Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

The next step in replacing your hardwood is feeling overwhelmed. This is likely a necessary step in all renovation projects, but the first is probably the worst. There are a tonne of decisions that need to be made, and just when you think you’ve figured out the process, you realized you have NO idea…

The hardwood project itself was going fairly well. I finally managed to take out all of the old hardwood, including the nails. I’d say removing the hardwood took about 40% of the time and pulling out all its nails took 55%. The other 5% was spent sitting or stretching to give my back a rest. The bending/pulling combination really gave my body some trouble.

So the first step in my 6-step process (take out old floor, put down subfloor, put down hardwood, sand, stain, finish) was done.

It turns out that’s a load of crap.

There aren’t 6 steps. There’s a 1,000. Ok, maybe not that many. But there are at least 15. In my line of work, we call this scope creep.


As I was removing the hardwood near the front door, I found out that the previous owner had the vestibule tiles installed right over the hardwood. 

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My original plan was to eventually replace those tiles with a cool hexagon tile design (like this), but it would be a longer-term project since it wasn’t a priority. Well, now it’s part of the hardwood floor project. Damn it.

But that wasn’t the worst of it.


When I got to the fireplace, the hardwood just wouldn’t come out from under the stone. As I tried to pry the hardwood away, I ended up damaging the concrete base below the stone.

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At this point, I called Alex in, handed him the extra crowbar, and the stone came up. It wasn’t an easy feat. The suckers were really stuck on there… 

photo2About an hour later, we managed to get it off.Photo 2014-07-05 10 59 36

Here’s where I became my own worst enemy.

I was also turned off by the existing mantle. It’s an oak mantle and quite beautiful in its own right (minus the burgundy/yellow tile combo). But it’s also large. Very large. I’m trying to achieve a vintage/modern look, but this is definitely a bit more ‘antique-y’ than I’d like to have. Once we figured out that the mantle had been screwed into the brick, we removed the screws and it was easy to remove. 


But now there’s this brick extension thing on the front. I don’t like it. Especially without the mantle hiding its hideousness.

Photo 2014-07-05 10 58 53.jpg

In trying to figure out if we could pull the extension off, Alex made a good point: what if it actually serves a purpose. 

This is starting to snowball out of control…


We now need to figure out our fireplace situation… Stay tuned.

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