The Floors Revealed.

You’ve been very patient.  After weeks of waiting, my new old floors are complete. Welcome.

This is the story of an old house with old floors that do not match. And that’s O.K.

After weeks of ripping up floor boards, crying, repairing and repatching I finally have the floors I wanted.  And yes, I am very glad I ripped up each and every layer until I got to the last layer even if it meant a lot of work, some reinforcing of the floors and going to bed every night worried a disrupted centipede was going to crawl in my ear.

All of it was worth it to get to the original layer of flooring in my 1840 cottage.  Imagine my surprise when I realized after the floors were sanded that – my foyer floors aren’t the original floors.


After all that.  Don’t get me wrong.  The foyer floors I was so conflicted over revealing are olddddd floors.  They’re secured with square nails which means they were laid in 1890 or earlier.

They just aren’t as old as the floors in my living room.

The wood planks in my living room are a different colour (darker meaning they’re older) and wider. They’re also secured with square nails. Who knows how or why these foyer floors ended up in here 50 years after the living room was laid. I can tell you I’d love to know.

It’s very upsetting the people living here didn’t have the foresight to develop the Internet, learn coding and start a website documenting everything at the time.

The replacement boards I got from an antique show to patch my little hallway are darker still. They’re hemlock which tends to have less orange and yellow tones.  The boards are probably even older than the living room boards.  The hemlock came from the sides of a barn that was torn down in Ontario.

After everything was done and I was taking a few pictures to send to family I noticed something.  I didn’t notice it in real life, I noticed it in a photo. Looking through them I stopped at a picture I had taken of the foyer from my front door.

My floor.  Had its eye on me.

As soon as you walk in the front door there is a knot in the wood that looks exactly like an eye staring at you.  It doesn’t sort of look like an eye, it isn’t an optical illusion.  It is an eye.  There’s even a light fleck where the iris is that looks like a highlight. No matter what angle you look at it from, there it is.  Even looking at it from the side, you can see it’s an eye.

So yes.  It gives side eye.

I told a friend about my wooden eye and she asked right away if it looked like an evil eye or a kind eye. I think if I had to pick I’d say it’s a kind eye keeping watch over me and my house.

I’m so glad I removed all of those cover up floors to reveal this. Now that it’s all done I can’t imagine what my hesitation was.  I’m sure the eye thinks the same thing.

Sometimes you have to peel back the layers in order to see things clearly.

I still have a little bit of work to do with heat registers and such, but for all intents and purposes the floor is done. Which is good timing, because at this point … so am I.  Photos of the rooms filled back up with furniture coming soon.

Now.  Onto the dining room floor.

Have a good weekend.  And by good weekend I mean don’t go ripping up your floors.






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  1. Alena says:

    The floors are fabuluous! Congrats on a job well done.

    I love the eye. Personally, I think it’s there to peak under your skirt when you walk over that section (wearing a skirt). So I think when you wear a skirt you should skip the undies.
    To see if this induces any reaction from the eye.
    Maybe it will wink at you.

  2. Grammy says:

    Stunning floors. And a kind eye watching over you. Perfect.

    Thanks for explaining about the tongues and grooves being interlocked — I’ve been trying to figure out how you expected to not have centipedes (or any other crawly pests) coming up from the basement.

  3. Sabina says:

    Bravo! They look fabulous! When my father *gasp* ripped out two pantries with wainscoting and gorgeous glass door cupboards to make our kitchen larger he covered the walls with real pecan wood paneling (it was 1969 after all). It had character. We spent a lot of time looking at all the faces the knots provided, even making up stories about them, they were really cool. My daughter and I went to the most recent open house the family that bought our house was having because they were moving on. Did I gasp up there ^? Well DOUBLE GASP AND GET THE RESPIRATOR – they painted it white! Now I name the faces in my wooden fence in the yard…nothing like real wood with character ;)

  4. Mia says:

    I can not see any evil in that eye–only a mere hint of amusement.

  5. Robert says:

    What if the reason the floors were covered in the first place was that eye and the smile?
    Very well done job as always 😊

  6. linda in Illinois says:

    so beautiful. !! I knew they would be awesome … the floors are perfect.

  7. Heather says:

    Well that’s something you will never “unsee”, but it’s a welcoming eye. Can you even imagine if it could talk about what it has seen! Floors are perfection.
    Good job for hanging in there. You got guts girl. :)

  8. Liza says:

    Love them. Seriously. Dream floors. What did you do to refinish them? Wondering which product you decided on.

  9. Pat says:

    Definitely a kind eye and, I’d venture, female.

  10. janice says:

    I knew they would look amazing but OMG THEY LOOK AMAZEBALLS!!!

