Hardwood floor, part 1

Ella helps install flooring.Over the weekend, Michelle and I, with the help of family, replaced the kitchen floor. The entire first floor with the exception of the kitchen is original oak tongue and groove flooring, and it is in desperate need of refinishing. We’d meant to refinish before we moved in, but time being what it is, kept us from doing so. Now there’s sliver danger when you slide your feet, which both Michelle and Ella have discovered. So, before refinishing, we’d talked about what to do in the kitchen. It was having another set of issues.

In the kitchen, the floor was covered with vinyl stick down tiles. They looked nice enough, and they hid the dirt pretty well, but many had stopped sicking, and the corners of some had even come up so when you were shuffling haphazardly for that first cup of coffee, you got the added jolt of a chunk of vinyl in your toe. Plus, underneath the tile was a layer of occasionally wet particle board. Some had swelled to make the floor additionally uneven and humpy. So, we tore it up. Jason, Michelle, my parents and I all took turns ripping out the tiles and board, and ultimately, the old ship lap subfloor.

We hadn’t counted on taking up sub-flooring, so the extra time and labor, plus the cost of replacing the subfloor was a surprise. Luckily, not a major cost, but it put us a day behind “schedule.” I mock the schedule, but we really need to have it wrapped up before the next weekend for sanding.

At this point, I should mention the replacement flooring again. It’s reclaimed tongue and groove oak flooring from a deconstruction service in Kenton. It’s a mix of red and white oak, which I expected to look just right once laid down with the rest of the flooring. Plus, I got a smoking deal on it. The cost per square foot was around $1.70, and there’s enough left over that I’ll be able to sell the rest to someone and knock the price down to the $1.50/sqft range.

Anyway, installing the stuff was a dream once we got the sub floor taken care of. There was some awkwardness around the pantry doors and a challenge of backfilling the small section behind the island, but with a rented floor stapler from Interstate Rentals (awesome folks, btw) we installed ourselves back on to schedule, finishing right around 9 pm on Sunday. Michelle, who often feels cheated out of projects because she’s wrangling a girl or two, got plenty of opportunity to ravage her back and knees as we tag-teamed the parenting. She’s much happier about it, and considering how awesome the floor looks without even being finished yet, I can’t agree more.

Now, we have 3 full days until the drum sander tears through what little finish is left on the original flooring and hopefully matches the whole thing together. Boxing of items commences tonight. I think we have the stain/sealer/finish regimen picked out as well.

I’ve added a few photos here.

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