A few weeks ago we gave you an update on our antique heart pine floor refinishing, and this week we're very excited to share the finished product! 

Through a very long and drawn out process that included a good deal of heated spousal debate, a little social media luck, and more furniture moving than we could imagine, we had narrowed our process down to both the look we wanted as well as the right person for the job.

When working on a project like this it presents a unique set of challenges since we're not at the house every day to oversee things. As we've hired various contractors (construction, HVAC, plumbing, and now flooring) we've had to put a tremendous amount of trust and faith into the judgement of others. Since we're not on site, when a question comes up, we hope the people we've hired have gotten to know us well enough to either make choices they feel we'd choose, or to contact us when they're not sure which way to go.

Can I just tell you how fortunate we feel that we found Roland and his company, Royal Oaks Flooring? He gets us, he gets old houses, and he understands what needs to be done to make these beautiful floors look awesome.

When we last talked about the floor project we left you with a shot of the "hobbit room" (named for the roughly five foot tall doorframe I constantly smack my head into) after the sealer had been applied.

The thing is, that's the last we saw of the house in person until we came back when everything was finished. But this is the beauty of using a company that is active on social media, it certainly wasn't the last we saw of the house at all.

Wendy and I were watching Roland's Instagram account like hawks to get a glimpse of any updates. 

Photo Credit: Royal Oaks Flooring

We got to see great in progress shots while they fixed the poorly patched section of the floor in the master bedroom.

Photo Credit: Royal Oaks Flooring

Along with many great before...

Photo Credit: Royal Oaks Flooring

...and after sanding shots, like these of the master bathroom. 

Photo Credit: Royal Oaks Flooring

Every time he'd put up a new photo one of us would see it and would call the other.

Photo Credit: Royal Oaks Flooring

Our phone calls would go something like this: "Did you see the latest photo of the floors?!?! They look so good!!!" Then the other would respond, "Hold on, let me go look...OOOOOHHHHHHHH...THEY LOOK SO GOOD!!!!" And it would repeat, over and over.

Photo Credit: Royal Oaks Flooring

While the progress photos of the sanding were a lot of fun to see...

Photo Credit: Royal Oaks Flooring

...the real excitement started when he was applying the finish.

Photo Credit: Royal Oaks Flooring

We got to see so many great photos of the floor that we felt comfortable with what we were going to be coming home to when we actually saw it in person.

Photo Credit: Royal Oaks Flooring

But the single coolest photo that Roland shared from his time working in our home was one of a neighborhood visitor.

Photo Credit: Royal Oaks Flooring

Apparently one of our neighbors has an adventurous pig that likes to leave his yard and visit ours. 

We've never met him as he'd never visited while we were there, but I've seen him in our yard since. I can tell you that this pig is very shy, snorts a lot, and is very, very, very fast. If Lulu ever sees him, I'm pretty sure she might have a hard time keeping up with him.

Watching the progress and living vicariously through Instagram and Facebook while Roland worked on our house was a ton of fun. But it was nothing compared to being able to see it in person. 

Everything turned out so good and the look is exactly what we were hoping for. And the very low VOC nature of the finish meant there was essentially no smell.

The patches Roland made were really well done and he used tight grain heart pine to make sure everything blended really well. Remember the large square hole in the floor where there used to be a chimney and a piece of plywood used to sit?

Yeah, neither do I!

There are a few sections of wood that look to have been patched in the early 1990s with new growth yellow pine instead of heart pine. You can see it in the photo of the sanded kitchen floor above. While it was hard to notice with the previous darker finish, with the clear finish applied the patches really stand out. This is especially apparent in the kitchen...

...And in the upstairs hallway.

In many ways I want to just chalk it up to the fact that the house is over 100 years old and it's a very old floors. Wendy doesn't agree with my assessment, and it's driving her absolutely nuts. Knowing we want to renovate the kitchen at some point in the (way distant) future, we've decided to leave it as is and will likely patch it in with some reclaimed old growth heart pine at that time. That's another great aspect of the finish we chose. Since there's no color and no stain, matching in a new section in the future don't be impossible. 

