Category Archives: floors

Day 16: I’m running out of subject lines

The stage is set and the floor is ready for the tile to go in on Monday. Now what they’re planning to do for the next two days, I have no idea.

Clearly the floor is going to be something special, what with the presence of Wonderboard…

Also, may I present one of the biggest problems DIY-ers face in their homes: Tantalizingly peeling wallpaper just BEGGING to be pulled at, in a room that happens to be last in line for plans of remodeling. It’s like a stray piece of yarn in a sweater, or a small flake of last week’s sunburned skin. But I really have to contain myself, as I’m in over my head as it is.

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That bald guy’s really onto something…

Dear Mr. Clean,

Your Magic Eraser truly is magic. I don’t know what it’s made out of, but it’s too incredible not to be cancer-causing. Whatever your secret is, don’t change a thing. Except maybe to put a motor on it so I won’t even have to scrub.

Yours Truly,
Cleaning Kate

I started out this evening scrubbing the gross linoleum floor in my studio with all the elbow grease I could muster, but was getting nowhere fast. I couldn’t quite figure out if the floor was really dirty or just old and done-for, because although I was able to whiten some spots pretty well, the rest just wasn’t cooperating, so I wasn’t sure whether the white spots were actually just where I had scrubbed through the surface of the linoleum. Then, intent to try everything I could think of, I was searching through the cabinet for Soft Scrub when I stumbled upon a box of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. I know people rave about it, but I always forget that it exists. I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try, and the results were amazing. What probably would have taken us six hours of backbreaking scrubbing took a half hour of moderate effort. We did go through three of them on half the floor, but it was worth every penny. I think it’s time to head to Costco for a gross of them – I’m considering throwing out all other cleaners and using only these from now on. Check out the difference:

So besides finishing the other half of the floor, the craft studio is nearing completion! I have to touch up a few spots but otherwise it’s almost ready for furniture, definitely by Friday. You can’t see the color all that well in this photo, but you get the idea:

Oh, Henry!

Dear Henry Sanding Floor,

You are amazing. That’s all I can say.

Sincerely,
Kate and Greg






Don’t caulk with me.

I didn’t mention this in the last post because I can only bring up so many things at once, and it’s confusing to be trying to catch up on things chronologically, but we already hired someone to refinish our floors. They are at the house right now, which is probably the only thing that’s giving me some time to post here. After we realized that there was wood (albeit scary wood) beneath the vinyl, we called in a few professionals to get their opinions. The price of having them refinished was about a quarter of what it would cost for just the materials if we were to install new hardwood, so in the end we went with a company called Henry’s Floor Sanding.

We chose Henry for several reasons. He came highly recommended on Angie’s List, and he gave us an estimate of $1,200 less than the first company. But the more superficial reason we hired him was because on Angie’s List his company is listed as “Henry’s Sanding Floor,” and with a name like that he HAD to be good. We talked about him so much beforehand that his name became simply “Henry Sanding Floor,” which we thought would have been the perfect Native American name, if he weren’t already Vietnamese. Alas, when the van arrived at our house, the lettering on the side read “Henry’s Floor Sanding.” But we went with him anyway.

They will be at the house for four days, so we have to wait until Sunday to go back in. I am absolutely dying to see what the floors will look like, I have a feeling they’ll change the whole feel of the house. Despite my impatience, at least now we get to take a few days off from working on the house and do more relaxing things, like pack and work on the wedding. Oh wait, did I say “relaxing”?

And here is the random photo part of the post:

So far the most torturous part has been dealing with details, like the leftover wallpaper glue. Somehow we thought the walls would look better WITHOUT the dingy wallpaper, but as it turns out, the walls beneath were even dingier:

After sweating profusely for hours on end, there’s nothing like standing in front of our newly purchased high velocity fan for a few minutes. I took this picture because it is the closest Greg will ever get to being fat:

The upside to having a million cracks to deal with is that I have become a master caulker. I must confess that those Second Amendment freaks have a point: there *is* something about holding a gun that makes you feel incredibly powerful. Now if we could just replace bullets with caulk, everyone would be happy and there would be an end to cracks and leaks everywhere!

I love this photo because it showcases three of my favorite things about the house: the illuminated newel post(!), the gigantic chandelier, and the front and foyer doors:

sweat equity

I posted a month ago with the intention of starting up a regular blog of our adventures, which of course never happened, mostly due to the complete chaos that my life is in. Now work has settled down a bit, and the house and the wedding don’t seem like such huge looming catastrophes anymore, so I’m going to try to get this thing going again with some tales of what we’ve been up to so far.

After ripping up the carpet on the first floor to find parquet floors beneath, we were anxious to see what the rest of the place looked like. The realtor warned us that there was no hardwood in the rest of the house, but we’re not good listeners, and as a result found this in one of the bedrooms:




The vinyl pulled up like paper, it was marvelous. Unfortunately, the second floor was not so easy:







We remain cautiously optimistic that the floors can still be brought back to their original beauty. And if not it looks like we’re going to be wearing shoes in the house for quite some time, which will make Greg happy, since he refuses to take his shoes off in our apartment.

Part of the reason the renovations have taken such a toll on us is our sudden case of home-improvement-related A.D.D. We jumped right into scraping wallpaper, but once you’ve peeled off all of the huge, satisfying loose strips, you’re left with the glue-encrusted little scraps in the corners, which are much more difficult to remove and therefore much less fun. As a result, we get about 78% finished with one wall and then Greg says, “I’m gonna go rip up some vinyl upstairs.” Then once he’s finished about 67% of that, it’s, “Ok, so you wanna start spackling?” Then we start priming only to realize that the spackle still needs to be sanded. In the first month, the first project that we (actually Greg) have completed from start to finish is installing the new toilet seats:

Coming up in our next few installments, see the fruits of our wallpaper labor, check out our brand new ceiling fans, and learn which roofing company you should NEVER EVER hire!