Jul 3, 2009

125 Year-old Hardwood Floors!

A few posts ago I promised an entry about the floors in the main house at Spit and Glue. They're hardwood of course, and as far as I can tell, they're pine. But it's obvious that through the decades the original floors have not been replaced.
You can see in certain places where the wood has actually been recycled and then sort of layed down like a mosaic to accomodate changes to the house. In other spots the floor is uneven because the foundation at one time or another has done some settling. Take a look at this little clip:

I've been reluctant to broach this topic for a couple of reasons. One: Sis is sensitive about highlighting negative aspects of her home, can't blame her for that. Two: The floors look VERY shabby in photographs, I swear, they don't look as bad in person. I'm not suggesting they don't need TLC, obviously they do. All we can do for now is to keep them on the LONG LIST of projects to be completed as we move through the remainder of 2009.


  1. Dear Aunt Keri,

    I love your blog on Lynn's house, and I also love home repair. My general contractor cousin said that the floors should remain on the long list of things to do. They're the last job that should be tackled when renovating.

    The sagging floors can be jacked up by crawling under the house and installing jacks under the sagging joists. It involves pouring a concrete base for the jacks. You cannot raise them too much because the walls and everything else have sagged along with the floor, but it should help to keep them from sagging further.

    The floors can be sanded and the discolored wood stained to match and then finished. Blending the short pieces of wood in the doorways is a much bigger project than you think, since boards need to be removed without breaking. It requires special tools, muscle, patience and the experience of having done it before.

    Moving furniture from room to room is okay while sanding, but the furniture should be moved out entirely for seamless refinishing between rooms. Sanding and refinishing one room at a time is very doable for a homeowner, but unfortunately, the sanding and refinishing of every floor in the house (with sagging joists and mismatched wood repair )is a job best left to a professional, and here's a tip on how to spot a professional. If the guy owns his own floor sander (a large machine that looks like an upright-style vacuum cleaner on steroids), he's a professional. If he rents one from Home Depot, he's not!

    The biggest part of succesful renovation is knowing your limitations, and it looks like you are doing a great job so far. Keep working on the small, easy jobs first, and eventually you will have the experience and the confidence to take on a job like sanding and refinishing the floors. I have every faith that you can do it room by room if you just ignore the uneven floors and the mismatched wood in the doorways.

    I really enjoyed all your blogs on what you've done so far, and I'm lookin forward to seeing more. Good luck. Kathy

  2. Kathy, thank you for what sounds like expert advise on the floors. And thank you for checking in on Spit and Glue, I'm flattered that you would take the time. Hope to see more of you, Keri


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