April 22, 2007

Aliens among us (wood floor, part II)

After scraping off all the rests of glue, we decided to grind the floor.
And here we encountered the first problem: Of course we could have rented a big grinder and would have grinded the whole room within a couple of hours.

But that big machine would not only have stripped the floor but would also have flattened it - which we wanted to avoid. The planks are all uneven and we wanted to keep that historic structure. Therefore, my husband grinded every single plank with a small swinging grinder:

What a horrible job: noisy, dusty, backaching and it took him days... But I must admit that I really love the way he looks while doing it - like an alien ;)

And here is a first try at embedding a little video:

And a picture to compare the floor before (top) and after (bottom) grinding:

By the way: The length of the single planks is remarkable! They are about 5 metres long - all of the study's length!

Of course the now open-poured floor needed further treatment. We read a lot about different possibilites to treat a wood floor and talked to "our" carpenter. In the end we decided to do it the traditional and purely organic way:
First we lubricated it with linseed oil, which - nice side-effect - kills every wood worm, just in case there was still an active one in that floor...
Did you know it is dangerous to leave a cloth soaked with linseed oil in the house? It can catch fire!! Seemed quite scary to me and therefore I left all the jars we used outside in the yard before we disposed them. Better take no risks!

After lubricating we applied beeswax and then polished the floor with a hand floor polisher - a tool that my grandmothers both used as a matter of course but that is hardly purchasable nowadays. Thank goodness there is ebay...

And the result of all the labour is this:

I really love it!!

April 20, 2007

Wood floor, part I

As I wrote before, we started off with painting the study. After we finished the painting in salmon, we wanted to rip out this ugly carpet:

Underneath the carpet we found: - another layer of carpet...

And beneath the second carpet we found a really beautiful old wooden floor, hidden away under a layer of red varnish and rests of the carpet's undersurface though...

Alright, I have to put it into perspective: WE thought it a beautiful floor and decided to renovate it. Family and friends reacted about this way: "What a horrible floor, traces of worm holes everywhere and those splinters of wood are dangerous!" Well - the wood worm is long gone and anyway - it's not really a surprise to find traces of a wood worm in such a house, is it? And you can always wear slippers in order to avoid splinters!

First of all - we riped out the whole carpet:

And then I scraped off all the gluey rests of carpet with a hand scraper - quite a tiring work that didn't do any good to my back...

Read about the grinding in the next post...