We’ve been meeting with contractors and gathering quotes for work throughout our home, but there’s one thing we were dying to uncover on our own as soon as we signed the deed: What’s under all that carpet and linoleum?

My handyman husband had the following list of priorities on closing day: 1) Sign the deed. 2) Eat breakfast at Marie Catrib’s. 3) Buy a crowbar. 4) Unveil the secrets of the floors.

Matt tackled the manual labor as I hovered in anticipation. Please oh please let there be original hardwood!

Here’s what we discovered under the layers separating us from the unknown status of our wood-floor wishes…

Living Room

Beneath the carpet…
beneath the linoleum…
original hardwood flooring!


Dining Room

First there was linoleum…
then Matt ripped it all up…
removed the underlayment…
and voila, beautiful hardwood! We couldn’t believe how awesome it looked! Each individual plank stretches the entire length of the kitchen. We love the craftsmanship our home was hiding! (As I snapped this picture, Matt was saying, “Shay, this is like Christmas!” And it was.)



The kitchen was a MESS of work.
Matt ripped up the linoleum…
chipped away at splintering wood…
but finally uncovered original hardwood!

Whether it’s salvageable is another story. Parts of the kitchen are completely missing flooring (yikes!), and these thin planks are covered in so much junk and so many nails, that we don’t know if we can have them restored. Nor are we sure we really want them to be restored, even if they can be… I was really hoping for a streamlined look between the open concept kitchen and dining. Time to get more creative, I guess!

Just look at all the junk these guys were buried beneath! Add hundreds of large nails to that image.




Master Bedroom

Matt surprised me with the master bedroom floor removal, so I missed the details in between. But underneath the carpet (which was covered in animal bedding…ew!), there was this linoleum.
And then one day, I arrived to THIS! Beautiful hardwood (with a not-so-beautiful painted frame, but we can’t say we’re too surprised after discovering painted borders in the dining room and living room).


Shay’s Office

My office has hardwood as well–to be expected after all these other successful digs, right? These floors, however, feature some more “festive” paint colors. Bring on the drum sander, and all shall be well. Matt has taken up all of the flooring in this room, but I still have to collect photos.


The Remaining Rooms

We haven’t tackled Matt’s office yet. We’re currently storing supplies, deliveries, and other belongings in that space, so it’ll be the last to go. It has linoleum flooring like the kitchen had, and we’re pretty confident that whatever is underneath will resemble the living room, master bedroom, and my office.

Then there’s the bathroom. It’s not pretty. We’re having the renovation team do a complete gut in the bathroom, so it’s hands-off for us. It’s missing flooring and sub-flooring, so even though we know there’s original hardwood in there, there’s no way it’s staying alive and well in its current state. Those floors will be restructured and hopefully graced with beautiful, white hex tiles. It’ll be the only room in the house without wood flooring–except for the kitchen, maybe…we’ll see how we decide to tame that beast. (We’re aiming to have the kitchen completely renovated next year, so in the meantime, we’re making “temporary fix” decisions. Like painting the little old cabinets a fun navy blue, rather than our intended longterm natural woods and neutral tones.)

All in all, this process unveiled a lot of really beautiful original hardwood, and we can’t wait to see the restoration results!

(These dining room floors are my pride and joy!)


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