Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Home Improvements -- Floor Update

I think houses are kind of like people. The older they get, the more set in their ways they become.

I got my hands on a belt sander and went after the floor. It wouldn't sand. So I went up to Lowes and picked up a gallon of multi-purpose stripper. That got the finish off and mom helped but it was very slow and tedious. When we were about a third finished with the stripping, I went after the bare wood with the belt sander. Wielding the thing rapidly became a challenge. The belt wouldn't stay on and the stains didn't come off.

I found myself seriously short of fortitude and totally overwhelmed.

Conceding defeat, I called a professional. Then I tore up the rug in the hallway. The dirt and grunge that was under that pad! It smelled bad and had an 1/8" of sandy grit under there. It was disgusting. I should have taken a picture of it but didn't think to get the camera until after I cleaned it up.

The snarky professional sanded the floor very well. The stains are virtually gone and so is the odor. The problem was with the finish. After 3 coats, I was expecting it to be smooth like a baby’s butt. Instead, it had a bad case of 5 o'clock shadow. Dirt was going to get stuck in those crevices and never come out. So I called him the next morning and announced my disappointment on his answering machine.

You know how contractors can be. Once they're paid, they usually hit the road never to return. Miracle of miracles, he came back and re-sanded and finished the floor. I give this guy credit for actually coming back first thing yesterday morning.

It's much better now although I think it should have another coat of finish. I know he won't come back again. On his way out the door yesterday, he told me I was mean. I'm not mean, I just expect a professional to do the same, if not better quality of work than I do. So it's on me to buy more varnish and do the work myself. At this point do I have the fortitude to sand and varnish? Do I want to spend the extra money on it? Am I just being picky?

We're seriously running out of time. I still have to wait for the floor to cure, quarter round to install in the guest room and hallway, furniture to move, a bed to pick up from the store, curtains to hang, closet junk to sort, art to hang, etc. I'm thinking a machine washable runner down the hall will be just fine.


Despite the trials and tribulations, that floor looks so much better than it did before. It's a huge relief.

Same spot after

When the time comes for the next carpet to get ripped out, I’ll hire a professional to sand only. I’ll do the finishing. I’m better at it.

Home Improvements Part One -- Deadlines
Part 2 Home Improvements -- Day 3
Part 3 Home Improvements -- Welcome to Hell
Part 4 Home Improvements -- Hell has Left the Building
Part 5 Home Improvements -- Creative Issues
Part 6 Home Improvements -- Woe is the Floor
Part 8 Home Improvements -- Finally Done


NWJR said...

It does look great, though...

What a painful process. At least the end result is wonderful.

Dade said...

Wow! What a difference!

Wanna fly over to Portland and do our floor for us? ;-)