Attic Flooring

I love before/in-progress/after pictures!  There is just something about seeing where a project started and where it has gone that really makes one appreciate the effort and thought that went into the project.  It is always fun to see something that is so disgusting and trashed turn into a surprising gem, that was always there, just hidden and out of sight.

Well, I think our attic floor may finally be reaching that “non-trashed” point, but I will be honest, I had many, many doubts along the way.

Here is a “before” shot of the floor.  If you look close, you may be able to see the loose boards and extreme spacing between each board.  There were many spots that were just completely missing boards altogether (not in the picture of course).

The plan was to remove the old floor boards for refinishing outdoors (in fresh air), lay down subflooring, then re-install the flooring on top of the new subflooring.  This would eliminate the holes, loose boards, gaps, and would just plain solidify everything.

After pulling up the first few boards, I was about ready to cry.  Maybe I could leave them on and just throw the subflooring over it?  We could then find flooring to install on craigslist or something…

I couldn’t give up that easy, but Lord knows I wanted to!  Well, a few boards into it, I started to discover the trick to pulling the boards off in a somewhat efficient manner.  This was tricky, considering the boards were fairly brittle, as they are nearing 100 years of age.  In addition, they have been in an unfinished attic, enduring temperature extremes of over 100 degrees F in the summer to well below 0 degrees F in the winter.  I will admit, some of the boards still split on occasion, but between my hammer,three pry-bars, and a 2×4, I was able to prevent it for the most part.

The moment I laid down the last bit of subflooring was a joyous occasion.  Finally, our attic had a solid floor!  No longer did we have to walk with caution over each hole or loose board.

Myself and the kids then went to the project of laying floor underlayment in preparation for the wood flooring.

Once the subflooring and underlayment was in place, my attention turned to the flooring that I had moved to the garage. Again, we were left unable to park our vehicles in the garage.  The goal was to completely strip them down, cut them, and get them installed up stairs before the cooler fall temperatures set in. Thankfully, our summer temperatures were below average and our fall temps have made up for our cooler summer.  This evening was beautiful, somewhere in the mid 60’s!

Last weekend and most every evening this week, I have spent my time pulling out old staples and nails, scraping paint, and sanding the flooring.

I wasn’t alone.  Between my kids, our kitten, and the ducks, I had plenty of company.


Unfortunately, some of the boards did split while pulling them up or were just in bad shape to start with, so I had to square up and trim off the edges in some cases.  Those scraps will make good starter firewood this winter.

I think prior house tenants did all their painting up in the attic, as the boards required quite a bit of scraping to clean them up.  Thankfully, the boards were unfinished from the start, so I did not have to worry about stripping off any additional finishes.

And, here is the, not quite finished product, two coats of polyurethane left.  What the picture doesn’t show is the other room up there, that still needs wood filler and its first coat of poly.  Oh, well, I’ll get to it soon enough!

If it wasn’t for my mother’s eye, I probably would not have gone through the effort of saving this flooring.  But her annoying insistence that it would come out looking good planted that seed.  Thankfully, I listened to her.  Don’t you hate it when mom is right!


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  1. And it looks fabulous! Hard work but an amazing floor! Way to go Jeremy and family!