DIY: Hardwood Floors

This is our kitchen. When we moved in 6 years ago, we were told the floors had “JUST BEEN” redone. Not quite. Add in 5 years of heavy traffic, several DIY projects and a plaster experiment gone wrong and our floors were hurting. Just look at the before. Look at it. I would scrub the floors and then scrub them again and they’d still be dirty.

Dave has wanted to redo the floors for a while. He loves messing with the house and loves Norm Abrams, so it was only a matter of time before he tore apart the floors.  But he needed to save up vacation days and I needed to mentally prepare myself for the dust. So, if you’re asking, “Hey, why didn’t you do this BEFORE you had a baby?” Our answer is, “We went on two awesome vacations before the baby came. Also, if she loses brain cells, we don’t have to save for college.”

So, starting on Thursday, Dave sanded, stained and polyurethaned the floors. There is no short cut. No tricks. Just a lot of hard work.

Here are some things we learned during the project:

1. If you are going to lose access to your kitchen for 4 days, PLAN AHEAD.

2. The day the staining and polyurethaning happen, take the baby out of town. Somewhere there is a nice grandma to watch the child, while you nap. As it was, I would have died if it weren’t for our neighbors letting us use their house and feeding me a chili dog.

3. When you tell your husband to get you a hotel, make sure that hotel is not a Howard Johnson. If it is, make sure you have a shiv and bring your own pillows.

4. If you are standing in line at the Howard Johnson waiting to change your room because the previous one smells so much like cigarette smoke you think that the stupid-inducing staining fumes might be a step up, protect your baby’s feet and hands or else meth heads might try to touch her.

5. Rent a sander that vacuums and sands.

6. Vacuum a lot during the project. VACUUM!

As it was, Dave did a good job of containing the dust. And the project wasn’t as complicated as, oh say, redoing the plumbing in a bathroom. But it was a lot of hard work. But it’s oh, so worth it.  They seriously make our rooms look brand new. Also, next summer Dave is going to redo the living room, but Ellis and I will be out of town.


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