Home Improvement Scope Creep

I've haven't been posting lately because I've been knee deep in home improvement projects.  Initially we were going to add cabinets and a work surface to the wall of our office to provide for more storage and give our two kids a quiet place to do homework and other projects.

A week ago we had finally gotten to the point where it was time to cut the carpet in order to expose the subfloor that the base cabinets would be mounted on.  Out came the carpet knife, up came the carpet and the carpet pad, but the subfloor did not appear.  Instead, we found 3/4" thick oak hardwood floors.  My wife has always wanted wood floors.

We pulled all the furniture out of the room, and once the carpet was gone, the carpet pad removed, the staples used to hold the carpet pad pulled, and the tack strips carefully ripped out, we were left with this:

I still had to remove the 20 or so 1" long (remember where I said it was 3/4" hardwood) screws used to "stop the floor from squeaking".

Last Friday, with the room all prepped, I rented an orbital floor sander and edger.  Total cost including sandpaper was about $125.  I also picked up some water based polyurethane, Varathane brand with nanotechnology.  I picked the water based stuff for two reasons.  I was hoping to avoid the yellowing of the finish that the old oil based polyurethane had developed.  I was also hoping to avoid having my whole family high off of fumes.  Doing this in the winter makes airing out the house an unattractive option.

The orbital sander did a great job and was relatively easy to use.  It really is just a giant version of the hand held orbital sander I have in the garage.  A little scraping was required to remove the white paint spots the previous owners of the house so thoughtfully applied to the floor prior to covering it with carpet.  We started with 36 grit for the rough cut, used 60 grit for the intermediate, and 80 grit for the final sanding.

After extensive cleanup involving brooms, vacuum cleaners, and cotton shirts, we had a clean bare floor.  By Saturday afternoon we were applying the first coat of water based poly.  I'm not sure what the nanotech did, but by Sunday at 11 AM we had a bunch of sore muscles and a floor that looked like this:


  1. wow, gorgeous tree fiber you uncovered there

  2. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks...
    Kitchen Remodeling Nashville Brand website