This is what we’ve been doing instead of updating the blog lately….
Freyja’s entrance on the scene was the death knell for our carpets, which were already the worse for wear thanks to the machinations of 5 ferrets over the course of 6 years. Actually, the ferret smells in the carpet were giving Freyja some difficulty with housebreaking, and we finally had enough of scrubbing at puppy piddle marks. We decided to install laminate flooring in the front rooms of the house, so Jeremy pulled up the carpet in the corner to see what condition the subfloor was in. Turns out it was actually a pretty nice hardwood floor, in need of refinishing.
The discovery was an exciting one, and Jeremy could hardly wait to start ripping out carpet. It and its tacking strips came out without too many problems, though Freyja was not exactly pleased by this development. She lay down wherever there was a bit of carpet left, looking on forlornly.
Jeremy did all the work of the refinishing himself. I wanted to help, but about all I could manage was helping move furniture and dogsitting. We rented a random orbital sander to use for the main stripping/sanding work, which took Jeremy all of a Saturday to complete (and many boxes of sandpaper). The floors, under their previous coats of varnish, turned out to be (we believe) Douglas fir, which isn’t exactly the hardest hardwood flooring, but was very commonly used in this area because of proximity.
Then Jeremy cleaned the floors and applied coats of clear poly to seal the floor, right at the end of the day so they could dry overnight and allow us to leave our bedroom in the morning. He did that twice, a few days apart, with some scuffing of the first coat to adhere the second better. Then we let the poly cure for a week before replacing some of the furniture, protecting the floor with felt furniture pads underneath everything.
The verdict? The floors are so much better than the carpets, even though they already have some doggie scratch marks on them. The house smells better, and is cleaner because now we can really see every drift of dog hair gathering in the corners; plus, it reduces some of our flea problems, which I am loving. We purchased a gorgeous hand-tufted wool area rug for the home theater room, and are currently reimagining the arrangement of the front room, which is a rather awkward space. When we can afford it, we’ll get some more rugs so that Freyja isn’t sliding all over the place.
Actually, the sliding is a little funny, and she has adapted the way she runs in the house to suit it, slowing down well before she approaches a wall, or aiming to end up on a carpet where she can get some traction. She loves the fact that the front room is so big and empty right now—perfect for puppy play. Plus, the floors are cooler in the summertime for hot dogs.