Monday, November 8, 2010

Refinishing Hardwood Floors

So I currently live in a house I rent.  The house is very cute but definately has its quirks.  Here is a picture of the front of the house from when I first moved in.

One of the quirks the house has is that when in was built sometime in the 1920's it was not built on a slap foundation.  You can see that from these two pics of the back of the house:

And just for fun so you can see the rest of my dwelling, here are two shots of the backyard:

Now back to the no-slab foundation -- besides the fact that this means that walls tend to crack (messing up your freshly painted walls) and during some seasons certain doors in the house won't open/close (due to swelling and house movements), this is a little bit of a concern when you are a constantly-looking-for-projects-to-complete freak like I am.  Originally the house had hardwood floors, and when I moved in there was wall-to-wall cream color carpeting which looked nice, but with me living in the house along with 4 animals...the carpets didn't stay cream colored long.  Even with regular carpet is just hard to keep cream colored carpets cream if you really live in your house.  But I could see the hardwood floors in my closets looking out and me and laughing because they were there but I couldn't have them.

So I really started thinking about what hardwood floors would be worth to me.  I did some reearch and found that I could take care of the refinishing of these floors myself, and it wouldn't be in the thousands of dollars like I had initially thought (and by thought I mean told by friends who had worked with professionals doing their own houses).  And I determined that hardwood floors would definately be worth $50 a bucks more in rent to me, so I proceeded with contacting my Landlord...who surprisingly was fine with the idea of redoing the original hardwood.  Turns out, she even has a friend who is a professional who might be redoing the floors for me!  If she likes what she sees, she will come in and sand and seal the floors for me herself...I will just have to rip up and dispose of the carpet & pad, pull up all of the staples and nails (the floor is tongue and groove) and pry up all of the carpet tack and dispose of it.

Turns our that "just" I mentioned is A WHOLE LOT OF WORK!  I really didn't know what I was getting myself into!!!  And remember when I mentioned that my house "moves" and it does not have a solid slab foundation?  Just imagine what this means to toungue and groove floorboards that are 90 years old and have been covered in carpet and not maintened in a couple of decades?!?

Now my puppies are potty trained to pee outside; however, sometimes they have to use puppypads that are strategically located in the house in case I cannot let let outside.  Now for the most part the are really good about using the pads, EXCEPT that my little girl Bunny Bear will not use a pad that someone besides herself has gone on.  And her brother Bowser will "mark" a pad as soon as she goes on one.  So what this means for me is that I am changing out pads several times a day due to my finicky little girl...although I really can't blame her.  If you ever saw what Bowser could do to a wouldn't want to use it after him either!

So I realized that Bunny B was having little accidents (if you can call them that) on the carpets while I was at work or during the night sleeping.  And then Bowser would mark those accidents seeing that he is a typical boy dog.  And while I was pretty good about alwasy find these accidents and throughly cleaning up after them, last week when I met with the lady who may be helping me redo the floors last week she terrified me that the hardwood floors under the carpet were going to be ruined.  I was so scared ripping up the carpets this weekend as I was fully expecting that in the two places that Bunny Bear "goes" the floors were going to be warped and black with urine stains. 

Well thank goodness this was not the case!  However, it isn't as nice as it sounds.  There was a little puppy piddle staining on the hardwoods near the bathroom door, but that was NOTHING compaired to the condition that most of the floor was in.  Here are some picstures to show you what I have been up to.  I promise I will post a full reveal and tips to what I have discovered along the way once I finish the project.

These is the floor in the small hallway between the two bedrooms and the bathroom (where the floors really were the far):

And do you like the not-so-little cutout of the floor where whoever installed the wall heater (obviously put in since the house was built in the twenties)?  I am not really sure what can be done about that...

And how the carpet installers thought it was a good idea to prepare the inside of the house for a hurricane...seeing that the insire floor was covered in staples ensuring that the carpet pad was adheared to the floor VERY WELL...

The first area of carpet I ripped up was in the dining room...and the floor boards are not in that great of shape there...this is definitely where the non-stable sub floor has come into play the most.

And as you can see from this picture, whoever installed the cheap vinyl linoleum at the front door entry way was A REAL to love the uneven cuts and excess glue that is everywhere...

But after sweeping, moping the floors a couple times and then polishing them with wood cleaner, the floors look MUCH better!

Dining room:

Living room:

And the entryway:


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