The vast majority of the downstairs has gorgeous, 100-year-old fir floor. It's not in great condition and it's pretty thin by now, but I don't mind - it's a warm, lovely and loved kind of look.
|Dirty and well-loved, but it's home!|
The only area without it was the living room, which had wall-to-wall carpet. Brett said he was absolutely certain that the original floor was underneath, that it was pretty trendy for a while just to lay carpet over.
We were unhappily surprised to pull up the carpet and discover... plywood. There was even a line where you could see that some of the original floor had been cut so the plywood would sit flush. AUGH.
We called in a flooring guy to get a quote for matching the original floor. I really love the look, and it's not a big space so continuing the line all the way through the first floor really helps it feel larger. Even he could barely believe his eyes - he had to verify several times to convince himself that yes, somebody actually had removed a gorgeous old wood floor to put in plywood subfloor.
We've started referring to this guy as the Floor Whisperer - he's that good. He tapped on the floor and could tell by the sound that we can only sand it and refinishing it once more. Seriously. He also knows we're on a budget. So when the estimate came in somewhere between mind-boggling and all-the-money-we-set-aside-for-the-entire-kitchen-reno, we knew that was really the lowest possible amount, and that we were going to have to figure something else out. However, nothing we came up with really appealed to me.
I went away for a weekend, and Brett bribed one of his friends with beer and barbecue to come over and help pull up the plywood, in preparation for laying down something new (whatever that something would turn out to be.)
I was in the midst of lamenting to my mother about the flooring pickle when I got a flood of text messages and pictures. The guys had FOUND THE ORIGINAL FLOOR! It was underneath the plywood, a half-inch lower than the floor in the rest of the house.
Total mood turn-around!
|Brett exposing what he now calls "wood gold."|
There are some holes in the floor from where the plywood was nailed down, but actually by and large being covered for the last decade means that a lot of this floor is in better shape than the floor in the rest of the house. There's definitely still lots of work to be done - t's a variety of colors, some chunks are missing around the transitions and the rest need to be eased into the higher floor around it, and we discovered that a small bump-out is actually an addition so it never had any nice floor to begin with. But it's going to look just right, for a fraction of the price, and hopefully before we have to move in.
I'll post a picture when the work is done.