Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Foundation of the Matter

I've waited a year, thinking we'd be more productive than we have been, but it doesn't look like we'll get to put down the hardwood floor I want any time soon. I'm resigned now that it may be two or three years before we do it. The issue at hand is the things that have to be done BEFORE we can do the floor.

Besides replacing the roof, (there is a leak in the flat roof over the utility and bathroom areas), we have more horsehair plaster to remove. That's dirty work that can ruin the finish on a nice floor. I'm too cheap to put down an interim floor just to see it ruined. I refuse to put down the good wood floors I want until the plaster is replaced. I have plans to replace the utility room and bathroom floors later, too. I have my eye on some click-together laminate that looks like stone. I've heard they don't stand up well in wet areas. This may not be a good idea for the bath and the back door. I wonder if they can be sealed? Hm... I have time to make that final decision.

We have four more rooms that may need the horsehair plaster removed. Kitchen. Utility. Bath. Northwest Bedroom. I can hope the bathroom and utility room have already been done when the folks reworked the bathroom, but I'm not holding my breath. It's all paneled. That was Dad's way of coping with crumbling plaster.

My old bedroom, the northwest room, has walls that are in good condition, even if they are still horsehair, but the ceiling is crumbling. Dad installed dropped ceilings to hide the problem. He did that for two reasons -- lower ceilings make a warmer house in the winter, and it was an easy fix. Dad wasn't worried about a "period look". He wanted something functional. He was also in his 70s when he was doing some of this work (with only Mom for help) so he wasn't going to create more work than they could handle. He only lowered the ceiling a foot, so that really isn't a big issue. I want to go back to the 9 ft. ceiling.

Before Robert and Pat stripped the plaster off the living room, the first thing they did was pull out the old green carpet. We've been living on the particleboard underlayment for the past year. I've even tried to wax it to make it look a little better, but that was useless. I'm really tired of living on particleboard. But I'm still too cheap to spring for an interim floor. Or am I?

Browsing at Sutherland's the other day, I found a flyer for floor and deck paint that showed it laid down in a red brick pattern. That looks nice! I know it's intended for a concrete floor, but the texture of the particleboard would just add realism to my bricks. We bought the paint and will be giving it a try. Even if it looks pretty amateurish, it will be better than raw particleboard for the next few years.

As you can see by the photo, there will be some prep work before we put down the color. I need to pull the nails that held the carpet down for starters. We will seal the floor with Kilz before putting on the color. In his later years Dad cut a trap door in the floor so he had access to the floor furnace. We have removed the furnace and will close off the trap door when we install the wood floor. In the meantime I plan to paint the black lines between the "tiles" to fall as so they hide the edges of the door.

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