Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The wood under our feet

Traditionally old farmhouses had wood floors, and to keep our houses farmhouse charm we wanted to keep all the flooring already there.

Living room and dining room
The old section of the house had beautiful soft wood pine floors on the ground level. We hired someone to sand and varnish this section and loved how they came out. So much lighter then expected.

For the kitchen we originally imagined having a grey slate tile laid down throughout, but the size of the kitchen meant it would be a pricey affair. What we weren't expecting was to find the perfect flooring right under our feet. After removing three layers of plywood we discovered the the kitchen originally had soft wood spruce floors. With a little love and TLC, some refinishing and a good dose of varnish the floors turned out even more beautiful then we could have ever imagined.

Kids area
Upstairs in the old section was a problem. The flooring was all original to the house, but there were holes in it from where a chimney used to run through it. It was painted a selection of different colours and our floor sander said the wood wasn't of good enough quality to refinish. We had two options, either fix the holes and paint it, or rip it up and replace the whole thing. The thing was that over the 200 years in existence, the house had slowly sunk a bit and now was a bit crooked. Also in some point in it's history a wall was removed from the ground floor and the upstairs floors bowed. We would have to reinforce the entire floor and this would an expenses we weren't willing to undertake at the time. So we filled in the holes and painted away. While it doesn't go with the flooring in any other part of the house it does add a quirky charm to the kids area of the house. Maybe one day we will fix it, but for now it will have to do.

Master bedroom
The flooring in our bedroom was also painted, and at first we wanted to remove it all and replace it with new flooring so that it would match the extension. However on closer inspection we realised that the floor was extremely unique. It was laid out on an angle and the floor boards were all of various length and width. Our contractor, flooring guy, parents all fell in love with it and told us we had to keep it. We still weren't sure but we decided we were willing to sand it down to see what it would look like without all the paint. Well weren't we surprised.....it was the most interestingly beautiful floor we had ever seen. It was made up of different types of wood and our contractor told us the trees used for this floor most likely came out of the very woods that surrounded our house. We decided to keep it and are so happy we did. However we did have one problem. We had removed a stairwell that came up directly in the middle of the room. We tried to fill it with new wood, but it looked all wrong. What to do?? Then my dad had an idea. Half of the hallway leading into the extension had the same flooring. Instead of having our hallway change flooring halfway through my dad suggested we ripped out the old flooring and use it to fill in the hole in our room. So he took a chainsaw to it and he and my mother placed the flooring in our room puzzle style. It turned out great and it saved us allot of money.


We wanted the extension to feel, well like an extension of the original home. Seeing that all the flooring was soft wood we decided to go with pine. Not only would it match the flooring in the rest of the house it was more than half the price of hardwood. We also saved tons of money by having my dad install the flooring. I even got my hands dirty and helped him lay down the floor in the family room. It felt so good to put my own stamp on my house and it was great working with my dad. Once it was all laid down we had it sanded and varnished.

While every room in our house has a different type of wood flooring we find that it all flows quite well together. The farmhouse feel is intake while at the same time everything is clean and fresh. We love walking around and feeling the creaky old and new floor boards beneath our feet.

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