We needed to finish the work soon so we could move in, but got more bad news: the floors in the laundry room and bathroom needed to be replaced as well. Soon those rooms looked like this:
We grumbled and complained about more work, more expense, more time before we could move in. Everyone told us (again) that renovations never go as planned. I thought of Mr. Blandings and reminded myself that this was only a small setback. We had nice, new floors and walls now!
The floors drank in our water-based polyurethane twice before Chris tried an oil-based poly. That one worked. The floors were finished in almost every room! Their old wooden boards seemed perfect for our family. We never had to worry about scratching them. The kids danced in tap shoes and hit them with toy hammers.
In the midst of this hectic day, an elderly couple knocked on the door. The man said that he lived here as a child. His grandmother had lived in the upstairs of the apartment, and his great-grandmother in the downstairs. He came to show his wife this old home, and we were excited to show him. But there was a hole in the floor that day! I asked them to come around to the other door so they could see the rest of the house, but they stared at the hole for a few moments and declined. I assured them that this was the only day we'd have a hole in the floor, so if they were in town tomorrow we could give them a tour. They still declined, and left without telling me anything more about the house. Since we first saw this house, I often said that I wished we could meet a former resident and find out what it was like decades ago. This was my chance, but we scared him away with our hole and loud power tools! The sight of three cranky kids who were corralled in the living room probably helped drive him away, too.
The big lead abatement brought more changes to our floors. After all this painstaking work, the following autumn we had to cover them all! They were poisoning our kids. If we'd only left the subfloor on, we could have bought new floors at first. But no, we had pried up the subfloors, found the hole, polyurethaned everything...all for nothing. The company that did the abatement didn't have very nice laminate floor choices for us, but we picked one we could live with. Now those old floors are slumbering beneath the laminate, and we plan to eventually cover these floors with pine! I hope they'll be done in the next few years, so we can enjoy nice wood floors that won't poison anyone or look like fake wood.