In the end, the finish we went with was a very transparent sealer called Pallmann X-325 and three coats of the water based Pallmann X-96 in matte. It gave the wood the informal and "beachy" color we were going for without turning it too yellow or orange. It also really let the character and imperfections of the wood become as aspect of the wood, rather than something we were trying to cover up. 

Now that the floors have been refinished, the HVAC installed and working wonderfully (I'll surely be talking a lot about geothermal in the coming weeks as the weather gets colder), and we're almost at the final inspection point for plumbing, our house that's been a giant and never ending project since February is starting to resemble a house people can maybe, just maybe, enjoy themselves. And it only took us nine months to get to this point. Now excuse me while Wendy throws stuff at me for the last thing I just said.

We have a lot of work ahead of us, that's for sure. Beyond the various projects, we're essentially moving into the house again. But I can't tell you how happy we are that we're finally to a point where we'll once again have a bed, working bathrooms, and a comfortable to enjoy this great old house. Having the floors refinished makes the whole house feel like it's transformed. Now we're looking forward to getting each room into shape and making the whole house feel as fresh and restored as these beautiful floors!

Comments 21

Comments

LD
11/13/2015 at 5:54 PM

Congratulations!!! It is beautiful!

Alex
11/21/2015

Thanks, LD! We love them.

11/13/2015 at 8:30 PM

OMG - your floors look beautiful!

It has been a long haul, and I'm so happy for you. I think you made the right decision to go natural. The beauty of the wood shines through. And it gives you flexibility in the future.

Enjoy this hard earned milestone!

Alex
11/21/2015

It's such an exciting milestone if only because it means we can move on the other projects. Throw in how much we like the finished floors and it's really icing on the cake.

marc
11/13/2015 at 8:51 PM

The floors look amazing and the natural look was a great choice. It looks like they did a great job, but I'm surprised they didn't try to stain (or something) to make the new pine blend in. Did they approach you guys about options before applying finish?

Alex
11/21/2015

We talked about it a little and the various options. The problem is where you start and stop on the matching. In the kitchen the floor runs into some yellow pine that's original in the next room, so it will be a hard change pretty much wherever we make the change. So we decided the better approach was to wait until we renovate the room and make the correction at that time with new old boards.

11/13/2015 at 9:51 PM

It looks terrific! I'm so excited for you.

Alex
11/21/2015

Thanks, Stacy!

11/16/2015 at 1:49 AM

Hi Alex, your floor has been done very well! This is really professional work! Thanks a lot for sharing.Alt smile

Alex
11/21/2015

You're quite welcome. Thanks for your feedback.

tammara
11/17/2015 at 3:56 PM

Floors look fantastic! I'm excited for you both.

Alex
11/21/2015

Thank You!

11/17/2015 at 4:32 PM

Wowzers - your floors look amazing!!!

On a completely unrelated note? Are you going to decorate your stair for the holidays? I love decorated stairs, so since I live in a condo I need to live vicariously through the decorations of others ;)

Alex
11/21/2015

Sadly, I don't think we'll be decorating for the holidays this year. Too many projects to do that include the stair hallway. I know putting a garland on this bannister is a dream of Wendy's so hopefully in the not too distant future. Eyes on Christmas 2016. Alt smile

Joan
11/18/2015 at 12:24 PM

Your floors look really beautiful. I enjoyed every photo and the little pig too!

Alex
11/21/2015

Thanks, Joan! Can't wait to meet the pig in person.

Little Red
11/24/2015 at 10:15 PM

Stunning floors!

Josh Shaffer
5/19/2016 at 10:02 PM
Looks great.
Jean-Christian Pitre
5/19/2016 at 10:02 PM
Well, I for one, amd thrilled that the floors didn't end up getting stained grey. I quite like the natural finish you guys decided to go with. I would think that a very light application of a pale stain to the new boards would solve the slight colour difference, but it's up to you guys if you want to try to source some reclaimed wood.
Jane Pearson
5/19/2016 at 10:02 PM
Hooray!!
Katie
7/22/2017 at 1:28 AM

Just found your post on refinishing your floors as I am in the process of refinishing my 110yr old heart pine floors as well. Do you still like the finish you chose, now that it has been 2 years? Has it remained durable/changed color at all? Thanks so much!

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