  11. Eileen says:

    Congratulations! They look fab. You deserve a weekend of rest (you are getting a weekend of rest, right?)
    And perhaps a giggle over my home repair ooopsie. Had to clear out bedroom and dining room for plaster repairs. Since my house is tiny things were being stuffed in bags and boxes and shoved into the other rooms willy-nilly. There was also a bit of purging with items going to thrift store….Apparently one of the bags that went to the thrift store contained ALL. MY. UNDERWEAR. All of it except what I had on that day.
    This will add a bit to the repair total.

    • Karen says:

      LOL!!!! I’d love to see the people in the thrift store as they open a big bag of underwear. ~ karen!

      • Jan in Waterdown says:

        Heck I’d go and get it back from them but then I’m thrifty aka cheap and have no shame. Reminds me of the time I stayed for a week in a downtown Toronto hotel for work and accidentaly left all my underwear behind. They very kindly mailed it to me in a Triscuits cracker box.

  12. Wow! What a transformation, they are beautiful. Thanks for taking us along on your adventure, haha.

    Seriously, they turned out so cool.

  13. William says:

    Well done! Looks marvelous!

    Do you plan to chink between each board? You

    If not, will there be difficulties w/ air seeping? I’ve never been in an OLD house…..

    • Karen says:

      Hi William. The boards will be staying as is. All the tongue and grooves are together and where they’ve broken or have a gap for some reason I’ve patched them with plywood underneath from the basement. So hopefully they’ll be O.K. I won’t be filling them though. If anything I’ll use rope in the cracks. ~ karen!

  14. Anne from Raleigh says:

    Beautiful floors! And the eye is kind but knotty (probably like the owner ; )

  15. Katie C. says:

    Beautiful!!! I’m glad you decided to rip up all the floors!

    Our plans this weekend are to rip up the carpeting in our bedrooms and replace it with bamboo. Unfortunately, we will only find 1950s concrete slab under ours. :(

  16. Mary W says:

    You will be happy in this house for as long as you live in it – happy written all over it’s face! I really like how the cracks between planks show up rich and dark – I’ve never noticed that before and I do notice wood floors. Is that a Canadian thing, or northern thing, or trick of the lens thing, or have I just overlooked something really cool before? If you took up that one shorter ‘eyed’ board and had a plywood making company slice off a skinny top layer, you could turn ‘her’ over and lay the new piece next the other for a fuller face. Then again I love the one eye, it matches the one eyed happy face just above. I’m really glad you released the happy under all those years and your house seems relieved, also. I LOVE the slightly different shades as they tell a story as plain vanilla and perfect floors never can do! Seems you were meant for this home (not house).

    • Karen says:

      Those dark cracks are called something but I can’t remember what it is. It comes with authentically old flooring. Partly it’s the shadow of the wide tongue and groove space but also from age. :) ~ karen!

  17. Ramona says:

    I adore reading your work! Love the eye! It’s all I can do to vacuum our rug, but I do look forward to reading of your adventures😊 XOXOX

  18. JackieVB says:

    The board to the left of the eye is half a smiley face. All good signs that the house approves of the floors as well. Very nice!

  19. Jen says:

    It not only looks like an eye, it looks like an eye with full makeup! It looks like how I try to get my mascara to look.

  20. Rosey says:

    Karen, look closely, the eye has eylashes!….yea…victory!!!

    • Lez says:

      Hopefully not the magnetic ones that Karen tried in one of her posts! Hehe!

      Karen, what did you use to seal them eventually, to not make them yellow/orange?

  21. judy says:

    Wowzer! I like the eye, although my impression is she is a little bit sad for a lost love or perhaps she feels sorry for her buddy country to her south. Sob. The effect really changes your home to an earlier time. I didn’t realize what a give away narrow oak floors are to a much earlier era. I can’t button my lip-I have to say I watched the occupant of our White House,when told of the gruesome obscene slaughter of a Journalist (permanent resident of the U.S.) seem oblivious to the crime and really really fixated on money and arms sales. Just what our World needs,not brotherly love or concern. No Siree we need more ways to kill humans. I think we have arrived at Idiocracy. I hope our midterm elections can put a brake on this insanity.

  22. Nicole says:

    It’s definitely a kind eye – the kind you want to run away from!! JK!! It’s a beautiful eye just like your floors.

  23. Katie C says:

    And, sometimes you have to peel back the layers in order for them to see YOU clearly. (And, way to go, sister!)

  24. jaine kunst says:

    They look beautifully old!! Well done.

  25. Anna Lee says:

    The darker color doesn’t necessarily mean they’re older – just that they’ve been exposed to the light longer, which makes sense since the other floorboards have been covered up for a loooooooong time. I had a similar difference in color when we pulled up four layers of floor in my kitchen, which revealed the original 100 year old pine floors that were identical to those in the rest of the first floor – except for the color. Of course, in your case the square nails and different size might indicate a different age :-)

  26. Jura says:

    Looking fabulous. Love the way they turned out, you must be happy. I can’t wait to see what you do with the heat registers. My biggest pet peeve is the sad selection of heat registers available.

