The first floor originally had wood floors throughout, as was typical of the time it was built. These were floated on furring strips running across the subfloor. The bedrooms had a 4 1/2″ wide plank and the rest was 3 1/2″ wide, each different types of wood, 3/4″ thick. On top of this flooring someone had installed (nailed) a second layer of wood flooring, much thinner or possibly just refinished many times. On top of that was a variety of multiple layers of linoleum and vinyl adhesive tiles and in a few places carpeting.

Back in August we removed all of the flooring down to the original wood floors before our demo party and the debris was put into the dumpster. The dumpster was completely full so we wound up stacking the original floor in a big pile in the kitchen, with a big pile of the furring boards next to it. It sat there gathering dust for the next six months.

Original floor

Original floor plus dust

We took up the original floors for a number of reasons. First, it was in terrible shape. While an indefinite number of layers of tile can be removed and sanded down, the wood floor nailed down on top of the original floor had done a lot of damage. Second, we’re putting in radiant floor heating, and a floated hardwood floor does not work well with that. That leads to the third reason: since we’re opening up the floor plan and the flooring is different woods, sizes, and styles, refinishing it as a single floor wouldn’t look very good. Finally, there wasn’t near enough of it. In addition to the various walls we’re removing that would call for new flooring to fill in gaps, the entire kitchen floor had been removed at some point and replaced with a plywood subfloor. 

So, getting back to the pile, Sarah had looked into selling the floors or getting someone to take it away but they wanted us to de-nail it first. While it may have ended up being a profitable venture, it represented a lot of time that neither of us had to spend. Finally, I put an ad on Craigslist.

I specified in the ad that there was a large pile of perhaps 500 square feet in mostly twelve foot lengths of various usable and unusable quality, that it would require a large truck or multiple trips, and that it was take all of it or none of it, for free, first come, first to get it. I got a bunch of responses right away, and I went with the first one. This proved to be a poor choice.

Two guys showed up a few hours later in a Hyundai SUV. It had no hope of carrying all of the flooring, and he seemed rather surprised when the pile was larger in person, despite the above picture being attached to the ad. They started loading it on to the roof of their car and I helped by bringing it out to the easement. Then they started bringing it out to the easement instead of putting it on the car. After loading about half what the car could probably carry, they said their storage unit closed at eleven and they wouldn’t be able to get the rest until tomorrow. They helped me move the remaining pile from the easement to the yard, and Sarah covered it with a tarp.

The next day I got an email from the guy saying they didn’t have any more room in their storage unit and couldn’t take the rest. Rather than dwell on my irritation, I quickly emailed the other respondents and let them know some of it was still available. Only one replied, but said that he’d be happy to come out and get it. However, when he arrived he took a look at the pile and said there was no longer enough salvageable floor to complete his project and left without taking any.

No, that's not all flooring

No, that’s not all flooring

This past Thursday, Sarah hauled the ignominious pile from our front yard into the street to reserve a spot for the dumpster, since the city hadn’t gotten around to putting up no parking signs. The dumpster arrived on Friday and the flooring went into it. It seems a waste, but I really can’t stress enough what bad shape it was in. As for everything else that went into the dumpster, I’ll be posting about the demo party we had on Saturday soon.

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