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The Floor is Scraped and Getting Sanded Tomorrow!

My goodness.  This has been a strange trip. I honestly never anticipated this project being so large and involved.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, though, and it’s not just another train barreling at us.  I think it might possibly be the sun. We’re not there, yet, but very soon (I hope).  We’ve finished scraping the floor, which was a week and a half long process, and we’ve hired a company to come sand and poly the floor.  We seriously considered doing the sanding ourselves and even called around to get rental rates.  After some discussion, we decided that it might be a little out of our skill range so we ended-up calling five different companies.  Two of them didn’t want the job but assured us it was really a piece of cake and we would have no problem doing it ourselves (but they didn’t want to do it, not even for money, so that should tell you something).  One company wanted to do the job for a lot of money.  One company told me they would be happy to give us an estimate sometime in mid-July (yes, just the estimate).  Finally, the last company we called gave us a decent rate, which is still an ouch to our savings, but definitely something we can live with.  We’re familiar with their work and strongly feel that they’re going to do a much better job than we would.  Plus, I’m tired of sleeping in my living room.  I just want this done!

The scraping, though – that was all us! (Thumbs pointing to self with a feeling of satisfaction.) To rewind a bit, we started here with this very pale carpet.  We wanted to pull this carpet up to reveal the hardwoods underneath which run throughout the rest of the house.
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We pulled-up the carpet, removed the first layer of padding and all the tacking strips, nails and staples, leaving us with this 50 year-old layer of padding that had melded itself to the hardwoods underneath.  After much, much research, I found out that after WWII, carpet padding was made out of rubber until about 10 years later, when they started adding clay to the composite because the rubber flattened too fast.  They figured the clay would give the rubber more ‘body’.  Over time, especially in heavy traffic areas such as in front of the doors, the stuff just broke down and became very hard. This is what we were left with covering the entire floor.
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After more research, and failing at several various methods of removal including saturating it with water, vinegar, ammonia and using adhesive de-solvent, we finally settled upon our final removal method.  We went back to the least toxic and stinky water method, using very hot water and a little Murphy’s Oil Soap, sopping the floor in roughly 4X4 areas and covering the areas with old plastic tablecloths overnight.  In the morning, after the water had soaked into the padding rehydrating it somewhat, we used heavy duty metal wallpaper scrapers to scrape up the padding.  We tried using plastic scrapers first because we were concerned about the floors, but they just didn’t work.  We found enough websites that said the floor was going to have to be refinished at this point anyway, so we used the bad boy scrapers and went to town.
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Here you can see the areas that were covered in plastic and the progress we had made about mid-way through.
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We debated about whether to do the closets because once we got done with the main part of the room we were exhausted.  It was a lot of hard work and we weren’t sure we were up to the task.  However, after a couple of days rest, we decided that if we’d come this far, we might as well go all the way.  Plus, J’s closet needs cleaned-out desperately.  If you recall, that’s been on the list since the January Cure.
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Amazingly enough, the closets turned-out to be a breeze compared to the rest of the room. Because there had been no foot traffic in there, the padding was still as supple as it was 50 years ago! It came right up with no problem whatsoever.
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Here’s where we are as of today.
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Too bad the whole floor wasn’t like the closets because they turned-out great!
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They’re starting work tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.  It feels like Christmas tonight even though it’s hot as blazes. I’m so excited.  Moving everything back in will be no small feat, I’m afraid, however, I’m going to use this golden opportunity to thin the herd in our bedroom.  I don’t know how all of our stuff fit in there in the first place when it’s taken over the rest of the house.  Physics would suggest that it’s impossible, yet, apparently it’s not.

I’ll share pictures of the floors when they’re done.  So, what have you been up to?Share!

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About sugarshellandbutterknife

I am a work-at-home mother of two, daughter K who is 16 and son N who is 12. I live in a 1956 mid-mod ranch with my children and the love of my life, J. We're slowly renovating our house on a budget and love all things DIY. I hope to make this a place where frugal-minded folks like myself can exchange ideas, gain inspiration and find encouragement to tackle whatever life throws our way.

2 responses »

  1. Wow, Jenny, it sure seems like a LOT of work!!!! I think what you chose to do is best: help is always appreciated. It reminds me of the time I decided to paint our kitchen cabinets. Like you say, I kept seeing the light at the other side of the tunnel, but still it took us an ENTIRE year to make it. Not to mention the house was messy that whole year long!

    Me, I’ve been up to lots of things lately. So many that sometimes I think they might be too much. I miss visiting my friend’s blogs (yours, of course), I miss making diy projects. But especially, I miss just having time to do nothing. I confess: I’m really tired.

    Though, I also have to say my new projects get me really excited, like me taking the art course that has got me working on that again, after all these years, or finally trying to do interior design for other people. I just hope all the work pays off sometime soon.

    Good luck with your floors!

    Reply
    • Hi Rocio,

      It has been a ton of work but they’re finally finished!! I’ll take pictures tomorrow and get them posted. I still have to paint the baseboards but that should be the final step. I think we can move the furniture back in on Wednesday. I’m so excited and happy this project is almost over. The floors look great, though.

      I know what you mean about being busy. I’ve been very busy, too, with work, the floors, my daughter’s summer health class, etc. I’ve been reading your blog and I know you’ve been doing lots of different things. I think it’s great that you are taking the art class. The drawing you posted was fantastic!! You have lots of talent and I know you’ll be successful with all that you’re doing.

      I didn’t comment about it, but the place you went last weekend for the overnight stay was absolutely stunning. What a gorgeous atmosphere in which to rest. I’m glad you had the opportunity to take the break 😉 Maybe you can take more breaks like that. You don’t want to do too much.

      I hope the rest of your week goes well!

      Jenny

      Reply

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