Floors! So I’m sure…


So I'm sure you don't remember our old floors. When we bought the house, the oak floors looked like this:

We had hoped that would could restore and refinish the wood floors throughout the house, but the flooring guy said no. They'd just been sanded too many times, and were basically down to the tongue and groove with nailheads showing at this point -- if we'd tried to refinish them, we'd have ended up with a ton of gapping between the boards, and not in an attractive sort of way. Plus boards popping up, etc.

So we were going to buy new floors. But then, as you may remember we found perfectly good old floors under that thin strip oak (installed in 1911 by Mrs. Needham, we think).

Full of nail holes, of course, but we like the distressed look. We'd even thought about buying antique wide-plank floors from Carlisle, but had sadly decided we couldn't afford them. Our floors also had tons of cut outs for vents and ducts and the like -- they were in pretty disastrous shape. And of course, we added on to the kitchen / mudroom, so the first floor footprint was larger than the original. In the end, we had to scavenge wood from all over the the house (even the attic) to find enough of this flooring to do the first floor, but we managed it. Just.

The second and third floors will be new wood (oak), but the first floor will be the original pine from 1895, cleaned up and tung oiled. And it look like this.

They'll be putting on a second and perhaps third coat of tung oil just before we move in, which should make the tones a little richer and darker, but this gives you the basic idea. I love how warm the tones are; they warm up the entire first floor, and I think they pair with the rich F&B wall colors beautifully. I'd worried a bit about the rustic appearance, but I think it'll actually feed in nicely to the Victorian industrial elements of our decor.

Mrs. Needham would be scandalized, I suspect, but perhaps the original builders of our house would approve. We like it, anyway. With luck and good maintenance, they'll last another hundred years.

Our floor guys thought we were crazy at first and I had to really argue with them every step of the way, but now that it's done, they love our floors too, which makes me feel oddly vindicated. :-)

2 thoughts on “Floors! So I’m sure…”

  1. Wow… Really good refinishing. With care they should last a lot longer.
    I hope the carpenters made sure to go through and shim any points that were squeeking or needed a little leveling.
    I think that old photographs will reveal that these type of wood floors were covered with Arabic/Persian area rugs. Broadloom carpeting wasn’t that common.
    This definitely helps define “green” recycling of materials.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Dennis, they actually pulled up the entire floor and relaid it, because Pam wasn’t happy with some of the gapping, I think? I’m not sure of the reasoning, but the end result seems very solid and even to me.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *