I am ripping up the (godawful) laminate floors that cover my entire house (there’s hardwood underneath, but it’s…troubled).  As soon as the laminate comes up, the smell is just unbelievably bad.  It smells like an unholy mixture of cat urine and feet.  Anyone have any suggestions?  I ‘d steam mop it but the floors are so rough that the fabric cover of the steam mop just balls up and catches on everything.

As soon as I get all the floors ripped up (I just have the living room left to go) I’m going to get an estimate on refinishing.  Cross your fingers that it comes in somewhere like $1500 dollars.  That’s the price where I’d whip out my checkbook without a moment’s hesitation.  What do you think? 9oo ish square feet?  No where close to that?  Sounds about right?  I’ve lost my mind? Your cousin will do it for me for $1000?

If it’s much more than that I’m going to do it myself.  You can rent a drum sander from Home Depot for only $35 ish dollars a day, and then I just have to figure out what to do with these pesky children and all my furniture.  The nice part about my doing it myself is that I get to use large pieces of equipment, which I am always a fan of.  Also I can probably do it one room at a time, so I won’t have to move my entire house into the backyard.

I have no idea why I am embarking on this project right now.  It starts raining and I get bored, which is pretty much the history of every project I’ve ever done in this house.  Mr. E just comes home and finds half the fireplace on the living room floor and I say “I got bored. Sorry.”

The good news is that even as terrible as the floors smell, and even though they are totally screwed up, I am SO happy to have that (godawful) laminate flooring out of my house.  If you ever want to see a showpiece of the most questionable choices one can make at Home Depot I’d be glad to show you the pictures of our house when we moved in.

The other good news is that after the floors are done, I really think we’re on the home stretch when it comes to fixing up this house.  There are always things I COULD spend money on, like adding the windows back into the living room that were removed and tiling a kitchen backsplash, but in terms of things that MUST be done, I think we’re pretty much down to some landscaping and replacing the (godawful) front doors.

Oh, and replacing the final two boob fixtures, in the bedrooms.  Some day I’m going to make 450 post it notes that read “Just say no to boobs” and post them all over the display lamps in Home Depot.


10 Responses

  1. I have no idea what that would cost and I am beyond impressed that you’d do it yourself.

    Painting an IKEA spice rack this weekend sounded like a lot of work to me. Clearly, I am no Elizabeth.

  2. The house I grew up in had boob fixtures. I remember the day I realized that’s what they looked like and I thought to myself, “Well, that seems a little inappropriate for a 9-year-old’s room…”

    I second the “Just say no to boobs” post-its.

    Freckles in April | a modest fashion and lifestyle blog

  3. we have about 200-300ish square feet of wood that needs to be refinished, we had an estimate (here in AZ) before the economy tanked and were quoted $1100. Needless to say, we didn’t do it. We’re thinking of getting a quote again though, I suspect prices have dropped. Will be interested to hear what you learn.

    The smell? Try spraying it with a water/vinegar solution and then towel dry.

  4. I had the hardwood floors refinished in my house when I bought it (6ish years ago) – I also had to have about a 150 square foot section torn out and pieced back in (the previous owners had carpet over the hardwoods, and that section was their cats’ LITTERBOX, so the floorboards were just rotted out), and I think it was about $2000? My house is 900 square feet, and about 700 square feet are hardwood, so hopefully that will give you at least a small idea of what you’re up against!

  5. I have no clue how you do any of this. Seriously. I panic when I have to replace the towel bar in the bathroom, or when the TiVo goes out.

  6. “I got bored” made me laugh. This is what always happens around here too.. or used to until that third baby appeared. Suddenly there is no more boredom. Only exhaustion!
    Though, I never got bored and TORE UP FLOORING. I would rearrange and maybe repaint, but actual home renovation is a little beyond me. Or at least, my husband would probably think so, and be a little horrified if Ihe came home to find me power sanding something. I have damaged not a few things in the past when I was too impatient to wait for someone who actually knew what they were doing. So your stories always impress me.

  7. I am blown away that this is something that you would be able to do yourself. I have no idea what that costs. I have no idea what anythng costs.

  8. I’m sure that I know what a Boob Fixture is, but I have no idea what you’re talking about. Boob fixture? Please post a photo?

    Also, I have nothing to contribute to the wood flooring issue except KEEP US POSTED! My house has about 900-1000 sq ft of wood, and it’s not in great shape. We’d love to have it refinished/stained darker but it’s been too daunting of a task to even think about tackling. I’m really looking forward to knowing more, especially if you do it yourself.

  9. I want to know how much it costs, too! We’re thinking about re-doing the hardwood in my daughter’s soon-to-be big girl room, but don’t know if its worth the time/hassle.

  10. I don’t know if you can get the smell out even if you refinish. We are in a rental wherein the cats ran wild & peed through the carpet into the hardwoods beneath. The landlord replaced the carpet, but we often still get the horrific cat smell from the wood. The basement was the worst, and we used a product called “Urine Off” to try and tame it (no hardwoods, just 60 year old linoleum and cinderblock). Between that, vinegar & water, bleach, and coats of Kilz it is better. I know that doesn’t help much…. but cat urine is seriously the worst thing that could happen to your floors. Best of luck!

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