The Gods Have Given Us... Hardwood Floors!

Anyone with kids will know we took our title from the movie Moana. Haverly watches it any time she can and can recite just about the whole movie... and we don't think its too bad either!  

Having been built c.1847, we certainly knew that we were going to have some initial challenges. The seller disclosed to us that the home did have some Knob and Tube wiring, so, we knew our first step was to have an electrician come in and start as soon as possible….or, so we thought.

We knew that pulling the old carpet up and exposing the hardwood floor would be something that we would do before Susie’s Mom Lorna moved in. Makes logical sense not to move her in, then move stuff around to pull carpet up right??? Our plan was to use the carpet as very convenient drop cloth….why pull down wallpaper and do painting after?

So, step one- Move In; Step two and three at the same time- get electrician in and pull up carpet.

These are some before pictures; and while the carpet wasn't in bad shape, it just wasn't our color.

F'en wall paper everywhere....

Well, good thing that Susie said “Hey, we should look at the hardwood underneath the carpet.” Guess what…they used the hardwood floor as a drop cloth before they put the carpet down!! Paint everywhere!! So here we are, three days after closing, eight days before Susie’s Mom moves in, and now we need the floors redone.

Luckily, a co-worker had told me about someone that she knew who was very experienced in restoring hardwood floors. Now, we are a DIY blog..why hire someone to do the floors you may ask? Time constraints; we had a tight schedule to keep with Susie’s Mom moving in.

We called Torres Flooring Saturday, he came Sunday to look at it, and he was there on Monday starting to sand them down. It looked like the schedule would work out with the third coat of polyurethane being down and cured by Saturday! Things look like they are lining up perfectly, and all I have to do is rip up the carpet in a day…about 700 square feet worth? Sounds easy right? But if you thought pulling carpet up was easy, it is not. And well, I’ll tell you the third coat was down on time, but we had a catastrophe that I will get into as well.

After we got the carpet up, then we had staples, staples everywhere, and tack strips to boot.

It took about an hour and a half to get the carpet cut up and out, but another 8-10 hours of labor on the staples for the carpet pad underneath, and the tack strips. And we all did our part; Lorna, Susie and I all took our turns picking away at them. But we got powered through, sweated profusely and got it done. This was our DIY portion of this project where we saved ourself a few hundred dollars in labor.


Sanding in progress;

So here was our third coat catastrophe;DOGGIE PAW PRINTS!!!

The dogs broke in to the area while the poly was still wet and took a run through. Not only did they run through, they confirmed their disapproval by leaving us a nice poop right in the middle of it all. Thanks guys....

Luckily Mr. Torres was happy to come back to buff and add another coat.


At one point in time, our to-be living room was actually two separate rooms. When the wall was taken down, we believe that strips of plywood were put down in place to make the floor even for the carpet.

Unfortunately we did not find out until too far in to the refinishing, so they had to be poly'd so we could move forward. Eventually we will pull them up and blend everything in.


FINISH PHOTOS: So here they are. All poly'd up and no dog prints (or poop) this time around.

We decided to go with a natural finish to the floor as opposed to a stained finish. One reason was that Mr. Torres' face changed completely when we asked about staining prices. We actually didn't even ask, plus it would have added days to the project.