Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Floors Of Our House

This post is all about the floors in our house. Yea I know its a weird post topic but whadaya gonna do? I'm waiting around for the guy to finish the pest inspection of our current house. BTW these guys seem pretty darn through. Most of the floors in the house are old growth vertical grain Douglas Fir-these would be softwood floors. The two formal rooms in front have thin strip Oak floors.

Here's a shot of the kitchen floor. The floors back here are not in bad shape actually. They appear to be well adhered to the joists and are 'reasonably' flat. I don't know if they could be sanded smooth and refinished?
Here's a close up of the kitchen floor. That swirly stuff is mastic that was used under some old vinyl sheet flooring. The mastic is nasty. Its water soluble and turns a dark orange when its gets wet and soupy. We could probably scrub most of the mastic away if we had the energy...After it gets wet it takes like two days to dry. I don't know what we are going to do with it.

Here is a overhead shot of the back bedroom. The floor here is the same type as in the kitchen but its been painted. This floor is probably in the nicest condition of any in the house. I think that back-in-the-day it was standard to paint the flooring in the non public spaces.

This part of the bedroom floor is the most worn. This is actually a very shallow depression. If we sanded the entire floor smooth I don't think that you would notice it. Besides old houses are supposed to have character right?

Here's what the floor looks like in the sun room. Its the same dougfir that's in the rest of the house. This floor slopes pretty noticeably towards the outside edge of the house. Its in pretty good shape also.

Here's a close-up of the sun room floor.

This is the floor in the front formal room. Its thin strip oak flooring and unfortunately its probably the most screwed up in the house. It's got boards that are cupping, boards that are buckling, its got the remains of some indoor/outdoor carpet glued to it. This was probably the nicest floor in the house and now its the nastiest. I would love to be able to save them but I don't know if that's even possible.

Here's a close-up shot of the floor in the formal parlour. You can see the nasty carpet remains, the cupped boards, and the gaps between them. This floor was laid on top of the doug fir sub floor. Is there any way this floor can be saved? Is it possible to un-cup the wood and get it to lay flat again?

Here's another shot of the floor in the parlour. This is probably about the wood that's in the best shape. I really like the inlaid wood.
It would be so great to be able to save this floor.
This is what the floor looks like in the bay in the formal dining room. There is some serious buckling going on here. This floor has the same oak thin strip flooring as in the parlour. The black on the floor is from the glue-mastic-whatever that was holding down the vinyl tiles that covered the floor in this room...

Here's an overall shot of the ugly black glue residue on the oak floor in the dining room. Don't know if this will come off or what? It looks like the wood might be stained by the glue.
Here's a shot of the sorta cleaned up tile fireplace surround. The tile looks pretty cool and has this weird greenish-yellowish color.
This is another shot of the oak floor in the dining room. This was under some cabinets so is in pretty good shape and you can see the inlay here also.

Here's a shot of the floor in the back part of the hallway. It also had the weird sheet flooring on it but it peeled up pretty easily except for a couple of the edges. At least it was not painted.

Here's the entryway floor. Its again the doug fir and its painted. Its not in two bad of shape either-reasonably flat I'd say.

So those are the floors in our house. We are trying to decide between restoring them or covering them with a new floor. I know that the old floors will never be perfectly flat-smooth but I do want them to look reasonably good-and for them to be safe to walk on. I just don't have any idea how much magic a professional floor restorer could work with these floors. I really like the newer greener bamboo flooring they have now. It doesn't look like bamboo and its super tough and durable. It would be cool to do the entire middle floor all in one type of wood floor. That way the roomba could travel everywhere!!
Please let us know what you think about the condition of the floors and if they are salvagable and maybe even how we could fix them up.


Kathleen said...

I've been following your project, half in horror, and half in wonder. We're working on our own Victorian-era house, mangled by previous owners.

Anyway, just wanted to chime in about the floors. After pulling up carpet and 12" tiles, we found floors that look very much like the ones you have (not the cupped ones, I have no experience there). Mastic - oh lordy, did we have mastic. And you know what? Some floor finishers came in, used a load of sanding papers, and it looks great. Painted floors? Yep, we had those too - paint covered with gobs of other paint and spackle. They refinished great. We were lucky, though, that the floor paint didn't contain lead (unlike everything else in the house!).

Anyway, there are some before and after shots on Breaktime, post 62976.6.

The MadScientist said...

Hi kathleen,
Wow those floors look great. We have refinished doug-fir floors in our current house and they look pretty great. Only problem is wow are they spike heels in the house.
The orange goo is in the kitchen the black stuff is in the dining room and does not appear to be coming off easily with water...

Kathleen said...

Hey again, we didn't even try to remove the mastic. The floor finishers just chewed up a lot of sanding paper taking it off (it gums up the paper nicely). It really might be worth your while to see if you can get someone to come in and do it for you (I could do it yourself, but it was totally worth it for us to leave the house on a Friday and come back Monday to gorgeous floors!).

Good luck. I'm having fun watching your progress and thanking my lucky stars that vermin have mostly avoided our house!


Kathy from NJ said...

I've also been following your project and am quite impressed - I would have given up after the first rodent sighting. I would love to look at the before & after shots that Kathleen mentioned, breaktime post 62976.6. How did you find it?

Many housebloggers have started with worse looking floors than yours. It's amazing what can be done and I can't wait to see your "after" shots.