Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Under the old flooring is even older flooring!

As you all know, Jake and I are putting in new flooring throughout the house. I'm not going to go into detail on WHY we're doing that, mainly because I already have. But also because I don't want to derail the point of this post.

The flooring we bought.

I think I've already derailed it...


This week Jake and I have been working on tearing up the old flooring in the living room so that we can get some other work done that needed the old floor to be gone.

I tried finding a photo of the whole floor, but there's always so much dust in them that you can't see the skinny strips very clearly. You can't here either... but I can say I tried.
Here's the whole room anyway

The skinny pine strips are not original and were buckling pretty badly but we weren't sure if they'd actually be easy to pull up or not because sometimes fate likes to be mean like that. We were actually really lucky on that score and it seems to be coming up without any real difficulty.

Backside of the pine floors.
OH! There's a good close-up shot of the floors!
When Jake pulled up the first piece he flipped it over and saw that it was stamped (or something) with a brand name. I've tried looking into the Peerless Brand but haven't come up with much so far. If you know anything about this company, let me know in the comments!

Anyway, the first night we got about 1/3 the room done (there were things we had to accomplish at home before we went to bed otherwise we could have done more).

The view after the flooring was taken up.
There was some black underlay beneath the pine slats but when we pulled THAT up we got this:

Absolutely GORGEOUS original wood planks.

You have no idea how thrilled I was to see these. I didn't think that we had any original flooring left on the main floor.

Just look at this!

1" thick solid wood

The width varied but it was always within the 7" realm. 

Now came the difficult part. What should we do with them?! I knew we couldn't just keep them where they were and refinish them, for a few reasons actually.

First, there were a bunch of holes in the floors. Big ones. Including a strip almost a foot wide that runs the whole length of the room for some reason (Jake and I have differing views on why that strip exists).

Big hole. Not 100% certain why this exists either.
I suspect it has to do with a pipe stack of some kind but I can't think why it went to the basement.
Then I asked Jake what his opinion on wood floors in a bathroom were.

It was a hard no. (For very legitimate reasons)

Okay, what about the kitchen floors? Would we have enough to do them?

We hmm'ed and hahh'ed over our options but ultimately decided it wouldn't work in the kitchen either. A) we'd be competing with the other wood flooring in the house without a door to break it up visually and B) the kitchen is in an addition and already raised slightly, so if we took out the 1" flooring in the living room and put it in the kitchen, we'd have to raise the living room flooring quite significantly to make the two rooms level.

Aside from the holes it is in great condition.

Jake suggested we just leave it and repair it as best we could, but that wasn't an option for me because it would end up being far too rustic for the style we're going with in the house. If it was in a vacation home, I'd absolutely be all for that. But this house is going to be more formal, and the gaps and gouges that would add character there, would just be out of place here.

What to do, what to do.

Ultimately we've decided to leave it where it is. We will be tearing the nails up (to prevent squeaks) and putting a thin sub-floor over top of it before installing the new floors we purchased last June. This will be the quickest and cheapest solution for us.

They COULD refinish beautifully, but it isn't the correct style we want in our house.

Jake suggested we sell it but I shut that down instantly. The flooring is too amazing to just get rid of. If we can't use it, we can at least keep it in the house for future generations to find and love.

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