What a project! Where do we begin… Well, first off – this home is over 100 years old. It was one of the original homes built during the early settlements of Pleasanton, KS – a little farm town about 40 miles south of Overland Park, KS. The house is very unique in it’s own way!
As do many ancient homes, they all have their own personalities. Yes, this one was cute but extremely feisty! Every wall was crooked, each room had a different size hardwood, uneven flooring, multiple hardwood species, and bizarre patches everywhere. In all seriousness, most contractors would run away from a project like this! We accepted these challenges and it started with the repairs!
We began by ripping up all the patches in the floors. This allowed us to reveal the sub-flooring a decide what the proper solution was. Each patch had their own challenges, whether it was a different size plywood needed or various shimming and cutting. One even needed weight support by framing in 2×4’s. Once all the subfloor patches were fixed, it was time to lace in the hardwood flooring.
Lacing Hardwood Flooring
One part of the house had existing 2 inch oak flooring and the other part of the house had 2 – 1/4 inch oak hardwood flooring. And, weirdly enough – the stairs were pine! Anyways, back to the flooring! Most of the repairs were on the part of the house that had the 2 inch oak hardwoods. Hardwood suppliers in Kansas City do not stock 2 inch wide hardwoods. It’s not a normal product nowadays. So, this hardwood had to be pre-ordered months before service. And this is where things got crazy!
Long story short and to save you the drama, the wood never made it to Kansas City in time for this project. We will say that this circumstance was out of our control. Regardless of this situation, we had to make a decision. And that was to mill our own 2 inch wide hardwood. It was the only way to ensure this project met the deadline for this customer.
Each board that was laced into the original flooring was ripped down from 2 – 1/4 inch to 2 inch. We also had to take off a 1/4 inch thickness in order to match the existing hardwoods. That same thickness was ripped off each flush vent installed. And, each lace needed it’s own shimming because the floors in this old house were so uneven.
Sand & Finish Hardwoods
Sanding was just as challenging as the repairs. There were a ton of high spots in the floor. We used 16 grit for our first pass of sanding. This was the most aggressive way to get the floor as flat as possible. Stepped up to 24 grit for our second pass then moved on to 36 grit. After 50 grit, we could really start to see what this floor was going to look like!
After the finer grits were put to work, then it was time to stain this floor. Our client chose honey for their color. We were a little worried about this color. Typically with an old floor like this, you want to go with a darker color to help camouflage the repairs. Even if you get the correct grade and species of hardwood, sometimes, you can still see the repaired areas. So, going with a medium brown color was nerve-racking!
The color looked outstanding! The repairs blended perfectly! Top coated beautifully with a modified oil-based satin finish. And you can see for yourself that this project really came a long ways. We had a determined team, quality craftsmanship, and a wonderful and understanding client. It’s amazing to see the transformations on this house. And, it started with the hardwood flooring!
- Install stair treads & risers
- Subfloor repairs
- Lacing hardwood flooring
- Sand & finish
- Trim & paint