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Hardwood floor repair – it’s a start!

First-Floor Basics, How-To

After our salvage shop trip on Saturday, we came home and ripped into the floors. Having the energy to start a new project after a long day of driving can only mean one thing – our motivation is back. Let the games begin.

Out went the rotted bits under the radiator, and about 10 cupped and warped boards that ran down the middle of the living room and dining room – click here for a photo. Out, also, went every little rusted up nail that was holding them down. We fell into a rhythm. I tackled the demolition work and cleanup, while Teague cut new boards and fit them in.

At first, we had a hard time getting a board to come up without scraping up the one next to it; the solution? Take a circular saw and run it right down the middle, splitting the board in two. Then, each piece comes out easily and doesn’t damage anything around it. To get a nice straight cut on boards we didn’t want to remove completely, we devised a little “pop-up” trick – if you shove a crowbar under the board, it makes a nice cutting ledge ;)

When piecing the “new” boards in, we made sure to cut the boards at different lenths, so that the new and old will blend together seamlessly once they’re sanded and stained. Around the radiator, we also had to replace the underlying boards since you could see through them right into the basement. Not so sturdy, you know? We used pieces of tongue and groove left over from the rotted porch we had to take down last spring. You can see them here:

And here’s the final result of the patching:

I know it doesn’t *look* like a match right now, but once everything is sanded and stained we think it will blend right in.

Once again, the entire downstairs is covered in dust. This time, it’s from the nastiness hiding under all those floor boards. A cough-inducing mix of dirt, dried cat pee, and rotted wood fibers. Mmmmmmm…

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

amanda had this to say on 04.13.06:

Great job! I can’t wait to see the final results. I’m glad to hear that someone else has the “old house hack” after stirring up that nasty old dust- I seem to suffer it every morning after we’ve worked on the house. Yuck!

homeimprovementninja had this to say on 04.13.06:

Looks good. Next time, if you want to try to salvage the floorboard, pry it up a little, then stick an angle grinder under it to cut the nail, and it pops right up.

Nick had this to say on 04.13.06:

That’s awesome, Mindy. We lived with that “cough-inducing” dirt for months when we ripped out our fir floors (now reinstalled) to put down radiant heating.

danielle had this to say on 04.13.06:

Congrats on the find! Looks good now, but will look even better once you’ve got it all sanded/stained. Glad you were able to find something to blend in!

Kristin had this to say on 04.13.06:

What a lovely patch job! We have some patching to do in our bathroom. Should be easier since we’re planning to paint the floors. Famous last words.

Eilis Wagner had this to say on 04.13.06:

Looks great you guys! Mmmm…hardwood floors. Gotta love ’em. It will all be worth it in the end…

ryan tierney had this to say on 08.05.06:

what kind of wood did you use to patch the wood floors and where did you get it from?…another old house?. thanks

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