Front parlor floor

Our house has many beautiful period details: mantels, moldings, pier mirrors, wainscoting… but the floors are a whole different matter.

When we moved, every single room had some kind of floor covering. The third floor, was all stick-on tile. The parlor floor was mostly parquet laminate and ceramic tile and the same for the garden level. Unlike carpet, removing sticky tiles or glued-on laminate usually leaves behind a trail of destruction and an unholy mess, so we proceed with caution.

The rooms with the parquet laminate were low priority. While not to our taste, there wasn’t anything really wrong with them – until of course, there was. In the front parlor, the tiles started just coming up randomly. They simply gave up and quit. My solution was to buy bigger and bigger rugs, but eventually that became impractical. Time to do something.


Some free-form flooring happening.

Pulling up the tiles was pretty easy. They weren’t really attached and came up with just a nudge with a scraper.

Luckily, what was below wasn’t too damaged:


After all the tiles were gone, we hit the floor with some ZipStrip to lift as much of the paint as possible (it was painted brown). As with the other flooring throughout the house, this too was pine.


Floor mid strip

After the paint was gone, we were left with a strange wear pattern on the floor. It seems there must have been something in the center of the room for quite some time. The finish of the floor was different and still visible after the paint was removed. Maybe there was never hardwood on the parlor level. Our house was built in the mid 1890s and carpets and floor cloths were in style back then.


The strange rectangle in the middle of the room.

Here is what it looked like at the end of day 1:


You can see the rectangle in the middle (and the wear pattern of heavy furniture being moved over the years, some crazy furniture ballet).

Next step was a light sanding to ensure a splinter-free experience for humans and cats:


Terrible photo taken by dying iPhone.

At the end of day 2, this what it looked like – still splotchy, but smooth enough for now.


Unfortunately the middle parlor has the same parquet tiles, but they are glued down. They will not be nearly as easy to pull up. Not looking forward to that one…


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