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The plan for my floors


 The front half of our house was built in the 1940’s with beautiful oak floors (over solid oak planked sub-floors as well!)  When we bought the house, though, they were covered in carpet…and definitely not the nicest carpet around.



I was pretty pregnant at the time and not into the idea of my newborn baby crawling over dirty, musty carpet, so I insisted we rip it out before we even moved it.  So, after closing on the house, I drove to the airport to pick up my mom (who was flying in to help with the move) and my husband drove to the house to rip out the carpet.  I was praying all the way to and from the airport that there wasn’t a big plywood patch in the middle or a bunch of unsightly stains.



Fortunately, the wood was in great shape.  In a couple of rooms, the floors were almost raw, though.  The finish had worn off entirely.  A couple of rooms looked like they had been refinished, but were still in pretty rough shape.  The wood floor in the office (formerly the kitchen before the addition was put on) was covered up by a few layers of linoleum with some plywood patches.  Nice.


So, when I was five months pregnant with the second boy, I decided to refinish the existing wood floors and install matching wood floors in the office (that linoleum wasn’t going anywhere.)  I wasn’t into having my newborn crawling around on raw wood floors and patched linoleum.  The project took a couple of weeks and resulted in me shuffling around in a Huggies box (you can read about that in my book) and, eventually, beautiful walnut-stained oak floors.



I refinished the floors about 4 years ago and they looked great for about two years.  Then, I started to go crazy with the furniture buying and selling thing and my floors have suffered for it.

The finish has been chipped, scratched and gouged and the stain has come right off with it.  It’s looking pretty bad, especially in the foyer and dining room.  (Since the office was new wood, it has held up much better.)

I’ve taken to using Photoshop to touch up my floors in pictures for my blog and freelance gigs.  Now that I have a bit more refinishing experience under my belt, I’m ready to tackle the living and dining room floors again.  Here’s what I’m thinking…

Natural oak and stained oak checkerboard pattern.  It’s classic, but makes a statement.

kitchens all pictures  Checkerboard Stained Wood Floor



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  1. I too will be looking forward to seeing your post as you take on this ambitious project and I have no doubt in my mind that it will be stupendous Marian!

  2. Denise T says:

    Will be looking forward to seeing your post on flooring project. Thank you for sharing inspiriational post .

  3. Quite ambitious! The thought of the mess alone would keep me from moving forward with this. How many rooms do you plan to do this in? It’s lovely, but hoping it won’t be too much ‘busy’ for such a large area with all your other texture and layers. I admire your gumption…..don’t know where you find the time.

  4. OOOOh pretty! that’s my favorite floor design, thought about doing that on my sub floors .I think it will look really nice in your house.

  5. Love the idea for the floors…and the preggers comment just makes me smile.

  6. Kelly says:

    Well, you do need a girl!!!!! ;). That floor is gotta be awesome!!! Can’t wait to see the end result. Xo

  7. I do love that pattern but what if you were to alter a line of the natural oak and a line of the med. oak? The pattern would make your room appear larger, I think. If you altered the color of oak and not do the check pattern I think you would enjoy it more and not tire of the check.
    I do know I had that pattern and the room did become way too busy for me after a month.
    Just think about the future and see if you think you might have wished differently.
    Your talent is just as stunning as your home!!!! Enjoy.

    • You took the words right out of my brain…much more timeless, less work and competing patterns without the busyness


  8. Wow!! That will be a big project, but well worth it! The stains and the checker pattern are beautiful. I look forward to reading your blogs on this project.

  9. Hi! Could you please tell me the paint color on your walls in your office? I am going to repaint two rooms the first of the year and LOVE the color! Thanks

  10. I love the checkerboard pattern!! Years ago I used Danish oil on my pine floors….the nice thing is that it can be easily reapplied. But, the not so nice thing….it is more work to get it down.
    Off topic Question….What is the wall color in your office. And…I’m loving the green chair in their as well!

  11. Gay Boston says:

    You have an amazing eye, so I’m sure whatever you decide will be lovely. I personally would stay with the walnut stain (redone, of course) just because there’s no pattern to “busy-up” whatever else you may do.

  12. Terryk says:

    I did my foyer in a stencil pattern and loved it but with a family dog and heavy traffic it did over time wear off in spots. Mine had a coat or two of polyurethane, not sure if this finish you are thinking of will show more wear.

  13. Tammie Burton says:

    Love the design you decided on! It will be gorgeous!! Can’t wait to hear the ins & outs/ups and downs of the project and see the final result. You are a brave woman!

  14. I am looking forward to following your floor project. I have been haunted by floor woes too. I had gotten spunky and pulled up some carpeting in one room and there was a nice floor underneath. That lead me to try and pull up enough in the hall to see if it was good too. It looked real great so, I got ambitious and started taking it up to where the living room began and OH My..It was some kind of mess. I left the carpet down in the living room with hopes of redoing them.

    I’m looking forward to your inspiration. Everything you do looks great.

  15. I like your plan and think you will love it once it is done. Checker board pattern will be fun!

  16. Love the plan for the floor….and agree…”classic but statement” Go for it!!

  17. Love this idea, I have never had the patience to try though :)

  18. Wende says:

    love the idea..just make sure you don’t accidentally do the wrong side of the tape…oh those darn patterns =^)

  19. we did an addition and decided to carry the oak floors into the kitchen. our floor guy suggested Magic Oil, a natural product that does not have the toxicity that poly has. it also looks very natural and brought out all of the wood grain. i love the floor, they are a masterpiece in themselves. check out this product if you haven’t already. it is by pallmann

    as “opinion r us” (!), i am not sure about your checkerboard pattern. i guess i favor the floors to be a quieter element in a room, with a lovely rug here or there. you are brave!

    all the best of luck with your project, i will look forward to seeing your masterpiece, karen


  1. […] living & dining rooms.  I wrote about this a couple of days ago.  You can read about my plan HERE.  Not sure when it will happen.  I’m sure I’ll wake up one morning and have a bee in […]

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