Cottage Reno: Flooring Part Deux

May 13th, 2009


My life of leisure has done me no favors when it comes to manual labor. On Monday John and I went up north to start taking apart our flooring. Oh, didn’t we tell you? Last week we were up there and decided to take up the linoleum in preparation for our reclaimed wood flooring, only to discover perfectly amazing hardwood flooring beneath layers of the 1950s through 1970s.


John is the most amazing trooper. He manhandled this crazy multi-layered floor (above) with minimal complaints (unlike me and my somewhat frightening spazz out on the Shopvac yesterday). The kitchen floor had tile, then at least two layers of linoleum, PLUS tar paper, burlap, massive sheets of 1/4″ thick plywood and probably asbestos. Oh and about one zillion nails.

So all too suddenly, we have hardwood flooring!  Problem is, we already put down a deposit for flooring at The Timeless Materials Co., and well, somewhere on that receipt is the fine print: All Sales Final. Insert big lesson here. At the time, we were somehow convinced that under all that linoleum was a whole lotta nothing so we impulsively went for it, because really, that white washed floor was super cool (and now totally available for someone to snatch it up. Snatch it up people!). Now we are at a loss. On one hand, we no longer have to install flooring (yay!), on the other, we’re out a pretty penny. Timeless has been nice enough to work with us to either return a portion of our deposit, or else make it into a store credit. Although it would have been amazing to magically get the money back, that is not the nature of deposits so we’re trying to figure out how we can best use it up (paint, cedar slats).


You know the term “back breaking work”? I now know the full meaning of it. While John crowbarred the old floor up, I dutifully followed him around the room, pulling up every single nail. This took 6 hours. By the time we left for the night, I was walking like a newbie cowboy. But you know what? It was so worth it:


There was a copper piece that sat on the edge of the concrete, but I am loving the look of the concrete up against the wood.


Good golly it’s like a whole new world! The brown painted part was the original porch. The next step is sanding the floor and then we are debating either painting it white or white washing it. But I guess we’ll see how it looks sanded first! Of course, this was all supposed to happen on Friday, but that was before we started the most awful side project ever!


This is John looking mighty defeated.

Basically, my dad was on a quest to make our one-season cottage a three-season cottage. So he proceeded to cover and insulate just about everything, which destroyed the air circulation and made it aesthetically displeasing. Our mantra with this reno is “back to basics”. So we figured we better get this messy job done before refinishing the floors. But we were exhausted and much like the floor, my dad became increasingly compulsive with the nails. I think the photo above is around the time John whimpered that he was hoping my dad would get sloppy at some point but it just keeps getting more intense.


Basically, we have a rickety old ladder and John has to remove 1) a very heavy and cumbersome board, 2) a series of 2x4s that are nailed into hardwood, 3) a sheet of plastic, 4) several layers of styrofoam all the while getting mouse poop (or the fear of it) plopped on his head. Hear that mice? We’re taking away your accomodations.


Here’s a close up of the ugly boards covering up the beautiful warm cedar. Blech.


We are questioning how we are going to get up here. And that triangular piece to the right. It’s covering a charming half moon window. Sacrilige.

– Juli –

Filed under: Cottage Reno | 11 comments

11 Responses to 'Cottage Reno: Flooring Part Deux'

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  1. I can’t wait to sand & paint those floors, they’re going to look amazing!


    13 May 09 at 2:43 pm

  2. Congrats on part one of the floor makeover! Nicely written post, too.


    13 May 09 at 2:52 pm

  3. who needs television dramas when i have these kinds of renovation cliff hangers. and i am being serious!


    13 May 09 at 3:21 pm

  4. damn – this place is going to be so killer. is that the fucking ocean???
    seriously? you have the cutest cottage on the water? I hate you. But empathize with the back breaking work…it will all be worth it.

    That looks like a really nice ceiling fan, I despise ceiling fans but that one is the only one I’ve ever seen that would be totally acceptable.

    I’ve always really liked bleached and pickled hardwood. It makes it like grayish white and brings out all the imperfections in a really nice way. Otherwise enamel the crap out of them with Marine grade white paint.

    The Brick House

    13 May 09 at 4:53 pm

  5. yes, I also feel like a reno voyeur here… I get the fun of seeing your place progress without having to do any work!

    looks great you guys… I’m sure it’s very rewarding peeling back these layers to find the original treasure beneath…


    13 May 09 at 4:55 pm

  6. this place is going to be amazing!
    on other note =
    go B U Y this


    14 May 09 at 12:22 am

  7. Thanks everyone!

    Maya: I saw that and considered it but we already have one pole and a bunch of components not in use and no place to store it. Though I am sure one day I will be wishing I had bought it!

    Morgan: It’s not the ocean, but it often looks like it! We’re on Georgian Bay, which is off of Lake Huron (one of the Great Lakes). It’s really rocky in front of us but down the beach there is an incredible place to swim, all sand and crystal clear water. I just wish it would warm up faster!


    14 May 09 at 11:13 am

  8. I really like the look of bleached wood flooring too, I would love to still see the grain through the wood and some of the burnished markings.

    There’s so many different types of wood in this place, pine floors, cedar roof, dark stained wooden doors. It’s starting to complicate things like furniture, wooden countertops, shelving, ect, ect

    It might be nice to have some white floors just so it’s one less thing we have to think about when picking furnishings.

    I wonder if we can just heavily dilute some white floor piant to get a bleached floor look, without losing the grain?

    I guess we’ll just have to wait until we sand it all down before we make our final decision!


    14 May 09 at 12:09 pm

  9. You guys are so cute! It’s fun to read about your major DIY distress, haha. I am so excited to see how it comes along though!


    14 May 09 at 12:39 pm

  10. […] If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!Last week we were up there and decided to take up the linoleum in preparation for our reclaimed wood flooring, only to discover perfectly amazing hardwood flooring beneath layers of the 1950s through 1970s. cottagefloor-2 … Hardwood Flooring […]

  11. […] you start demolishing, you seemingly never stop. You may recall John waving the white flag on the ceiling. We called in a pinch hitter, local contractor Steve Marsh, to help us out with taking down the […]

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