The Floor

They never made something he couldn't afford
He had it all and still wanted more
They found him dead, stabbed in his bed
With his head on the hardwood floor

            No Sad Song    Helen Reddy (1972)

By Dominic Vautier

Floors are funny things.  We need them but they always seem to be dirty.  Our house has hardwood floors on the upper level but it used to be all carpeted for the kids.  Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s everybody got this weird idea that hardwood floors were too difficult to keep up, or too ugly, or too something-or-other, so everything in sight got carpeted wall to wall.  In some ways carpets are neat because dirt just sort of disappears inside--who knows where.  You don't really figure out where the dirt goes until you finally have to remove the carpet and there it is in the padding--tons of dirt, gobs of dirt, nice fine dirt, full of all kinds of smells and odors and gritty things and lost things and pennies.

But then again carpets seem to just magically eat up all those troublesome dust balls that appear everywhere for no reason at all and make life so much more easy and fun.  There's lots of better things to do than vacuum floors like skydiving, and cow tipping, and hang gliding.  And besides carpets are so nice for dogs and bare feet on cold mornings.  Yes, there's a lot of good things to say about carpets.

I love carpets.


Really dogs and cats love carpets. When you have a nice soft fuzzy carpet the dogs automatically lay down and go to sleep.  They sleep anywhere on the carpet and in any position and at any time of day or night.  If you can't find the dogs just look on your carpet.  They scratch themselves on carpets; they leave tons of hair on carpets.  Sometimes they pee and you don't know it for days.  By then it's too late to really get the carpet clean again.

That's why I have a steam cleaner and I have to keep handy.

I hate carpets.

So the real big trouble with carpets is having pets at the same time, especially puppies who consider a carpet the perfect place to pee.  They think that  after 15 years or so carpets get so full of stuff that a little pee won't hurt them any more.

So I removed every carpet we had in our house.  The things  were probably twice as heavy as they should have been because of all the dirt and stuff in them.


When the carpets were gone,  I was pleasantly surprised at the condition of the hardwood floor underneath the carpets.  Some boards were warped and others were cracked, but nothing that a good sanding wouldn't take care of.  If I removed 1/8 inch and sealed in the cracks I could get a half decent floor out of it.

Here is a view of our living room. 




In other cases unfortunately, the floor was a complete disaster.  The two western bedrooms had been enlarged and plywood was laid down instead of matching hardwood.  Also some of the walls had been moved around and there were big gaps in the hardwood.

Here is a section of our northwest bedroom---bad--bad--bad. 



We decided to put down a laminate floor over the mess underneath in the two west bedrooms.  It comes in a variety of patterns and styles, but you have to know how to put it down--and it's work--but not that bad.

Here is the almost finished southwest bedroom (Vals).  I used a bright knotty pine pattern



Here is the completed room some time later. 

Another shot of the west beadroom

There is still one more room to sand.  I also have to redo the living room because the finish has warn off.

The entire downstairs is being done in ceramic tile---but then that's another story.

I hate Carpets