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!!


Greg said...

The floor turned out beautiful! Do you know what type of wood it is?

Anna said...

Thanks Greg! It is definitely some kind of softwood, most probably fir. The original floors would have been oak - but they are long gone... Maybe we'll try to find old oak floors for the rooms upstairs where the previous owners left nothing of the wood floors - laminate on (old) hard plaster :(

Chris said...

That looks fantastic. Great work.

The Muehli's said...

The floors look beautiful Anna. I ache all over just thinking about how terrible that task was for your husband...but at least the results were well worth it.

The wood floors in our house are also amazingly long. The planks in our living room and current bedroom are at least 6 meters long. Incredible isn't it?

Anna said...

Hello Chris - thanks and good to read you again!

Hi Tiffany - those long planks are really impressive! I don't think that you could get them nowadays - everybody seems to be using the shorter "Klickparkett" ;)

Angus said...

What do the family and friends say NOW?
The floors are beautiful! And I love the idea that they are all uneven and not flat.

Anna said...

Thanks Angus! Well, some friends had to admit the floors turned out beautiful - others just don't like old things. I don't think we'll ever convince them ;)... Anyway, I'm still really happy about that floor!

Larry said...

What wording did you use on eBay to find the polisher?

Your floor looks GREAT!

Anna said...

Larry - I found it on ebay Germany as "Bohnerbesen". Unfortunately, the only seller doesn't send the polisher abroad. Well, it would be expensive as the polisher is VERY heavy.
The official translation for "Bohnerbesen" is "floor-polishing broom", but I didn't actually find one on ebay.com