I have been so busy, I rarely get online anymore! I will start with this Fall, after our visit with the kids and grand-boys, who are all wonderful.
We got our wood stove chimney installed last October. Bloody expensive and we will be paying on it for a while, but worth it. I made the hearth. I have some fire board, (or whatever it is called), and flat, polished stones I found in the yard. We are guessing that the previous people were putting in a walkway of some sort? The base is plywood. I made a frame out of wall stripping. I suck at miters. Good enough, though. I got some small stone tiles from Home Depot. I cemented down the tiles, filling in with the stones. I also added a few special stones, too. Oh a teeny skull button is hidden in one spot, a heart-shaped stone my grandson found and gave me and a few quartz and agate here and there. It came out nicely.
The brown paper flooring held up one year before the expensive varathane plastic floor stuff started peeling up. Ew! I have no clue as to why. I am not a fan of plastic finishes, either, but it was the recommended finish for the flooring. To fix it would be in the hundreds of dollars, not including having to remove furniture, massive sanding, and so on. I really wanted wood floors, yet they are out of our price range. I searched online for something to do about the floor and found plywood plank flooring. I would of done this on the first, but I did not know Home Depot will cut the sheets. We do not have the proper equipment to do so, nor the room to store the saw.
If you Google "Plywood Plank Flooring", you will see some beautiful floors. Most painted or stained the wood and finished with plastic sealers. I went with the old-fashioned approach- wax. I grew up with waxed floors. Thompson's Water seal is mainly paraffin, wax. Why not? Waxed floors are no harder to upkeep than other finishes, I think. I like the patina they eventually get, even this form of plank. Serendipity! While getting the boards cut, a man noticed and told us his best friend did his whole house and he is halfway through doing his with the same thing. He saved me a ton of money, telling me gluing the boards was unnecessary, besides being expensive. He also told me my view of not having spaces was correct. He was very helpful, though he was stunned I was not going the plastic-coating route. (grin)
While the hearth was drying, I was sanding 6" wide by 8' long plywood boards, on one side only. I finished each board by running my hand sander on the edge, giving a slight bevel. This is where the splinters grow. That must be done, or one will find them later on. Beveled edges are also more comfortable on the feet. They do not pinch, either. After going through the medium- and fine-grade sanding, I applied 3 coats of Watco Danish Oil. I know, it is no longer recommended for floors. Why? No clue. Maybe because it is not water-resistant and people want that only? I sanded with fine sandpaper between the 2nd and 3rd coats. I then cut the boards in various lengths to stagger them when nailing them down. Oh yes, Debbi is using a nail gun. Cool...
Once nailed down, I first applied a coat or two of liquid wax, then two coats of paste wax, buffing with a car buffing wheel on the drill. laughing...
I accidentally knocked over my humidifier. The water beaded on top, giving me time to sop it up with a towel.
After finishing the living room part, I got more wood cut. I got the only bad employee, ever. He cut the wood at a slant. That is almost impossible. It was so subtle, we did not notice until 3/4 through the kitchen, thinking the problems we were having was on our end. Home Depot is making good on everything, though we will be the ones to rip it up... Next year. I am going to do the rest of the house this summer, room by room. It vacuums nicely. I have taken a barely damp rag with a vinegar and water mix and cleaned the floor once. I will need to add a layer of liquid wax this summer. It cleans up quickly. I am pleased. No more plastic flakes from the varathane over the paper flooring.
Oh, back to the wood stove and chimney installation... While the chimney was being installed, I shoved boards under the hearth, my nail gun was not in that day. I staggered the lengths. Once the stove was installed and the gun arrived, I nailed down the exposed parts. The stove and hearth is heavy and acts like they are nailed down.
I finished the first part before Thanksgiving. the second part was done in February. I was wearing 3 layers of clothing, including my silk long johns, gloves, hat, shivering under the carport while sanding in 20 degree and below weather when it was not snowing or blowing wet winds. Oof.
The flooring is holding up well to Sally dripping from her water dish, no water spots. It vacuums up quickly and does not seem to have a problem with our region. I went through numerous things to keep the throw rugs from slipping. The only thing that actually works is dabs and squiggles of clear caulking on the backs. Do not do long squiggles. they can pop off. It does not damage the wax or floor at all and you can move to vacuum and clean easily. Even Sally cannot make them slide.
Oh... Our wood stove is a Kuma, just before the EPA ruined them at the beginning of the year. Worse, the EPA's baloney makes stoves more inefficient, they burn through wood at a much faster rate, even if one uses energy logs. (shaking head at the stupidity...)
More coming soon. I do not sit still. (grin)