Saturday, June 3, 2017

Revealing and Refinishing 117 Year Old Floors

We have been moving at a rapid pace with our renovations! The plan after the granite counter was installed was to move onto the flooring in the kitchen, hallway and half bath.

We got sidetracked with replacing our back and side doors which were original and in rough shape. This also included rebuilding our side steps and decking.

Then we moved on to the kitchen flooring. Well just before we had contractors coming to measure for estimates we tore up the carpeting in the hallway. 
Holy crap! The wood was in perfect condition (minus the paint of course which sands right off). There was no way we were going to tile over such loveliness.

There were no intentions of refinishing the wood floors anytime soon. At 117 years old we figured there would be some wear. But seeing the hallway we just had to see more!

The dining room (aka my office) was also in perfect condition (minus the paint again).
The living room however made us nervous. The prior owners told us there was a carpet inlay in there so we didn't know what exactly to expect.
Back in the day, to save money, inlays of pine were installed within the pricey woods that homeowners would throw an area rug over.

This took up the front half of the front to back living room.
As you can see there had been a wall in the middle so this was 2 rooms originally. To save us money, Jim did the prep work of removing the pine boards so the wood guy could work his magic. I was the carpet staple remover person. Not fun!

There were a couple of other areas needing patching where radiators had once been as well as the threshold areas. A couple of the guys who looked at the floor believed this is red birch which is now hard to come by. They all suggested red oak for the patching so that is what we went with.

Now for the big reveal! 

The hallway. The wood tone is gorgeous!
Below to the left you can see where the nasty kitchen floor starts. Soon to be replaced (we are currently working on this yucky prep work as I publish this post)! 
 Living room.
The oak looks beautiful where the pine boards had been. It looks like an intentional wood inlay. The contrast is spectacular.
The back of the living room was pristine to begin with so it is stunning too!
So now we need to put the heater covers back on and put the curtains back up. Eventually I will get around to touching up the moulding too. There was a lot of prep work in this one with the removal of the old carpeting, staples, tacks and pine but worth every minute!

This project was less expensive than we anticipated and we could not be happier with the results! Even though it was an unexpected expense, this will bring us back at least double what it cost us in resale. It makes a huge difference in the home's marketability too. 

I hope you enjoyed our reveal! Thank you for stopping by. ~Val


  1. OMG that's gorgeous! And what a beautiful job on the restoration areas in the living room! You were lucky the rest was in such good condition under the carpeting -- what a bonus!

  2. Gorgeous flooring Val! I think wood floors add warmth to a room. The oak inlay does look like a feature that was meant to be there all along :D

  3. Total score!!!! I would have been just like you. Once I saw hardwood, I would have been ripping up the remaining carpet so fast out of sheer curiosity. Your floors are amazing. Tell the truth, did you guys lay on that beautiful floor? I could see myself sprawled out making pretend angels wings (like you do in the snow) just from so much joy. LOL

  4. Removing carpet is the worst ;-/ But wow!! Those shiny floor boards look amazing! And the replacement oak is a nice accent in the living room :)

  5. oh wow what a reveal! we did the same with our house ... 2 floors of it! they had carpet on nearly every surface and what wasn't carpet was stained black. Once we sanded the floors it made the house so much brighter, and warmer in my opinion. You guys are really going to town on renovations!!

  6. Wow!That's really amazing work. Bravo!:)
    Hanve a wonderful Sunday val!

  7. Val, I was wondering where you were! You guys did an amazing job. They look so good! :D I know it was work but you really preserved the original floor. New hardwoods are expensive so kudos to you girl.

  8. The floor looks amazing, and I like that inlay. I had my walls done last week, and the next project would be a new floor in at least the living room, but I have no idea yet of what I want. Good luck with your next project!

  9. This is so amazing! They turned out great :)


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  10. Wow Val!! You guys were so lucky the wood was in such great condition!! Happy Dance! Looks amazing!!! Gorgeous!!! Great job on the restoration!!! Again, you two should be so proud of yourselves!!! I really am! Big Hugs!

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  12. They look so good Val! So nice and new and shiny! :D

  13. Oh my goodness, Val, your floors are GORGEOUS!!
    I just love hardwood floors, and I am never sure why some want to cover them up with carpet and/or tile.
    What a find for you.
    Just beautiful!


Thank you for stopping by! I love reading visitor comments! ~Val