1890s 1940s 1990s bath update

lazy_gardensAugust 12, 2012

First Pic ... the bath the way we bought it: 1990s pinkish-beige plush carpet.

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Removing toilet and carpet revealed some badly damaged oak T&G flooring from the 1890s. The area in the corner was like crumbling charcoal.

The toilet had been placed OVER the carpet and carpet tack strips, shimmed in the back, and the height difference made up with at least 3 stacked wax rings.

The wider flooring is the 1890s T&G pine over the original (date unknown) T&G pine on joists ... we think that when the oak flooring was installed in the mid 1890s they partitioned off a few feet of the front bedroom for a toilet and sink to be shared by the two bedrooms.

Then, 1940-ish they moved the partition to make room for a bath tub and did a bad job of patching where the base plate for the earlier partition was.

Fortunately, under the damaged oak the original pine was in good condition ... several layers of old dark brown asphalt-based paint (probably stolen from the mines) saved it.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 12:50PM
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Much cursing, prying, chiseling, and 3 metal-cutting blades for my multi-tool later .... I had the wrecked old oak out and replaced it with new T&G oak stained in several different colors for that "instant age" look. This was waterproofed on the bottom before I laid it.

Old pine sanded clean and stained to match the oak. Amazingly, the board height matched perfectly!

This is before any of the Waterlox coats.

Next steps ... replace baseboard and a bit of molding near tub and have the plumber replace the toilet.

NOTE: For small areas, any old nail gun will do, you don't need a floor nailer. It was a bit tedious, but I could tip the gun and shoot 2" nails through the tongue.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 1:02PM
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Nice job! It is looking very nice. Please post pics when finished.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:28AM
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Great stain matching - no easy feat between pine & oak!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:54AM
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Very nice.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 6:58PM
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Very nice, now what are you going to do with the rest of the room? Looking forward to more info.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:57AM
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Antiquesiluver - I used some tricks for the staining and floor laying.

I didn't really stain the pine. After the dirt and paint was removed, and the old crusty varnish scraped off, it was the color you see on most of the board area. It got a scuff sanding and a light "whoosh" of stain to even out the color. (like a henna rinse for a redhead, not a dye job on a blonde)

You can minimize "grabbing" on pine by wiping it with mineral spirits and then the stain while it's still wet.

1 - Ignore color names, and run stain tests on the new flooring, comparing with the old floor by laying the samples on the old stuff and seeing what blends. Sand and stain just like you will for the real floor.

Doesn't have to match, just blend shades and have the same undertones. For oak, it's shades of golden and reddish brown.

2 - Pick three colors that are close to a match with the existing boards. Match the darkest, medium and lightest shades. For this floor, it's Minwax Golden Mahogany, Light Cherry, and Birch.

3 - Sand and stain the individual boards before installation. About 20% darkest, 20% lightest, the rest the middle shade. This mimics the natural variability on an old floor, where different boards have reacted differently to light.

I shoved several pieces together and sanded and stained them as a group, then took them apart for install.

I had to plane down the strip of new oak next to the pine because it was a teensy bit higher than the pine, just enough to be annoying. The trick is to plane a taper into the top of the new board so the height change is spread across the new board, edge to edge. It's a ramp, but on a tiny scale.

The trick with the toilet stack's hole is to have a long strip running across the front and back of the hole: lay the boards so you have no seams within a foot or so of the hole. Those boards start at the tub and end well past the door opening.

Enduring ...

Clean it and RENT IT! We have a roommate arriving Friday, a grad student. All the student is looking for is clean and functional.

The vanity (to the right in the pics, under the window opposite the tub) is one of those oak things with molded plastic sink/top, which we might paint or do the cheap gel-stain trick on later this year. It's in great condition, but butt-ugly and not as functional as we'd like.

Long term plan is - because this is a bathroom that needs storage and counter space - to build a wall-to-wall single-sink vanity under the window with shelves and shallow drawers.

The overall house is, despite the adobe walls, a very plain Craftsman bungalow, so we're sticking to that woodworking style with NM trimmings and colors.

New Mexico Territorial Style ... I've always liked it.


Here is a link that might be useful: New Mexico Territorial Style

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 9:58AM
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Thanks for the info. The Houzz link was helpful.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 10:28PM
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