  27. Barbara Kemp says:

    My husband, the King and I, had a 1939 cape cod in Ohio years ago. After much discussion and estimates we had our oak floors refinished. Never did we regret the expense and then the easy care that followed. Many in our neighborhood of 1920 and 1930’s homes had their floors refinished by the same brothers. Skilled and experienced these men made our homes beautiful again.

  28. A spirit from the barn has now come to share your home! Cool. Congrats on a job well done! Hope you can relax and enjoy your floors now. The spirit is keeping an eye on you. Don’t make her angry!!!

  29. Kari in Dallas says:

    Not enough ❤️S to show how much I love this. Well done!

  30. Christine Francoeur says:

    Wow better than I thought in my brain eye.
    Sorry. They look great!

  31. Heather says:

    Lovely! That house is infused with your soul. I’ll bet people will feel it for generations to come. :)

  32. Edie Marie says:

    All I can say is… WHAT A WOMAN!!! Incredible results from all your hard work Karen! And the “eye”, how cool is that? It gives your house great insight and a vision for many happy years ahead! Looking forward to see all your treasures back in place.

    Blessings in all your endeavors, Edie Marie

  33. Debbie says:

    Fabulous! BTW, the eye is facing the front door, protecting those within and keeping evil out.

  34. Bronwyn says:

    Beautiful. But I’d be slapping a rug over that eye sooner rather than later!

  35. Paula says:

    Awesome, simply awesome! My floor have wide gaps like lots of old floors do and string has been added to fill the gaps and some sort of filler putty, too.

    • Karen says:

      I’ll see if there are any problems throughout the winter with cold, but there shouldn’t be since these floors are over my basement which is always incredibly warm for some reason. If there are issues, I’ll be going with rope. :) ~ karen!

  36. Kim says:

    Oh. I just love them. Love. Love. Love them. They are beautiful. And the fifty years older floors? I love them too. They have a story to tell, even if you don’t know it. And the eye? Oh. I enjoy that so much.

    Your home is beautiful. I am so glad you ripped up those floors. It’s all so perfect. Good. Freaking. Work. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  37. Laura says:

    All the blood, sweat, tears, time, energy, effort and love shows!!

  38. Gwen Humphries says:

    Your floors look beautiful.

  39. Georgia girl says:

    Congratulations Karen! I am so happy that this worked out well for you. I had my doubts about your sanity and I’m sure you did too. But you got through it and it’s mahrvelous!

  40. TucsonPatty says:

    They are gorgeous! Congratulations on finishing the first part. Finishing the next room is only sanding and refinishing, yes? I have awesome wooden ceilings with crossbeans in my 1955 house. When I am in bed looking at the ceiling, I see, footprints, a wolf, eyes, other dogs…knotty wood is awesome!

    • Karen says:

      The dining room floor also has to be ripped out. Actually it’s already ripped out. :) At present it needs to be sanded and refinished, which I think I’ll be doing myself as soon as I get time. ~ karen!

  41. Kailee says:

    My bathroom door in the house I grew up in had knots and wood grains that looked like Jesus. I only ever pointed it out to a couple people. Only as an adult did I realize that we could have gotten rich or famous by exploiting the Christ door. Oh well.

  42. Auntiepatch says:


  43. Suzanne LH says:

    Did you have to tinker with the front door, or just live with the higher threshold?

    Looks terrific. Whew. Makes me tired just thinking about it all. Done ther been that on a much smaller scale in a 1909 house in Colorado..

    • Karen says:

      Oh, there was no changing the front door. :) Not unless I wanted to do some major brick work etc. I’m leaving it as is. The threshold was always elevated a little bit so I’m used to it not being perfectly flush. Haven’t tripped on it once yet! ~ karen!

  44. Karalyn Faulkner says:

    I am SO impressed. Great work. Love your house. Reminds me of my own, even though mine is from 1950. My floors need refinishing and I am dreading it. Thanks for the motivation.

  45. Judy says:

    Oh my gosh, that is funny. As paranoid as I can be, I would think it was looking up at me from the basement. But it does look like a nice eye, and the floors look fabulous. Wish I had even new wooden floors instead of carpet. GOOD JOB!

  46. Marjorie Kramer says:

    A friend bought an eye amulet in Turkey, saying it’s a good luck charm. The internet confirmed that just now, so, your floor eye must come from that genre! Your floors are warm and welcoming, just beautiful. Congratulations!

  47. Marilyn says:

    They look absolutely perfect..I love them and it’s a very kind eye ..sort of saying what took you so long ?.

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