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