The Great Floor Debacle. Part 1

To everyone who warned me not to do this. To everyone who claimed I was getting into what could be a complete disaster.  To my friends who thought ripping up my floors would lead to all sorts of ridiculousness. I say pftttt. You’re a bunch of dolts.

Does that look like a disaster to you? I think not.

Any realtor will tell you that a basement skylight is a very sought after selling feature.

Speaking of which. Anyone wanna buy a house?

Just kidding.  My mercury glass Christmas snowman (which you can see covered in dust and rubble to the upper right of the photo) has never been easier to access.

At most this was a hiccup. A burp.  A slight bump in the road.  More of a hole in the road I guess. One of those car eating sinkholes that insurance doesn’t cover because you parked your car on what you knew was potentially a great big sinkhole.

Sit back, relax (in your home without poltergeist holes) and let me tell you how I got to this point.

In case you aren’t caught up to this point you can read this post which explains how just over a week ago I removed 1 of the 3 floors that are laid in my foyer.  Because I was curious about what was under it.  Then I was curious about what was under that next floor.  Which brings us to where we are.


After careful thought and realizing there is no fighting my curious nature I decide to remove the maple floor in my foyer (which just 2 weeks ago was covered by box store pine flooring).

12 p.m. 

Begin removing maple flooring.  Feeling quite sassy.

6:00 p.m.

Finish removing all maple flooring and am happy to see there are very few repairs to be made.  Doubly sassy.  Remove the last of the floor remnants.

6:15 p.m.

Take a good look at the floor underneath.  There is original paint from a century ago around the perimeter. This was when painting floors was the poor man’s way of finishing their floors. Those who couldn’t afford a carpet would paint their wood floors.  Nowadays people who can’t afford nice wood floors install carpet.

6:30 p.m.

Momentarily fancy myself artsy enough to leave the floor exactly how it is and just clean it up a bit with washing to bring up the colour.


6:31 p.m.

Come to grips with the fact I’m not that artsy. Finish cleaning up and a bit of floor removal in the closet area.


No idea. I have literally NO idea what I did Thursday. I have a feeling I may have blocked it from my memory and it probably involves centipedes.  Or possibly a basement toad.

Seriously. Toads are notorious for living in basement crawl spaces.  It’s a thing.

Hold on. I just remembered what I did Thursday. I removed nails.  Lots and lots of nails.


11:00 a.m.

Place hands on hips and assess situation.

As can be seen in the photo above, there’s only about 2 square feet that need to be patched.  So don’t ask me why at …

12:25 p.m.

… I did this.

I just kept ripping up floor.  I have a feeling I did this because the support underneath the floor needed to be reinforced.  It had something to do with the threshold into the dining room.

7:33 p.m

Complete basement skylight.


9:00 p.m. 

Start creating support for plywood subfloor by screwing 2x4s into the joists. This will allow more support for the shorter pieces of flooring.





Take a quick look around for my sass.  It is nowhere to be seen. I even look outside.  Nope, it’s not there.  I’ve lost my sass.

I did, on the other hand, discover exactly how many floors I needed to remove to satisfy my curiosity.

All of them.

To be continued …


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  1. Cherrywoods says:

    Hey! I was curious about what was under that next floor.

  2. Dana Studer says:

    You are right about seeing other peoples’ dirt. At Christmas, I used an upstairs bathroom at a family member’s house. The cat food bowls were next to the toilet. Behind the toilet was hair and all kinds of fuzz that looked like it was stuck to the floor with hairspray. There was also mouse poop there!

  3. Robyn says:

    This is so exciting! I am jealous of the old floors that are going to be gorgeous and grateful that I don’t have the mess in my house. Been there done that. After they sand the floors there will be sawdust EVERYWHERE in your house. Just sayin. Enjoy the process and thanks for sharing!

  4. charlotte tataryn says:

    Karen, you are amazing, albeit sometimes, not in a good way, but your perseverance is to be admired, everything withstanding. I’d have you in my corner, any day, although I’d not let you near my house with a hammer, and/or a crow bar.
    This is, by far, the most interesting rant you’ve been on, I’m sure at some point, and perhaps once or twice already, you’ve wondered “what the hell am I doing”, but again, I admire your tenacity, f not your common sense.
    End of day, I enjoy, have and will always, watching, and reading your adventures with your house, and can’t wait to see what wonders transpire until you are done. Hopefully you got your root veggies out of the ground and have literally nothing else to do. Yah, just kidding about that.
    Keep on trucking – you are one fun, and funny, individual.

  5. Lez says:

    These are the things that struck me Karen!
    I also couldn’t see the snowman!
    I wondered what was behind those doors, I have NEVER seen a door in front of a staircase before!
    A downstairs window without burglar bars! Unheard of in South Africa!
    And… a spool of what looks like turquoise embroidery cotton? Just wondering why!?

    Crazy, brave lady! You are an inspiration to us all!

  6. Marcia Middents says:

    Forget the floor…I want to know how you keep nail polish and nails with all the projects you do. My nail polish chips when I just think about doing something crafty.

  7. Diane Walters says:

    Lol I love the laugh out loud chuckles you give me…thank you once again. Good laughs can be hard to come by at times!

  8. Mark Puett says:

    Reminds me of the time that I sccoched into the crawlspace under my 100+yr old house to come face to face with a wasp nest about the size of a volleyball. Fortunately for me… it was vacant. The Wasp nest, not the house. After cleaning up poop, in a sealed up crawlspace… I put down vapor barrier and stapled up batt insulation against the sub-floor. I think it made a difference in that bedroom having the extra insulation. Certainly makes a difference not having the wasps that were subletting at one time.
    Keep the faith!

  9. Celeste says:

    Well, I must be dim. I don’t see the snowman. But I do see what looks like a small book. Need to know!! What’s the book?? Is it an antique primer from days long past? I looove old books!

    • Karen says:

      It’s probably the Snowman you’re looking at. :) It’s in a cardboard box with a picture of it on the outside. ~ karen!

  10. leo muzzin says:

    Hi Karen: that could be lead paint on the floor so I would suggest you take precautions, even if you don’t do the refinishing yourself.

  11. Suel says:

    Thank you for all the photos! AND your commentary and level of sass. I’m basing my restoration of my antique garden shed on some of your discoveries and solutions.

  12. Bunguin says:

    Have you considered putting in some kind of decorative work (like antique/salvaged medallion or carved border, or metalwork, or coordinating wood, but not pine) to frame out the repaired/patched area and ‘extend’ the usefulness of the original pieces you do have.

    I’m stupid, I’m sure you thought about it, But here is what I meant anyway….something like these:

    • Karen says:

      I do like those accents when they’re done well, but for this house I’m thinking I’d like to keep the floors relatively authentic. So chances are my patch job will just look like a patch job because that’s how things would have looked then. :) ~ karen!

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