Restoring Oak Floors

shutterstock_579516859Our Jefé – he’s never met a challenge he didn’t embrace.

We are in the midst of our biggest renovation ever – taking a World War II-era, one-story built on a crawl and turning it into a modern, open-floor-plan house with a basement. How big is this renovation? Well, at one point all that was left standing of the original house was three walls.

It will be all new. New HVAC, electric, plumbing, roof, kitchen, and on and on.

Saturday, Jefé and I were at the house tearing out the old drywall and insulation.

This is the part about Jefé that I’ve never told you. Every time I turned my back on Jefé, he took his shovel and did a Babe Ruth-style swing, smacking me across the back and shoulders. I didn’t feel him do it at the time, but he must have been hitting me because I could hardly get out of bed Sunday morning. Either he was hitting me, or I’m getting too old for demo work . . . but I think it was Jefé.

Anyway, where was I . . . Oh, yeah, we have a massive amount of work to do. Adding to our misery is the fact that we took the old roof off the house in the middle of an Ohio winter.

And, of course, it snowed.

Now the old oak floor is warped and buckling.

We decided to tear up the old oak floor, pitch it, put down new plywood and carpet the downstairs. Easy enough.

Then, Jefé started looking at that old oak and said, “I wonder if we should save it?”

“No,” I said. “Look how much we’ve got to do around here. This place is sheer chaos and you want to save that floor? No, no, no. Pitch it. We’ll put new plywood down and be done with it.”

“Seems like a shame to let all that good oak go to waste.”

“No, Jefé.”

“I could run it through the plainer and we could put it back down in the living room.”

I rolled my eyes.

“It would sure look sharp,” he said. “We could market it as reclaimed hardwood flooring.”

“Fine,” I said.

The boys are going to pull up the oak floor and we’re going to take it to Jefé’s workshop to dry out and run through the plainer.

I’ll keep you updated on our progress.

I knew I was going to lose that battle. You can’t argue with a Marine.

And if you do, every time you turn your back he’ll hit you with a shovel.

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