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HARDwood Floors

First things first, I know it has been way too long since I last posted and many of you have asked me about new pictures. Here’s the problem: in order to take the time to write a new post I have to stop working on the house long enough to write the post which means less work for me to write about!

Now that I’m finished with school until August and we’re home from relaxing in Jamaica I’ve made some time to write.

The next big job I’m going to post about is refinishing the hardwood floors in the living room, dining room, and the bedrooms. Basically, the ENTIRE house except for the kitchen and bathroom.

The day before we moved in Nate ripped up the ugly, stained, disgusting carpet that covered the floors. Under the terrible carpet and nasty carpet pad were oak hardwood floors (which we already knew). Some of the floors were stained and badly scratched. There were also 2 floorboards in the master bedroom that needed to be replaced. They looked like someone had stabbed at them repeatedly with a screwdriver. Now why would someone do that!? Therefore, after seeing the hardwood floors in their entirety for the first time we decided the floors needed to be refinished.

We talked to a few people that had refinished floors before, and they all pretty much terrified us with how difficult they said it was. Several people just said to pay to get it down… no thanks. Nate and I decided to go for it anyway… because, well, that’s what we like to do. We figured we’d try our best, and worst case scenario, we’d just cover it all with new carpet and no one but us would ever know how badly we screwed it up!

Nate replaced the 2 messed up boards and they looked great! It was a little scary to both us because in order to replace the boards you first have rip out the messed up boards. Nate was a little hesitant to drill into our oak hardwood floors! The new boards look great though. We challenge any future visitors to our house to try to find the 2 new boards in our room!

Nate did lots of research and I read the things he asked me to read and we set out to get started. After putting all of our belongings into the kitchen or the basement we were ready to sand. We went to trusty ol’ Home Depot and rented 2 sanders. One sander (which weighed about 200 lbs) was supposed to sand the finish and the stain off the main part of the floor. Sander #2 (which was much smaller but still quite heavy) was supposed to do the same but around the edges of the room. The plan was for Nate to use the big sander and for me to do the edges with the smaller sander.

We started in the smallest bedroom (because that’s where we start everything in case we majorly mess up our first attempt). The big sander (aka the gentle giant) was not tough enough to cut through all the finish and the stain so Nate decided to see what the edge sander was like. We realized very quickly that there was absolutely no way I was going to use the smaller sander (hereafter referred to as “the beast”) and there was no way we’d ever finish if we kept using the gentle giant for the main part of the floor.

Since the sanders were due back at the Depot at 8 am the next morning we had to make some quick decisions. Nate ended up using the beast to rip off the finish and the stain (and nearly killed himself) and then we would use the gentle giant to smooth everything out.

That’s what we did… but we didn’t finish in one night. We returned the beast after one night but kept the gentle giant another night. Those were two extremely tiring and long days, but we had finished sanding. Onto staining and poly-ing.

Staining was quick and painless. Putting on the polyurethane was not as easy. You have to keep everything really clean and be very careful not to get streaks or dirt in the poly because those flaws will dry into the surface and stay that way. I wish I didn’t have to admit that a bun and hairnet were no match for my mane and there is now a nice, long hair in the finish of our hardwood floors. Nate was less than excited when he first discovered it.

So that’s it, the story of our floors. A neighbor saw the finished floors and asked if we’d come do his. We said no. Nate said he won’t be doing it again for a long time. I said I’ll never be doing it again. It was definitely worth it, but I never want to have to do it again!

The pictures don’t quite do the floors justice so you’ll all have to come visit so you can properly admire them! 😉

More to come soon!


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