You Win Some, You Win Some – Hardwood Floor Wins
I usually don’t get to write about “wins” when it comes to renovating. It always seems like one small problem escalates into a bigger one, a much bigger one that winds up costing us time and money.
But I’m happy to report we have a win. A hardwood floor win to be precise.
This all started with the dumpster we had delivered. You might have seen on social media a picture I posted of our over stuffed garage…
Yeah, the picture above was what our garage looked like after ripping down a deck, a few roofs, drop ceiling, insulation, cabinets, counters, carpeting (which reeked of animal and was starting to make our garage smell of the same) and gutting a bathroom.
So to combat the smelly trash issue we ordered a 20 yard dumpster and neatly packed all the trash from the garage into the dumpster. After everything was out of the garage we looked at the dumpster and said “yeah, we can shove more stuff in there.”
Side note, you won’t believe how much room jumping on top of the trash in the dumpster frees up!
So we deviated from our plan of solely working on the apartment and turned our focus to anything and everything we could rip out and fit in the dumpster whether it be in the apartment, the house or outside. I won’t get into everything we tore out now because this post would be 28,000 words long but I’ll focus on the whole point of the post. The hardwood floors.
We have hardwood floors throughout the ENTIRE house. And when I say entire house, I mean they’re everywhere.
From day one we knew that the living room, dining room, hallway and at least one bedroom had hardwood floors but I thought I was going to have a problem refinishing them in the living room and dining room because of a bad patch job.
The Bad Patch Job
Back in the “olden days” there must have been a floor grate (for heating I assume?) located between the living and dining rooms. When the floor grate was removed and a central heating system was added, someone came in and did the world’s worst patch job. Okay, it wasn’t the worlds worst, but instead of laying the patch in a staggered way like the rest of the flooring, they literally just put the wood in the square where the old vent had been (if this doesn’t make sense, check out the picture below).
To make things worse, they didn’t even match the old wood up with the right sized new wood (the original hardwood is 3-3/8 inch wide and the wood they used to patch it is 3-1/8 inch wide… which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s very noticeable with even just a glance of an untrained eye).
This posed a real problem for me because it meant I would either have to finish the hardwood floors and live with a weird square patch on the floor or choose a different flooring altogether. I love original hardwood floors so much, I was devastated (okay maybe a harsh word) that I’d have to cover up the hardwoods… but luckily we’ve come up with a solution.
Fastforward to demoing the bathroom in the house.
I was ripping up the
six hundred three layers of vinyl on the bathroom floor and when I got to the last layer the final pull revealed beautiful, immaculate, brand new looking hardwood floors. I was giddy with joy, jumping up and down that I had found hardwood floors in yet another room.
I know people don’t recommend installing hardwood floors in kitchens or bathrooms (because of the moisture/water thing) but if they’re already there I refuse to rip them up or tear them out.
Except in this case…. I’m forced to tear the hardwood floors out. Sad face.
As I continued to pull the final layer of vinyl off the bathroom floor, I noticed around where the toilet and tub used to be the hardwood floor was so rotten I could put my foot through if I wanted to! At first I was cursing my luck, but two seconds later I had a genius idea.
I ran out to the living room, counted how many boards were in the awful looking square patch, measured the length of boards I would need to fix the patch the right way…ran back to the bathroom to check that I have 9 good long hardwood floor boards to use… AND I DO!
The genius idea = I can use the hardwood floors from the bathroom to fix the hardwood floors in the living and dining rooms.
So it’s unfortunate that we have to rip up the hardwood floors in the bathroom, but now we can patch the floor the proper way between the living room and dining room, meaning I can keep the hardwood floors throughout the whole house except the bathroom. But that’s no problem at all, I LOVE TO TILE!
What about the hardwood floors in the rest of the house?
This entire post I’ve been referring to the fact that the hardwood floors are throughout the entire house. You might be wondering… “even in the kitchen, bedrooms and closets?” Yes, even in the kitchen bedrooms and closets.
The Kitchen Has Hardwood Floors
So allow me to top this hardwood floor win with a bigger hardwood floor win… I tore up the laminate in the kitchen (three layers worth) and yet again, found some good looking hardwood floors (okay, fine, they will be good looking once I can get the glue and paper off the floor and then sand and stain them). They even continue down the steps and out onto the landing from the back porch!
The Bedrooms Have Hardwood Floors
I don’t know if you guys can take anymore good news, but here’s yet another hardwood floor win. I ripped up the carpet in the “master” bedroom (I put that in quotes because all three bedrooms are tiny and are within 4 square feet of one another in size) and immediately found hardwood floors. It’s going to take a little scraping to get the carpet backing up off the hardwood floors but it will all be worth it when they’re sanded and finished.
In the third bedroom, I was disappointed to find vinyl underneath the carpet. But upon further investigation, aka ripping up yet more vinyl, revealed the fact that there were hardwood floors in there too!
So yes, the entire house has hardwood floors and we’ll be able to keep them all sans the bathroom floor!
Even though I don’t understand why someone would cover up beautiful hardwood floors, I’m really happy the previous homeowner(s) decided to do so. The 700 layers of flooring protected the hardwood floors from wear and tear over the years and now I’ll be able to easily refinish all the floors and enjoy them as they were meant to be enjoyed.