Sweet Floor Renovations Vol.12

FloorsAfter1, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Thanks to Heather for sharing these great photos of her sparkling new floors. After the jump you’ll see the before photos and be amazed.

Here are some of the details as related by Heather: “The floors were done by Alpha Flooring, a family run business, running primarily out of Maryland, but they seem to be happy to work just about anywhere. Their main number is 301-428-9216.

When I bought it, the house had about 40% plywood, so unfortunately I had to purchase new wood for at least part of it. Under my budget, I had three other contractors tell me that I could only afford laminate, which seems like a crime to put in a 100 year old rowhouse. Not only was Alpha thousands of dollars cheaper, but they were the only people who said they could salvage the remainder of the first floor to patch the second floor, so the entire second floor is hundred-year-old Georgia Pine, refinished with a butterscotch stain. The first floor is new White Oak, finished in a medium brown stain, to match as best as possible with the second floor. It’s not a perfect match, but the satisfaction in salvaging the original wood as much as I could was worth it, and so far no one’s actually noticed unless I point it out. ”

Check out more photos after the jump.

And the before photos:

Final before photo:

9 Comment

  • I used Alpha at my last house – they were less expensive and did a fantastic job!

  • I would say anyone who has original floors would notice the difference between salvaged floors (your second floor) and new ones (in every condo in DC).

    Good for you for saving everything you could!

    And the staircase: did you (Heather) move it, or was that the prior owners?

  • Very cool saving as much as you could. My only question…why the stain. I did my floors myself. They are red oak and used a clear satin finish. I like the look of natural wood and the brightness it adds to otherwise dark rooms. Just wondering what the decision factors on stain vs not stain were for you. Not a criticisim – it is personal preference and the floors look great.

  • bogfrog — Believe it or not, the previous owner fashioned that staircase himself and put it on. It was so terrible and unlevel, and a few of my flooring contractors were baffled as to how they’d even repair it. (In fact the very top stair, not shown, is only half as high as the rest, because the previous owner didn’t measure and even them out correctly). But don’t get me started on the previous owner…

    Steve — I always knew I wanted dark stain; for me, it really adds to the warm coziness of a rowhouse. The flooring guys tested three stains from natural to dark on the floors so I could see them, and I actually couldn’t have used the natural here, because the pine vs. oak natural finish was dramatically different. (Out of the light, medium and dark stains, I had to use medium on the pine and dark on the oak just so it would match closely at all.) I guess I could have used “clear,” but for me that’s just not the look I was going for, though it does show the grain wonderfully. And congrats on doing your floors yourself! That’s a really huge job, you must be proud of them. 🙂

  • Heather, looks fantastic! Two questions if I may:

    1) How do they cost it? Per square foot? How much roughtly? We would need to install new hardwood (we have that cheapo laminate put in by the previous owner) though.

    2) Did you have to deal with floors that are not level, or discuss it with them? Our floors are slanted to a noticable/annoying degree in a couple of rooms, and I’ve been wondering if there is any conceivable way of trying to address that. It would obviously be expensive, and probably lead to the floor and the ceiling not being perfectly aligned (unless one lower the ceiling as well a bit) etc.

  • G — I’d have to double check my invoice, which is packed away at the moment, but I know they do take the square footage and I’m sure it’s based on that, though I just remember the total.

    I’m certain they could fix the leveling. You can see in the “before” photo that I actually had two levels in the first floor. I would guess leveling your floors would be a matter of installing new subfloors before putting the hardwood down. That would cost you the plywood and the labor. I had to replace part of my subfloor, which they discovered after pulling up the old wood, but they scavaged the plywood I had in the backyard from when the house had been boarded and then comped me the labor, since it wasn’t very much footage. Alpha was really easy to negotiate with when things like that came up.

  • Has anyone here paid someone to replace the JOISTS and subfloor? I have a 100 year old neighbor who gets termites every year and then we get them too, regardless of spraying, and I really want to… ok here’s the weird part… I want to replace the joists with metal joists and then replace the subfloor and then tile (it’s the kitchen). But no one I know has done this before.

    Any info?

  • Anyone try to refinish floors while you were living in the house? Do they just do it room by room then?

  • When I redid my floors the whole process took 3 days and all rooms were done at once. We were asked to stay someplace else for 5 days and it smelled so bad (sawdust and lacquer) that we were sorry we didn’t try to stay away longer.

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