July 20, 2009

Floor Demo Complete

We finished ripping up plywood floors and carpet tacks at the house this weekend. All the newly exposed floors are three-inch wide, unfinished pine or fir. The photo above is of the master bedroom floors. There are some sections of the kitchen and upstairs bathroom that might need to be patched, but other than that, the floors are in good shape and are as bare as a nekid baby. Which kind of got us wondering: why would a house not have finished floors? Why are they bare? Didn't they finish floors back in the day?

Unfortunately, cat urine stains in two rooms have left us muttering angrily under our breath, 'Effing cats.' a lot. We need to look into whether we can sand out cat urine stains or if we should treat them with a 'peroxide' product prior to refinishing. Effing cats.

After crawling around on my hands and knees removing nails on Saturday, I invested in some industrial knee pads on Sunday morning (Home Depot opens at 8 am, in case you were wondering.) Ahhhhh, much better. Here's the front hallway after demo:

We plan to apply a coat or two of oil-based polyurethane, covered by a coat or two of water-based polyurethane to all the floors. The goal of this application formula is to get the warm 'amber' created by oil-based poly without the incredibly toxic fumes from an oil-based poly sitting at the surface. I've read about folks who've had success with this application, but we'll have to see what our 'floor guy' says. We're thinking about painting the bathroom floor a glossy white or off white, for the following effect (image courtesy of Desire to Inspire) What do you think?


  1. I like the glossy white (or off) idea. Even the Aloe looks good. -Denis

  2. AnonymousJuly 21, 2009

    Your blog ( and house ) look great. The moldings are fabulous! The cat pee stains are likely deep in the wood sorry to say. I hope the bleaching works and look forward to hearing more about how that goes.

  3. I second Denis' motion.

  4. I'm down with white bathroom floor. In fact, I think it's pretty fantastic.

    Stupid cats. Is there something to be said for charming stains?

  5. If you have not yet done so, you may want to connect your reno blog to houseblogs.net ... lots of people doing reno projects. Some nice connections there ... I love those rowhouses, looking forward to seeing your progress.


  6. Stained glass- Wow! Ahhh - I love a bare wood floor. What a feeling of satisfaction you must have had uncovering it! Did you say they were pine? Are you refinishing them yourselves? If so - beware the soft wood (v. easy to sand deeper than you had planned on). Love the white bathroom floor. I felt blasphemous painting the attic floor, but really like the result.
    p.s. - I think the stains will be charming

  7. AnonymousJuly 27, 2009

    I purchased a Holyoke rowhouse in October and also have pine floors. I have been told that the floors were considered subflooring back in the day, and the boards are now very valuable. My floors were covered with disintegrating wall-to-wall carpet, with linoleum underneath that had been affixed directly to the floorboards. In one room, roof tar apparently was used to install the linoleum. The floors have been stripped, sanded, and refinished with a waterbased sealant and they look fabulous (even the roof-tarred floor). I was lucky -- no pet stains. Best of luck to you.


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