I. Love. Wood. Floors.

Ok everyone, thanks for all the great support and feedback from the first blog. I was pretty overwhelmed with the messages  and comments, in a good way.  Your support is awesome!

So, let’s get to it. If you are anything like Jenny and I, after a few curious nights wondering what in the hell is underneath the carpet in our house, you’d pull that $hi* up in a heartbeat; that’s what we did in this house AND the previous house in GB. We got super lucky in this house, especially…ORIGINAL FLOORS! What we don’t know is if they are original to the home as of 1893 or at some point after that. Either way, they are amazing. 

Let me preface everything by saying that the way I approach potentially 100 year old flooring is that, one, I want them original as possible, two, I want the patina of the wood to shine like a mofo, and three, I want them durable-I think I obtained all 3 with our floors. 

So, what we started with…


From there, we got down to business!


We even found a movie case!


(Never seen it.)

So here’s after carpet removal and vacuuming (dogs are helping again).


After removal of dogs and top coat, I came up with this…

This is the sander I used from Home Depot..

In the Grand Blanc, I used a commercial belt sander and mannnn, that left grooves and dips and gouges galore! 

The orbital sander above took a little bit longer BUT gave me the smooth, even sand I wanted. DEFINITELY recommend.

The the floor was a little harder to sand than I thought. The many layers of varnish on the floor were nearly impossible to remove. Originally, I used 24 grit and 40 grit and was destroying paper at a rapid rate, so, I went back to The Depot for 20 grit paper…same results. The first day I sanded close to 6 hours. The second day, about 8 hours. I just tried to get the floors as smooth as possible. Around the edges, I used a belt sander with 20 grit paper too but man, it was tough. Then a palm sander to get in closer to the wall.

Once I got to that point, it was time for the fun part! I got to stain and poly!


I did about a 4 ft section at a time and applied thick, then wiped off with a clean rag.  I pretty much just followed the instructions on the back of the can. Oh, and by the way, we choose the Minwax Jacobean as the color of stain. 

This step took about 2-2 1/2 hours. I did it after everyone went to bed so that it could dry overnight and so I didn’t have to worry about anyone walking on it. 


This is what it looked like after I was done. Not too impressed at this point. 


The next morning, I got to start the fun stuff and make it shiny! I used the following poly and lamb skin applicator…


After using this Varathane product, I will NEVER use anything else again. This stuff is awesome! Goes on milky and dries as clear as glass. 

The lamb skin applicator is also an amazing invention too. I would highly recommend this-it allows the poly to be drug across the floor, which eliminates bubbles in the clear and also fills in hard to reach places and I think, it creates a more smooth finish overall. 


Here is the result of the first coat. At first, I was not impressed. But after each coat, the floors looked better and better. In between coats, I waited about 3 hours and DO NOT sand in between. I think the can recommend that you could sand after 24 hours, but I didn’t have that kind of time due to the fact that this is a high traffic area and I needed to get it done in a few days.

And when they say sand, they mean just knocking down the high spots of poly in between coats, usually using a drywall sanding screen on a pole with 220 grit.

Here’s the result of coats 3-4. Can’t really tell too much but there is a difference in the sheen of the floors.

This is after the final coat. Looks great, eh?! 

After a day, we were able to lightly walk on them. I didn’t let the dogs though, just to be safe. But after 3 days, we were all able to walk on them! 

**BONUS**

I had already redone an extra bedroom we have and used Minwax polyurethane but after using the Varathane, I decided to go back over that, too.

Here’s using the Minwax:


Here’s using the Varathane:

It may not look like much, but the difference is HUGE. The dogs scratched the floors after using the Minwax but the Varathane has held strong 💪🏼 
Here are some other pictures from the bedroom that I redid.


Same process as the entry way, just a smaller space.

Hope you enjoyed this round! Stay tuned for more blogs!

First time blogger-please be gentle

Hi everyone! I’m Kyle and a rookie at this whole blogging thing. I’ve secretly always wanted a blog of my own since I first read my friend, and former college roommate,  Chris’ blog in college, but my life has never been that interesting so I never persued one. 

But anywho, my wife and I recently put our change together and bought our dream home; we moved in April 8th.  The 5 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2800 square foot house was originally built in 1893 and fully remodeled in 1993.  The lead and plaster was removed, the whole house was rewired and drywalled, a new septic field was added, and our garage with loft was built, plus some other fun things I’m sure we haven’t discovered yet-those owners spent alotttttt of money!

Below is what it looked like the first day we moved in.


Over time, those things once updated have turned outdated. Which leads us to where we are now….UPDATING!  As I have completed different projects and posted them on social media, I have been asked to explain how I did them, to see more, and even a few requests for a blog-you ask and you shall receive! 

Now, to start, I haven’t taken pictures of everything I’ve done so some of the blogs will just be finished product. From here on out, I’ll do my best to take pictures as I go and try to explain things, too.

Ok, so let’s start with our kitchen floor. The color was sooo 1993 and the grout that was between the tiles was disgusting-it was one of the first things we wanted GONE. Here’s a picture of what the tile looked like (you’ll see lots of Murphy and Otis-they love photo opps. They also have their own instagram @LifeOfMurphyAndOtis).


So, here I thought that I was going to take a sledge hammer and go all Dwayne Johnson/Terry Crews on the tile and have it torn up by hand in one weekend-wrong.  After 30 minutes of banging the hell out of this floor with the sledge hammer (and a few adult soda pops), I learned that I may have been a little unrealistic.  This led to Jenny and I taking trip on down to Home Depot, her favorite store (sarcasm) to rent an air chisel.


I only wanted to rent it for 4 hours but Jenny and the tool rental employee said that I should rent it for 24 hours and if i happened to get it done in 4 hours, we would only be charged for the 4 hours-challenge accepted!  I returned that SOB after 3 hours and 55 minutes and only paid for 4 hours! 

I don’t have a picture of what the floor looked like during but after the tile was cleaned up, here’s the resulting mess.


For those who don’t know, tile should be placed over cement board, which goes over top of the sub floor. As you can see, the tile was applied directly over the subfloor and when I removed the tile, the thinset remained.  This is an issue seeing as I need a flat surface in order to put down our new wood planks (below).


A chisel wouldn’t work, a scraper wouldn’t work, and I was getting quite angry…until I figured out that I could use a grinder with this attached:


And after a few hours, I had successfully removed all the thinset and ready to lay flooring!

*Disclaimer* this makes a HUGE dusty mess-be prepared!


One box at a time, I started laying the floor. Here is the load we had shipped to us-21 boxes, covering 420 sq. ft. The kitchen dining room and half bathroom only equal about 380 sq. ft but I wanted to make sure I had more than enough.


Now for the record, I had never put down wood flooring before on my own, except for a few planks at the old house.  I understood the concept and the tools to use and just went to town. 


Here’s where I started and the nailer I bought.  As I went, I just made sure that the planks offset and made sure to use longer pieces in high traffic areas. Logically, this seemed like the most durable way to lay this floor and after getting halfway done, I read the manufacturers recommendations and this too was what they suggested.  

Over a 2 week period, I would come home from work and lay floor until bedtime, little by little, I made progress. 





During this past memorial weekend, I was hellbent on completing 3 projects-finishing these floors, sanding some woods floors, and then our half bathroom. We’ll just say I got 2 1/2 projects done. 

These are the finished kitchen and half bathroom floors:


The most difficult part of these floors without a doubt were in the half bath. I don’t know what it was but they gave me trouble.

We are very satisfied with these floors and they turned out great! The next blog will probably my process sanding our original wood floors. They turned out great! Stay tuned and ask any questions that you may have 😁