Lighten it up with floor sanding

The big day has come! Our flooring contractor has arrived with all of his equipment, ready to start with the floor sanding.

He quickly went through all the rooms to inspect the various floors. I don’t really have a good way of saying this – but his eyes were bugging out. He confirmed what had been indicated to us in the past.

All of the oak in the foyer, library, living room, dining room and office is very high grade quarter sawn material. This is something you couldn’t buy anymore in this quality these days, unless it had been salvaged from a house like ours.

The two bedrooms (master bed and guest bed) are very high grade and dense Douglas fir. The corridor and kitchen are maple.

I learned that maple flooring is used in high traffic areas because it is so hard. That explains why it was the first choice for kitchens, and in our case, the corridor that connects the kitchen to the dining room.

The kitchen floor was always the one where we had doubts whether it could be reused. It had suffered from quite some serious water damage. Most of the floorboards where warped up at the edges. You can make it out in the above time lapse. The board edges were cleaned up after the first pass, while it took a couple more passes to get down to the center of the boards.

We also had to contend with a number of water stains. To my delight, most of them came off right away … all except one larger stain in front of the kitchen back door. Cathy and I decided to classify it as “character.”

It was amazing by how much the kitchen had brightened up with the sanded maple floors. That said, I still wasn’t prepared for the amount of difference the freshly sanded oak floors provided!

I described what difference it made to have the drywall up, and how that began to brighten the space. The same and more can be said for the freshly sanded floors. Even though we still have to paint the walls, the first floor has suddenly begun to look like home.

About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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