The upstairs floors were generally in better shape than they were downstairs. There were, however, a few problem areas that looked like they fell victim to water damage.
Given how (relatively) easy the downstairs floors were to replace, and how affordable it was (~$3,000), it was a no-brainer that we should replace the upstairs floors as well. Especially given how fantastic the end product will be!
We also don’t have the same learning curve that we had before so it should be less painful than the first try. Famous last words…
The upstairs baseboards were very difficult to remove. I’m not really sure why they were so much harder than downstairs, but it’s likely because of the giant nails that attached them to the plaster.
The best part was that, in many places, the flooring had been installed after the baseboards, essentially trapping the baseboards. Unfortunately it took us a while to figure this out. We eventually gave up and took these baseboards out after the floor was removed, which was sooooo much easier.
One of the lessons learned from last time was to purchase new baseboards and just get rid of the old. Given how damaged these guys were, there was no way we could have reused them anyways.
Removing the Hardwood
Finally, once the walls and baseboards were gone, it was time to start removing the old hardwood. Unlike the last time we ripped up the floors, I had no issues getting rid of 50 years worth of dog hair and nasty dirt. We got our crow bars out and went to work!
As expected, tearing up the wood was relatively easy but extremely hard on the legs. I basically spent the entire day doing squats and paid for it later. Alex, our waste management expert, lugged all the hardwood outside as I removed each board. Our backyard is now a dump site.
Removing the floor also meant individually removing all of these nails:
It took us about 2 hours to remove the hardwood in the master bedroom:
And an hour for the middle bedroom:
Now that we’re redoing the floor, we took the opportunity to move the vent to under the window, where it belongs.
We had to remove a few boards so we could run the duct in the floor. Once we had a hole large enough, we placed the duct inside and connected it to the existing duct. We then cut a new hole for the vent near the window and connected everything together.
Once we were satisfied with our new duct, we put the floor boards back and it was as if nothing had ever happened…
In the master bedroom, the duct comes up in the middle of the floor.
We couldn’t move the vent closer to the window without going through the joists (which was not an option) so we kept it in the same place.
We did, however, do a thorough clean to get rid of the nasty hair build-up.
Cleaning the Floor
The final step before installing the subfloor was to clean the floor thoroughly. When we pulled up the old hardwood, the floor underneath was covered in years of dirt and dog hair. And although a good vacuum got rid of most of it, I wanted to make sure as much of the old crap was gone. I went board by board and removed the dirt in between the floor boards with a utility knife. This is a tedious and labour-intensive job, but I couldn’t just cover the floor knowing what was still living beneath.
We’re pretty excited to install the subfloor!