Turns out our 130 year old Hemlock floor cleans up real nice!
When we bought the new house we were unsure of which floors we would be able to save and which ones should really be covered up or replaced. It took a lot of work and many steps but the Master bedroom floor now looks gorgeous! And I wouldn’t trade it for a new hardwood floor, a laminate floor or carpet for anything!
This is how to Master bedroom floor looked before. The photograph really makes the finish look horrible!
The first thing we did was clean it like crazy (sweep, vacuum hand scrub and then vacuum/scrape out all the cracks on the floor to get rid of all of the years of accumulated dirt we could, especially in the cracks of the floor. Then we started filling. I used a 1 inch putty knife and Minwax stainable wood filler. We used probably 5 of these big tubs in the room. Using the 1 inch putty knife we tried not to overfill to much to have a ton to sand. It took 4 afternoons to get to this step and then we were ready to sand! At first we thought we could use our hand sander with a fine grit, then maybe with a rough grit, then realized that we were wrong and really needed a big floor sander, luckily our local Lowe’s has then in stock to rent for under $40 a day. We followed the directions starting with 37 grit and working our way to 80 and then went in the corners and the edges we couldn’t reach with the hand sander and a bit of hand sanding . This process was surprisingly dust free! Not anything at all like sanding drywall mud :p When our floor was where we called “done” it was not 100% new looking. Our floors were bowed and warped from years of being unheated, have filled gaps between each board and aren’t as secure as a brand new floor, but we weren’t going for new in this floor, just nice – we didn’t want to remove the years of character from the floor, only the years of neglect. The next step was to tack cloth the whole thing and then start applying stain. I choose a very dark brown stain, And we applied it as instructed. After the stain we applied 2 coats of a semi gloss poly. I wanted to go for a high gloss but was cautioned against it because of the rough nature of the old wood (that every little imperfection would reflect the light differently and make it look bad) I am so glad I took the experts advice and we couldn’t be happier with the end results!
While the rest of the country was out getting wild and crazy and drunk at the bars we were at home with the kiddos. But once they went to bed? Well, We just went crazy!!!
Sanding the Master bedroom floor haha! This is probably the most memorable St. Pattys day ever, based on the fact that we can actually remember it AND we will get to reap the fruits of our labors everyday for the rest of our stay in the New Home for the Handful.
So working from home has its benefits when a contractor is working on your house, the obvious being that you know when they show up and when they don’t, they know you are going to be there so are more likely to work in a more structured pattern, and that they can consult you on little questions or changes as the need arises. It also has downfalls, like wasted time bull-shitting about your home repair instead of working, making small changes on a whim because you are home, and occasionally being asked if you will run to the store to pick up a small part they forgot or didn’t realize would be needed. But no one ever mentions the mood lifting laugh factor of home remodeling in an old house! I don’t think I have laughed so hard or so often in my daily working hours ever! Considering that the majority of my working hours are me home alone ( or with kids) working on a computer, baking in the kitchen, or taking care of livestock it might just be that my working hours are just normally filled with hours of a) hard physical labor, or b) concentrating deeply on the task at hand. (Like take today’s tasks, computer programming baking, livestock chores and deliveries, while the kids are playing loudly on yet another day when school is closed for no good reason!).
So far in the great bathroom remodel/ floor leveling job there have been not 1 but 5! times that someone has put at least 1 foot through the dining room ceiling ( it is starting to look like swiss cheese down there!) While horrifying at the moment it is happening, it is hi-lar-i-ous the second we find out the hapless victim is fine. The 1st was #1 running to his room and side jumping. The 2nd was our d-o-g reverse parachuting through the piece #1 had already broken. A few days later d-o-g did it again in another spot! and the contractor mis-stepped and broke a tile. The floor leveling was done at that point and the rafters covered back up, but then yesterday while a small section of the floor was pulled up to install the toilet drain lines as we were debating whether or not to put the toilet where we planned or to move it slightly I managed to find the only spot uncovered big enough to put a foot through and did exactly that! Each time after we realized the person hadn’t fallen through and was ok it was full on belly laughs to the point of having to go pee! ( and when d-o-g fell once he jumped up and ran away) we were laughing for forever!
Then there was the water incidents. While running new lines from the cellar to the bath on a particularly warm rainy day the cellar started to flood, apparently our sump wasn’t working properly ( which really is no surprise at this point) so the contractor stopped running new lines to take a look ( or else he would have been running lines knee-deep in water with in the hour!) and while he managed to get the sump started he also accidentally took the discharge hose off when he set it down ( turns out they hadn’t attached it with any kind of clamp or seal – doh!) and got a 5 second ice-cold shower before he realized what was happening and moved out-of-the-way. It was one of those moments you wished you had been video recording so you could play it back over and over again! Then the next day when he went to cut the new water lines to length and apparently one of the kids had turned the water back on the night before ( I blame #5 – the 3-year-old!) and got another shower! which then resulted as rain through the dining room ceiling.
It’s just one of those things you laugh at because what else are you going to do? It’s an old house apparently everything the previous diyers did was wrong and very very cobbled… ( Insert bad polish joke here) Once it’s over and everyone and everything’s fine, you just have to laugh at it. Just think of all the moments I would have missed if I left the house everyday for a day job!