Blending 1920s Oak Flooring with New Oak After Water Damage

Rebuilding a Beautiful, Vacant Historic Detroit Home (Episode 23)

New Oak Flooring

As we drew nearer to drywall completion, the rooms became much more finished in the house this week. Christian began starting to prime the walls once drywall was sanded and finished. Not being able to see seams between panels and patched holes made our space feel much more resolved, especially in the case of our entryway space, where we’d created a new archway and filled in two former doorways.

Next up was our flooring subcontractor, who after leaving the new oak flooring in our home over the weekend to acclimate to the humidity of the home, began the backbreaking work of weaving our original oak floors with the new. Taking some of the salvaged flooring we’d removed from the second floor for our bathroom remodel, our flooring sub mixed old and new together to blend between rooms and hallways as discretely as possible.

New flooring arrives and blending of flooring between our dining/library archway went smoothly!

He started by cutting away and removing some of the existing flooring in a toothed pattern so that the new wood would be added in a randomized way. Next, he began measuring and trimming each piece for the new hole that it would have to fill and then carefully placed and secured each one into place. It was a risky undertaking, given that these rooms had never been connected with wood flooring before, we weren’t sure that the flooring on both sides would line up well enough to blend them together properly. Fortunately, they were largely aligned well, and so the install went fairly smoothly!

This process was incredibly slow, with each entryway opening taking roughly a day or more to complete. Our subcontractor did a fantastic job!

We’re so happy to see nice wood on our floors for the first time!

Laying flooring became much quicker once the blending was finished, our entire nook and kitchen was then complete in the remainder of a single day’s work! This was the first time we’d seen anything but subfloor on our 1st floor!

Lion Gets a Makeover!

Our lion light for our driveway had been blasted and powder coated and now I needed to figure out how to get glass panels to replace the shattered ones. I took a drive to Materials Unlimited in Ypsilanti and they were incredibly helpful with finding the appropriate period correct class to install into our light! After adding some new brackets and gluing the glass in place, it’s now time for our electrician to rewire the light to install it back on our home! I’m excited to see it back outside and functioning! It has come a long way!

The original light and trying to match vintage glass to the original broken panes
(left) after blasting and powder coating (right) New glass panes have been installed!

Family visits after 59 years!

I’ll end up making a whole post about their visit here soon, but we wanted to say that we had an absolute ball meeting some of the grandchildren of our home’s original owners last week! They traveled to see us from all over the US, and we just had a wonderful time showing them the home they remembered from their childhood for the first time in over 59 years! They shared with us some wonderful stories about our home and their family, and we can’t wait to make an entire post about what we learned! Thanks so much to Lorna, Dinah, and John for visiting us, and to Marion their sister/cousin for connecting us all together for their visit!

Dinah, John, and Lorna of the Seeley family who lived in our home from 1927–1958

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Thanks to Detroit Curbed for following our story!

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