Sunday, June 02, 2019

Refinishing the Hardwood Floors

Well it's finally happening! It's been on the "to-do" list for a few years now, it's one of the last major projects on the house (and I mean "big" projects only, there's still a lot of other stuff left to do). I booked this week off work to work on the floors.

The plan is to finish emptying the furniture (it takes surprisingly long to empty just 3 rooms, especially when they contain large bookcases), and then on Monday I have a friend helping me move 3 large pieces of furniture (the settee, the large pine bookcase, and the cherry bookcase base, unless I try dragging it to the kitchen). So far the rooms are 80% empty.

I've been on a house plant buying kick lately, so I'm also having to try to find spaces to temporarily arrange several dozen plants for about a week while I do the work.

I am not sure if I want to do just the 3 rooms, or if I will just go ahead and buy some birch and also do the main hallway all at the same time.

We will see.


  1. Sounds exciting! Not the moving furniture part, though, that's annoying.

    Are you doing the sanding yourself? What kind of equipment do you plan to use?

    Wow, several dozen houseplants, that's a not! I'm growing (pun, haha!) my collection too from cuttings from friend's plants, bur so far they are mostly in unsightly starter pots clustered under a couple south windows. It's hard finding attractive places to put them that also get the right amount of light.

    1. Hi Seth, thanks for the comment. For some reason I didn't get the notification. The floors are indeed being done by myself, and I'm renting a floor sander and edge sander from a local (and very nearby) rental place. The floor sander is 70$/day plus the sanding belts, and edge sander I think is 40$/day. Overall cost is minimal, it's just a LOT of labour. Floors are currently sanded, I need to do the edges. Should be ready to start varnish tomorrow.

      As for plants, I have many low maintenance ones, and a few high maintenance ones. Most will survive on decent light (not necessarily IN a window, but near one). Decorative pots can be expensive. Occasionally the dollar stores have decent ceramic ones. Then there's always secondhand stores and yard sales. Failing that, Walmart and other big box stores have some, but they can be expensive depending on the size.

    2. Sounds like you know what you're doing. I sanded and refinished one small room (a 5'x10' walk-in closet) in our last house using a 5" RO sander. It didn't need much sanding, and I thought it would be quick to knock out, but it was a ton of work. I used a drum and edge sander on the front porch to level out some replacement boards and existing weathered ones, which worked really great, but I wouldn't trust myself on a nice hardwood floor. It's just too easy to take a lot out.

      I'm excited to see the finished results!

      Yeah, my houseplants end up being a bit of Darwinian process at work. The ones that survive my care and conditions survive, and the ones that don't die! So far I seem to be doing well with Jade and Boston Ferns. I may need to ease up on the Jade, though. It's just too much fun to start new ones from a plucked leaf. It's a fascinating means of reproduction.