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.
Our 1895-ish brownstone was originally designed as a 2-family house. The rental apartment was on the top floor, with an owner’s duplex occupying the garden and parlor floors. But you knew that already.
This arrangement has always seemed weird to me, because it means that the most ornate floor of the house, the parlor with it’s fancy-ish entrance, is mostly closed-off. When we bought our house, after more than a decade of having upstairs neighbors (and all the fun that goes along with that – water leaks, office chair derby, loud children), we decided it was enough. We set up our house as an owner’s duplex over a garden rental. This means we get to use our fancy-ish entry way, but in return we also have the very small top floor rental kitchen, as the original owner’s duplex kitchens in brownstones were always on the back of the garden level.
Some day when we
win the lottery save enough money, we will move the kitchen to the parlor level and create the 1920s kitchen of my dreams. Until then, we make do with tight cooking quarters. How tight of cooking quarters, you may ask? Tight enough that the fridge is in a separate room.
While we clearly have issues with priorities, we’re not total slackers. There has been progress on the bedroom project.
This is what the floors look like after the repair and first sanding: Continue reading
The Pink Lady has been throwing us some curve balls lately. No, not the doorbell that rings randomly (it seems as we have a ghost that locked itself out and wants back in. I call her Constance). Our biggest problem is that the mechanical systems are organizing a mutiny and a general strike of Greek proportions. Oy!
So let’s talk about something different entirely, shall we? Here is some good before/after stuff that is far more fun that plumbing, BTUs and wiring:
Remember what the floor looked like when we bought the house?
This shot extra dark and gloomy to illustrate exactly how we felt about this part of the house
Looking towards the front of the house (the door leads to the entrance under the stoop)
Well, through the creative use of a crow bar, some elbow grease and the magic of turning round bamboo into flat flooring, we now have this:
Work in progress: the floor is in, just missing the trim pieces
There is still some work left to be done in this area, but one more weekend and it should be done. Woo hoo!