Chapter 8: Floors, Grout, and Stairways Oh My!

Last week was another very busy week.  The weather was absolutely pristine, so while I rode my mares nearly every day, the Tims, Dave, and Jerry (who specializes in building staircases) were here working like the busy bees that they are!

Tim finished up setting the shower tiles in the guest bath, then completed the grouting in both bathrooms, both Tims sanded the master bedroom floor, patched where necessary, sanded again, and put at least one coat of finish on it, Dave finished putting up the trim around the doors, and Jerry Martin pulled out our old staircase and installed a new one!

Original yellow pine flooring with paint and decades of dirt--yuck!
Original yellow pine flooring with paint and decades of dirt–yuck!

Two points of discussion:  our floors dip in several places and it was suggested to install shoe moulding at the bottom of the baseboards.  After looking on the internet and carefully considering (and consulting with others), it was decided to caulk the low areas and should we desire at a later date, we will add the shoe moulding.  I don’t want it as it wasn’t used until 1900 and although it looks great at one of my girlfriend’s old homes, I don’t think it fits in my own.

The stairs were the second point of major discussion.  Tim said he could save them.   They had a lot of life left in them, BUT they needed some serious reinforcement from below (splits in several of the stairs) and repairs to the edges (you’ll see the missing pieces in the photos below).  Dave brought in “stair man” Jerry Martin and he said no problem.  It was probably a wash as to cost for the restoration or the new, and you will see the stairs are absolutely stunning!

Tim, Jr. sanding off the decade's old paint and wear and tear on one of the floors.
Tim, Jr. sanding off the decade’s old paint and wear and tear on one of the floors.
Floor after Tim patched with his secret formula of sawdust and binder.
Floor after Tim patched with his secret formula of sawdust and binder.

This morning Tim and Tim, Jr. are finishing up the floors, and putting sealer on all the tile in the bathrooms.  The radiators are on their way from Massachusetts, bed to be delivered at the end of the week, my professional painter friend Jennifer will be painting the window and door trims, and I am in charge of painting baseboards and walls.  Many thanks to Nicole for suggesting wall colors for our two remaining rooms and hallway–you are brilliant!

Wow, nearly done! This is after a coat of shellac. Three coats of sealer next.
Wow, nearly done! This is after a coat of shellac. Three coats of sealer next.
Tim working on the grout in "sterling." He really had me going when he said green grout would look great! I like a man with a sense of humor!
Tim working on the grout in “sterling.” He really had me going when he said green grout would look great! I like a man with a sense of humor!
Custom made shelf, which will hold our hand-crafted soap and shampoo bars perfectly!
Custom made shelf, which will hold our hand-crafted soap and shampoo bars perfectly!
These are the original stairs. The bottom two have large pieces broken off the edge.
These are the original stairs. The bottom two have large pieces broken off the edge.
Jerry moves fast! By lunch he had removed the staircase. Without the stairs, our view is of the door leading from a first floor bedroom to the cellar (I think I want him to install new cellar stairs in future)!
Jerry moves fast! By lunch he had removed the staircase. Without the stairs, our view is of the door leading from a first floor bedroom to the cellar (I think I want him to install new cellar stairs in future)!
Aren't they amazing looking?! AND he put the primer on the risers and finish on the stairs themselves!
Aren’t they amazing looking?! AND he put the primer on the risers and finish on the stairs themselves!  I think socks only on these beautiful stairs, but I don’t think Eithne will be able to manage with socks!

A special thank you to Amanda and Lisa for allowing their hubbies to work here on a Saturday when they should have been home with you!  Enjoy perusing the photos, and this crisp autumn day!

Blessings,

Lorraine

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