Monday, 10 December 2012

Floor Solutions

After we'd finished caulking the trim, we took a step back and reassessed what needed to be done to make these rooms complete. When we removed the baseboard radiators, two small circular holes remained in the floor where the pipes ran. 

My dad had the idea to cut some oak doweling to fit the holes and fit it in to make it less noticeable. At some point we may need to replace the floor, or refinish it at least, but for now this just makes things more livable.

Pretty rotten still, but no more major hole.

We bought some oak doweling at Home Depot (something like this) for a couple of bucks, and cut a small disc off. We still have a lot of doweling left for the remaining rooms once we get to them. It definitely worked to plug the holes, but there was still a lot of rot around where the holes were. We puttied over the holes and a bit around where the rot was in order to try and match the colour of the floor a bit better (the rot was pretty blackened and a bit of an eye sore). Once the putty was dry, we sanded and did one more coat. It definitely still didn't match, but it looked less rotten. 

The wood putty recommended wearing a mask and safety glasses...seemed a bit like overkill,
but Philip is nothing without safety.

Finished puttying, definitely not a match but we're getting somewhere.

Since we were working on floors anyway, we also decided to tackle the darkened ridge all the way around both rooms. The previous homeowner (Grandpa Joe) had quarter round in addition to the baseboards, so his trim was quite a bit thicker than the new trim we installed. He had refinished the floor once before and our guess is that the trim wasn't removed when that happened, because the floor under the trim was a slightly different height, and a bit of a different texture because it wasn't refinished and nice and smooth. The rough texture it had also attracted a lot of dust making it really dark and gross. 

Dark border around the room, another idea we had was to stain the whole border of the room a mocha colour in order to just embrace what was already happening.

At some point we may need to add quarter round to our trim in order to cover it up a bit better, but for now we've come up with a temporary fix until we know if we need to replace the floors down the line or not (this will be revealed by whether or not we encounter floor gaps that are impossible to fill when we move some walls around). We sanded all the way around the room with a belt sander to smooth the surface. 

Sanding Sanding. Almost ready to have a dust free home after all of this. 

After that, we went around the room with a finishing product that gives the floor a bit of oak colour, and seals it at the same time. We just rubbed it on with a cloth (in this case an old pair of underwear which looked super disgusting at the end). 

These underwear provided a lot of laughs, if you ever want a day off work just say that you're sick and send this picture, no questions will be asked.

We ended up doing two coats in both rooms, and it's still a bit noticeable but definitely not the eye sore it started out being. As furniture gets added, and as the patched holes are below the window on both sides exactly where curtains will hang, it will definitely start to be more camouflaged. 

Anyone else been tackling floor projects lately? Have any suggestions for us besides put a rug over those holes? Our room is definitely starting to look great! Another update, today when we got home from Ikea (for the 4th time - keep forgetting things!), our garage didn't open...need to investigate a bit more but hopefully it won't be too expensive a fix. Wish us luck! Tomorrow we'll provide poll results so get your vote in!

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