Sunday, May 22, 2011


Totally forgot to give a shout out to some very good friends who showed up to help. Adam, Sean, and Kyle represented and helped Joe pull staples out of the floor. They more or less just watched me and my floor saga, commenting every once in a while on what I should/shouldn't do.

I just really want to thank them for coming out and helping. Joe said they pulled out a couple hundred staples. Nate even jumped in to help.

The Sticky Situation

So, I have to give Joe's family credit. When they do a job, they make sure it's done well. When they lay laminate flooring, they put enough adhesive on it to guarantee it won't budge even during an F5 tornado. Same goes for the carpet. That carpet had enough staples in it to ensure it would be securely attached to the floor in case any gale force winds were threatening to lift it off.

My question is, however, why? Why would anyone want to staple through wood flooring every five inches to lay carpet? Why would someone lay two almost identical layers of laminate flooring on top of beautiful wood? Why? Why?!? I don't get it. I think I paused every few minutes this afternoon and asked that question to myself. I almost cried once, thinking about the ruination of the wood floors under all the laminate and tar paper. Which brings me to today's post...

The Kitchen Floor...dun, dun, dddduuuunnnnn. This is what the floors looked like yesterday morning.
Then, yesterday morning, Joe and some kid he was paying $30 went to the house and scraped off two layers of laminate flooring. Whats funny is the layer under this one is the same pattern, only red brick color. Loved the pattern so much they decided to lay it twice. Ahh. Now here's your home constructions history lesson..old laminate that is layered over wood floors is held there with tar paper (When you say tar paper out loud you have to add a little scream or gasp in the background for me, it's necessary.) Apparently, tar paper (gasp/scream, your choice) acts as a protective barrier for water or something stupid like that. This is what the floor looked like after the laminate was scraped off. There's wood under there somewhere.

Now that the laminate is removed it's my turn. I am the one tricked into removing the tar paper (you know what to do here). I come in confidently, I have read several blogs and feel comfortable in the method I have chosen to defeat the evil tar paper. My method? - to steam it up. I read online that chemicals were bad for the wood, and any flammable stuff was out of the question (me and flammable...we don't mix well). Plus, most people said none of that stuff worked anyway. Most suggest that we lay down towels and pour boiling water over them. Then let them sit and work their magic. They sounded confident, they sounded successful, their floors looked amazing...I was on board. So, I boiled my water, I laid out my towels, I poured the water over the towels and I waited.
Well, I'm sure you've figured out by now that all those nice, confident, reassuring, successful bloggers lied to me. They said it would, "come up like butter." Ugh, what a crock. It came up like, well, tar paper. I spent four hours on one tiny, little section of the kitchen and still have tar paper on the floors. It came up, it did, but it came up slowly and painfully. Now remember when I told you that Joe's family made sure things were done well...well, I guess they just wanted to be extra sure that no water would permeate their floor because while most people only lay one layer of tar paper they decided (can you guess?) to lay two layers of tarpaper. So, I'm pretty much going through the steaming towel thing twice. I can let it soak in boiling water, scrape off one layer, then pour on more boiling water. Heres a pic of the little corner I did (remember, I worked on this for four hours).


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Crack House

So, finally, after months of waiting, waiting, waiting, and more waiting, things finally seem to be back on track. I took a few "before" pictures today. I'm going to try to start posting them so that everyone can see the "progress" that is happening.
Below is what went down today. I totally intended just to hang out and take a few pics today (maybe pull up a little carpet and marvel at the beautiful wood floors) and yet somehow ended up not only ripping out carpet but also wallpaper too.
This room is pretty scary. The wallpaper was coming down pretty easily but behind the wallpaper...oh, behind that wallpaper. Behind that wallpaper was a complete mess. I'm going to try to describe this the best way I know how. Someone (probably 60 years ago) decided to paint this room pink. Then, this person decided to hang wallpaper over that pink plaster...brown wallpaper with little red flowers all over it. (It was pretty gross.) Joe's Grandad made the wise choice to remove that wallpaper and Joe's Grandmother selected the country blue wallpaper you see above. 
Now, I had no intention of removing this wallpaper today. It was more curiosity than anything. I kept wondering, "What is behind that wallpaper? What is behind that wallpaper?" So finally, I grabbed a piece of loose wallpaper and just ripped. Amazingly, it tore all the way up to the ceiling without shredding. So I grabbed another piece and ripped that one off all the way to the ceiling as well. Everything after that is a haze of flying wallpaper and plaster. And yes, that is my dad standing there supervising. He "supervised" almost the entire process.

After the wallpaper frenzy and I was able to focus again, I finally took a step back and shrieked in horror. There were cracks everywhere. Im not sure these pics show it in great detail but it literally looks like a crack house. This room will haunt me in my sleep. In fact, I thought about calling up the producers of the SAW movies and letting them know that they could rent out this room to film their next movie.
Good news though, I did eventually end up tearing up the carpet. You can't tell from this pic but the floors are beautiful. I don't know why Joe decided to take a pic of the carpet pile instead of focusing on the actual floors but this seems to be the only one I have. We have beautiful floors with staples all through them--which reminds and staple party at my house next weekend!!!