Archive for the 'Floors' Category

More Sanding, and the winner of the stain contest!

Friday, October 1st, 2004

So, last night we hemmed and hawed and tossed and turned and finally narrowed our choices down to the following stains (Minwax):

  • Golden Oak
  • Ipswich Pine
  • Cherry
  • Golden Pecan

I handed this list to John this morning, and showed him a picture of a beautiful floor that M. and I liked from American Bungalow magazine. He recommended that in addition to the above four, we also try out “Colonial Maple” as that seemed to him to be closest to the floor in question.

While I was at work, they “laid out” samples of the stain directly onto our floor in the living room for us to get a feel for how the different stains look. Here’s what it looked like:

From left to right, these are:

  • Ipswich Pine
  • Golden Oak
  • Cherry
  • Golden Pecan
  • Colonial Maple (Benjamin Moore, not Minwax)

Before seeing the stains on the floor, my favorite was Golden Pecan, with Ipswich Pine as a close contender. M. liked the Golden Oak, with the Ipswich Pine coming in second. But seeing them on the floor, we ruled out Cherry as looking too much like dyed red, and both Ipswich Pine and Golden Pecan as being too light. That left us with the Golden Oak and Colonial Maple. After walking around the stains for a bit, holding lights high and low, and stooping down and standing up, we finally decided that the Colonial Maple brought out the natural coloring of the red oak beautifully (without looking phony or dyed). Here’s a close-up of the winner:

The floors are now almost completely sanded, and they’re about ready to start screening them.

Sanding, Sanding, and More Sanding

Thursday, September 30th, 2004

John and his father showed up right at 8:00AM this morning for another day of fun with the drum sander. The floors are still in a rough state, but everything’s been rough sanded now except for the edges and the steps. The smell is just amazing, and the entire house looks like it’s been sprinkled with a creamy-colored baby powder.

Here’s a look at the dining room floor in its sanded state. Check out how dark the old finish looks around the edges (and for inconsistency, compare that to the “before” picture of the master bedroom).

Tonight we have to narrow our stain choices down to 4 or so, and they’ll put samples on the floor for us to compare. No pressure or anything… I mean, after all, if we don’t like our choice, we’ll only have to live with it for the next 20 years or so.

Love for the floors

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

John Necs and his father arrived right on time this morning at 8:00AM. They spent the day rough sanding the second floor bedrooms and hallway; our house now has the cool clean smell of a lumberyard full of freshly sawn oak. And I love the way the raw wood looks–you can’t see the beautiful grain, but you know it’s under there. Here’s the master bedroom floor rough sanded:

And they did a little patching work on the steps:

They’ve got a few more days of sanding to go, but it’s already obvious that these guys are doing their work very carefully and very thoroughly. We’ve got until Friday morning (Oct 1st) to pick a stain, and the finish goes on on Monday.

Hardwood Floors Need Love Too

Tuesday, September 28th, 2004

We decided to go with Nex Flooring to refinish our floors, and they’re coming tomorrow at 8:00AM to start work. Nex Flooring is a family business run by a father and his two sons, and they got fantastic reviews on a local referral service, and their estimate seemed extremely reasonable. Before we get to redoing the floors though, a few words about the floors as they stand right now.

The downstairs wood floors were covered in carpet for an unknown duration of time, along with a runner up the center of the stairs–this travesty in all likelihood saved the floors a helluvalot of wear and tear, so it’s not All Bad. The wood floors throughout the house are red oak (except the kitchen, which is maple), and considering that the house is 92 years old, they’re remarkably level and even, although they do squeak a bit.

It appears that the previous owner pulled up the carpet and had all the wood floors refinished about four years ago, but I’m hoping that he didn’t pay very much as the refinishers did a horrible job.

First: They didn’t bother to sand all the way around the radiators, they didn’t sand all the old finish off in some places, they attempted to rectify some squeaks by pounding 8d nails into a bunch of boards, and they did a real half-assed job on the stairs (esp. the risers). Lastly, they didn’t bother to pull up the quarter-round (aka “the shoe”) between the baseboard and the floor, despite the fact that a) it was pulling away from the floors in some places, b) the floor under the shoe was dark dark dark, and c) it looked like crap with a dark line running under the shoe around the room.

They repaired a hole in the middle of the foyer by gluing in a small divot of wood (which popped out shortly thereafter, I can only imagine). The bullnose ledge leading to the basement looked like a dog had chewed half of it off. Lastly, it looked like the floor had been stained in some areas and not at all in others–the master bedroom floors looked positively white while the rest of the floors were just light.

Add to that the fact that the house was rented out for the last few years, and you wind up with some pretty darned trashed floors. The northwest bedroom was gouged so badly that it looks like someone had been dragging boat anchors around in there.

So in preparation for the Floor Guys coming tomorrow, I pulled all of the quarter-round up in all of the rooms where we’re going to be having the floors refinished (which comes down to every room except the kitchen and the sun room). They offered to do this, but I figured that it was a good way to get to know the house and how it all goes together. In the process of doing this, I discovered that the northwest bedroom appears to have had a fair amount of its oak trim replaced at some point–with pine trim. And for an encore, pulling the quarter round off in some areas really highlighted just how badly the previous refinishers had gouged the floor in some places.

Think I’m exaggerating? See for yourself.

Here’s the master bedroom floor:

And the lovely finishing job they did around the radiator in the master bedroom:

Some beautiful gouges from the northwest bedroom:

One of the better looking steps:

And lastly, the wonderful hole in the middle of the foyer: