Maggie & Ed's Renovation: Fabulous New-Found Floors

Maggie & Ed's Renovation: Fabulous New-Found Floors

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Tess Wilson
Apr 23, 2015
The original hardwood floors in the kitchen/dining after being sanded, looking towards the music room.

Name: Ed and Maggie Williams (of MVW Architect)
Type of Project: Kitchen/Dining/Music Room Renovation
Location: Freret, New Orleans, LA
Type of building: Craftsman-style shotgun double

The Renovation Diaries are a 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.

Maggie and Ed's newly-restored 100-year-old hardwood floors are so spectacular "the rest of the house is jealous". So am I, House. So am I...

From Maggie & Ed:

This is the week of the floors. We are having the original hardwood floors refinished in the kitchen, dining and hallway. We are going with a clear matte finish, no stain or shine. We are hoping to replicate the look of the matte floors in the last place we rented, which we loved.
The sanded floors, looking towards the front of the house.
Our contractor decides to do the floors before the cabinets are installed to minimize mess. After they finish sanding the floor they draw our attention to an old dark stain in the boards in the back corner of the kitchen. The stain is spread across a few boards and unfortunately would be smack in the center of the kitchen aisle in front of the refrigerator: a pretty visible spot. We need to decide by the next morning if we want to have those boards replaced or just keep the stain, so they can sand again (if needed) and then start on applying the finish. I lean more towards leaving the stain; it's an old house, they are the original floors and we could just consider it "character", but Ed is pretty particular about things being consistent and we decide to go ahead with replacing those boards. It's now or never, and if a few hundred bucks means Ed won't be constantly irked when he looks down at the floor, then it's worth it. We pack up our stuff and stay at a friend's for the next 3 days while they apply the (smelly) finish coats.
When we get back home, the floor is beautiful!
Ed applying water to the stained boards, which we were told will give a realistic idea of how the stain would look after sealing.
The new boards that replaced the stained ones. They all just end in a line because that area will be covered by the cabinets & refrigerator.
After the first coat
Applying filler to the floors
It was definitely the right call to replace the stained boards, but the floor still has plenty of the charming character Maggie likes; the existing quirky patches, the old nail holes, as well as a Harry Potter-esque lightning bolt scratch that's been there for probably half a century.
Done! At the bottom of the picture is the threshold they added at the doorway to make a logical place to stop the refinishing. The floor looks so pretty the rest of the house is jealous.

Estimated time for project: 12 weeks
Time remaining: 8 weeks

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us tomorrow for installment #8 of Maggie and Ed's renovation.

(Images and diary text: Maggie and Ed Williams)

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