Christine and Pierre's Kitchen: New Floors!

Renovation Diary

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We opted to make a kind of "fake threshold" to match the arch of the beams and to create a transition between the spaces. You can see in this photo how beat up the existing floors are.

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Name: Christine & Pierre
Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Type of building: Ground floor apartment of a triplex, 1,100 square feet

The Renovation Diaries are a new collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

The floors happened this week! Realizing we were behind schedule, we got our subs to help us out with laying the floor this week while we were at work. I think this is something we could have done ourselves, but we needed to catch up and it probably would have been at least two days of work for us, not to mention needing to borrow a miter saw. So we agreed to get the pros in to help us catch up.

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The floors are in! Expertly laid by our subs.

Saturday morning Pierre headed to Home Depot to pick up sanding supplies. The plan had been to rent an orbital sander — I had read in multiple places that it was easier for DIYers to use, and that a belt sander could cause damage to floors if used improperly. So I almost had a panic attack when he came home with the belt sander, after the rental guy at Home Depot had convinced him it would be way faster.

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Pierre operating the belt sander like a boss. Easier to use than we thought.

Despite my extreme anxiety about the whole affair, the belt sander turned out to be pretty easy to use. I think this is partly because we were starting with a grit that was not too coarse (60), but really, this was not nearly as intimidating as I expected. We took it slow and careful, and Pierre is pretty good at this kind of thing.

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The handheld orbital sander. NOT easy to use.

The belt sander only took us so close to the edges, so we had to finish up with a smaller rented orbital sander and my tiny mouse sander. The orbital sander, surprisingly, was much harder to use than I expected and would cause grooves if we weren't careful, so we had to really be gentle with it. We also had to run back to HD to grab a finer grit for the orbital sander, as it was burning the wood with the 60 grit initially.

We went across the entire old finish with 60 grit, the new section with 80 grit, and then finished the entire room with 120 grit. After a day of sanding the room was ready for polyurethane. The old wood was definitely darker than the new, so we added a very light stain to the new section to try and bring them a little closer together.

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Floors sanded and ready for poly!

Next week, poly!

Estimated time for project: 13 weeks
Time remaining: 3 weeks

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us next week for #14 of Christine and Pierre's Diary.

(Images and diary text: Christine Zoltok)

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