Mar 10, 2015

New Hardwood Floors - Installation

Thank you for all your get well wishes regarding my short illness. I'm happy to say I'm feeling much better. 

Another flooring update here today. Oh goody!

 Our new floors have been installed and are being sanded as I type this. Yesterday, Tucker and I went over to my daughter's house because the nailing was pretty noisy, but today's sanding noise is tolerable if I keep my studio door closed.

One of the reasons we love our contractor is because he's so good at figuring out the idiosyncrasies of old North End craftsmen style cottages. Here's an example: our foundation, except the perimeter, is made of posts sitting on big flat rocks sitting on the dirt. Not nice square blocks cut or chiseled from rocks, just big rocks. If this system hadn't been working at holding up our house for the past 105 years, it would be a little scary. When you see it, you say holy cow, how is that rock foundation that looks kind of wobbly, holding up this big heavy house? 

But it does. 

We've always had a big hump going across our living room floor. It's a significant hump so that all the furniture I arrange on one side of the hump leans one way, and all the furniture I arrange on the other side of the hump leans the other way. It bugged me a lot at first (just try hanging a level picture over a leaning sofa sometime), but you learn to live with these things in an old house. We always attributed the hump to our weird foundation shifting around, and since it hasn't changed in the 25 years we've lived here, we stopped thinking about it.

We just figured the new floors would have a hump, too, which didn't thrill us, but our contractor isn't big on new floors with humps in them at all. So he investigated around under the floor in the crawl space and found out that for some reason a long time ago, someone put some shims between the posts on the wobbly rocks and the beams supporting the middle of our living room floor. Who knows why, maybe the floor used to sag a bit. Only they must have eyeballed it or something instead of measuring properly, and they shimmed it too much, creating a 3/4-inch hump in the floor.  3/4" is a very big deal when you're talking about level floors! We find weird stuff like this all the time in our house. It really makes us wonder about the people who used to live here. Didn't they notice they put in too many shims? Didn't they notice the hump in the floor?


Anyway, our contractor takes these weird things he finds in The North End homes he remodels in-stride. He just pulled out one of the shims on each side, and now our new floor is even. We would have worried the house would fall down if we tried to do that. 

He's not worried.      

 I love our new heat vents. 

 The smelly staining and sealing of our floors come next, so we'll be away from the house for a day or two. (Any robbers reading this, don't rob us because you'll die of toxic fumes which would serve you right.)

Actually, in case the security alarm doesn't give you pause, we're leaving a pit bull in the yard and the neighbors have shotguns. 

When we come back, I'll be able to show you our finished floors. 


Read more about our Hardwood Floor Saga

Hardwood Floors - Preparation

Hardwood Floors - Demolition


  1. Laurel ~

    I had to laugh at your comment about the robbers being asphyxiated by the fumes ~ SO true!! Fortunately we're having this gorgeous weather, so you'll be able to open up afterwards and really let the place air out.

    Happy new flooring!

  2. New floors are wonderful to have. Looking forward to seeing your final post when we see the end results.

  3. LOL! the old part of my house (circa 1930) is also supported down the center of the house by posts sitting precariously on boulders and rock outcroppings. Crazy people!! Love the floor!

  4. Your contractor is a gem! How lucky you are that he took the time to investigate and fixed the decades old problem. Your floors look beautiful already and they're not even stained!

  5. Looking good and glad your contractor found the issue.

  6. How wonderful to have a good contractor - it makes all the difference! Your floors are looking good. Can't wait to see the big reveal!

  7. New floors and no hump - sounds good.

    Can't wait to see the finished rooms.

  8. Yay, for feeling better and no hump in the middle of your floor! Sounds like you have a great contractor. :) Can't wait to see the floors done!

  9. Laurel, we've been wanting to install hardwood in two rooms of our house so I've been following your journey. The floors are looking great and I can't wait to see them finished. Also, you made me smile with your comments about arranging the furniture around the bump in the floor.

  10. I'm glad your all better Laurel and that your new floors, I'm hoping, is helping you recover quicker!;--) That hump story is weird, and yes I love those kinds of vent too, I had them installed too when we refinished our floors. It wont be long now.... :-)

  11. Laurel love the floors and the vent cover. It's great when you have someone who does and takes their job seriously and with pride. Laughed at your message to the robbers


  12. Beautiful floors! And I like the heat vent too-- Melissa

  13. Beautiful floors! And I like the heat vent too-- Melissa

  14. Love your floors Laurel and so glad they are level now too. Wonderful floor vent too. Your getting there and it will be amazing once stained!!
    Hope you're feeling better.
    Hugs, CM

  15. Well, I was going to rob your house of that neat tray you have, but the pit bull scared me off lol

    I spend a lot of time shaking my head about my old house too, so you're not alone ;)

  16. I might be a bit of a weird guy, but my favorite part of the whole hardwood floor is the wooden vent cover. Is it flush with the floor? This looks like a Fun way to change up a normal thing in your home. I want someone to make me a vent like this.

  17. It's so wonderful that your contractor took care of the hump! Your new hardwood floors look fantastic, especially with the style of your home. (I love the white trim against the hardwood, by the way. Beautiful!) And I'm happy that you went with a custom wooden vent, because there is absolutely nothing worse than beautiful floors with a metal vent! Ugh!


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