in the house.

The floors were sanded.  And sanded some more.

The living room, after sanding. Compare to "before" picture up top. (Also see a sneak preview of wall color!)

Close-up of floor after sanding.


Playroom after sanding.

And we’re certain that this floor gave our floor guy hell, but man, now that it’s finished, it looks beautiful. It’s rustic and weathered, and this floor glows. I can’t wait to touch it, and walk on it, and roll around on it. It is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

Only two coats of poly, but so close to finished here. Isn't it lovely?

He finished today. We can walk on it tomorrow. We move in on Saturday. (Oh, shit! We still have painting to do!)

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