Friday, April 20, 2012

An Inconvenient Project, Revisited

I just re-read my post, An Inconvenient Project, from over a week ago.  And I had to laugh.  Yes, it is done, but not without a delusion or three:

Delusion #1: Laying floors would take "a good part" of Byron's spring break. 
Fact: It took his ENTIRE spring break.  I felt so badly for him, but he did a FANTASTIC job!

Delusion #2: The fridge would reside in the parlor for the duration of the project, and the stove/island would stay where it is.
Fact: The fridge will be residing in the utility room for a while, especially because we're re-thinking kitchen configuration. AND because we had to remove the (refrigerator) doors to get it to fit through the (utility room) door.  That's what you do at 11 p.m. on a Friday night when you DIY.

And the stove/island?  We moved it, and not in the Lost sense of moving an island. We strong-armed that baby into the parlor. And though we're supposed to wait seven days to place anything back onto the floors, I called Waterlox in desperation and the good folks over at Waterlox gave me the go-ahead to wait only 3-4 days to move the stove to its new spot. 

Delusion #3: Byron was going to bring the kids to his parents' house and hang out for a few days while I put the Waterlox on the floors on four consecutive mornings.  During my kid-free days, I would read, garden, eat bonbons, chase the rooster, and sneak out to see The Hunger Games again.
Fact: See below.

Making sure this run was in a perfectly straight line was a crucial, tedious, and time-consuming part of the project.

Be gone, Filthy McNasty sunroom floor!

Here's the same run, looking the other way.  The kitchen is on the left.

Byron had to install some sheathing in the kitchen to make the floor level even with the rest of the area in which he was installing the hardwood.  Hardwood does not like uneven floors.  It will buck, kick, and spit nails at you in protest.

This is what I call DIY LOL.  Want a closer look?

Termite tunnels!  Unexpected surprises and installing hardwood flooring well made the project take a lot longer than we thought.

On Saturday, it was my turn.  Since these floors were brand new, I only used a hand sander and 100-grit paper to smooth them down.  Waterlox requires no sanding in between coats, so I only had to do this once!

Here's Sparkling McClean sunroom floor, after the final coat of Waterlox had dried. 

Same view as above, with the kitchen on the left, minus the island.

Looking back the other way.
We still have a bit of work.  Painting, nailing the trim back up, reconfiguring the kitchen within our budget, and procuring BOOKSHELVES (YAY!!!) are just a few.  My books have been in boxes for two years, so I'm especially excited about that last one.

And a shout-out to friends and family who made this all possible:

Our parents: for childcare, food, and shelter.  We couldn't have done it without you!
Our neighbors, Julie and her family: Thanks for the use of your stove and for taking care of our ornery beasts!
Our friends, Ralph and Julia: Thanks for the wonderful dinner last night and lunch today!


  1. Great job Byron & Laura! Your DIY is better than the "pros" would have done!

    1. Thanks! I did, however, fail to mention that Waterloxing that long "run" was a nightmare. I can see a couple lap marks where I didn't "feather" the finish well (because I physically couldn't). It was frustrating, but I hope they fade with time.

  2. Well done! Those floors are gorgeous!!! We are DIY'ers and can certainly feel the pain of finding the unexpected termite tunnels.

    Question: How do you clean the hardwood? Special cleaner, or can you actually mop with warm water?

    1. Thank you! Sorry you've been subjected to surprise termite tunnels, too. That has to be one of the most unpleasant discoveries!

      I just use about an ounce of white vinegar diluted with a gallon of water to clean the floors.

  3. Wow! They look fabulous! I'm especially impressed with the HAND SANDING of that entire floor. Goodness! I've painted 2 pieces of furniture lately (sand, prime, sand, prime, paint, sand, paint) and I empathize with what work sanding is. But I also know that wonderful feeling to have nasty floors gone and beautiful, clean floors in their place - congratulations!

    1. Thanks! I really, realy need to see your projects and kitchen sometime. I bet they're fabulous! The hard work does pay off.