Because what was ahead was almost as intimidating as what we just destroyed. Yup, destroyed. You read that right. There's no other way to describe it. Last weekend was the first few solid days in the row house. In a manner of hours Pete and I ripped up the downstairs living room floor, broke the tiles in the kitchen and pulled up the cement board base. We were desperate to see the condition of the sub-floors. I didn't want to give up hope that they could be refinished.
Our friend Freddie came by and said, "You guys are crazy. These floors are going to be cold and drafty. If you need to pull them up just put down laminates or a nice new hardwood on top."
My father came by to take a look at the downstairs bathroom and couldn't help commenting, "Kristen, I believe in your vision for almost every other aspect of this renovation ... but not the floors. Don't be stubborn. They can't be salvaged."
I talked to Pete before bed, one of the last night's in our apartment after working late into the night at the house. "Do you think we should look at hardwood floor replacements? Should we hire an expert to redo the floors?" He replied, "I want to believe we can do it ourselves. But I don't know."
The next day at Home Depot we were picking up sand paper and a few more crowbars. We wandered down the flooring aisle. "Do you want to look at a few wide plank options?" he offered. "Just in case."
"I don't want to think about that right now," I replied. In truth, I just didn't want it to be an option. I wanted wood floors that ran from the living room into the kitchen. I wanted the wood floors to be our Virgil, leading guests from one room to the other. I wanted the floors to be the hidden guide whispering, "Look what we have here. Keep exploring. You will see all the layers of this home." What I didn't want was for the floors to be our own personal hell.
So, despite a lot of opinions, Pete and I moved forward with our demo plans for the ground floor. First we found some interesting items inside the kitchen cabinets.