July 29, 2009

Consulting with a Professional

Thank you all so much for your comments and suggestions about the floors! We are definitely making progress. After whipping up a floor plan for the row house (One of us is an architect. Hint: it is not me), we had a flooring professional come give us a bid and some advice.

Daryl Dion (of A Dion and Sons Floor Service) came out to the row house to take a look at the newly exposed pine/fir flooring. One of us (Hint: it is still not me) has worked with Mr. Dion before.

-Will the cat urine stains come out?
-Should we refinish the closet floors (we have four closets) or leave them as is?
-How do we get the warmth of oil-based polyurethane without the toxic VOCs?
-What can be done about the 1/4 inch gaps between the floorboards on the upstairs landing? You can't see from the photo below, but trust me: the gaps are wide and deep enough that if we ever can't find the dog, I will look between the floorboards.

We asked Mr. Dion if we should put rope or wood putty in the floorboard gaps. His answer? There is nothing we can do, short - of course- of installing new floors or spending a lot of money nailing down the ones we have. Um......no.

He believes most of the cat urine stains will come out with sanding. If they don't, we might patch the stained areas using salvage wood from the bathroom or kitchen.

He'll apply one coat of oil-based sanding sealer to bring out the warmth of the wood. Then, he'll top the sanding sealer with three coats of satin finish water-based polyurethane. I think they do a light sanding between coats of the water-based poly. The painted floors (remember, we're painting the kitchen and bathroom floors) will be sanded and sealed with oil-based paint primer. Since it's just two rooms, I think I can deal with the stink without throwing one.

Mr. Dion recommended that we sand the closets because it doesn't add that much to the bottom line while providing a continuous seal to the wood.

Mr. Dion will start the floors later this week or early next week and it will take five to seven days. Cool! Next, we have to decide what colors to paint the kitchen and bathroom floors. My white/off-white idea was vetoed by one of us (Hint: it was not me.) So now we're looking at colors.


  1. AnonymousJuly 29, 2009

    That wallpaper looks pretty groovy! Are you able to keep it or does it not look so fine up close?

    Any chance you two want to spend extra time painting a pattern into the kitch or bathroom floor? I recently saw a kitchen floor with diagonal squares painted in --a two tone warm ochre palette--and it looked fab. But it was a lot of work.

    This is a great, informative post. Thanks!

  2. AnonymousJuly 29, 2009

    My floors have gaps in them, and my floor person said to leave them be (part of the charm of 100+ year old floors). A previous owner had put putty in some cracks along the downstairs hallway floor, and I did not like the way that it looked (it looks like putty in the cracks!). The floors all look great now, and the irregularities (which are not large enough to lose a dog in once the floors are sanded and finished, but then again I have large dogs) really do give the floors character.

  3. Think of the floor gaps as handy places to sweep dust into!


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