The other day a Wonderful Thing happened with my flat. If you’ve been following the Flat Saga, you will know that Wonderful Things are not often forthcoming around here, so when they do happen I get Very Excited.
Now I’m going to stop using Gratuitous Capitals and start happy-screaming.
And breathe. OK, coherent writing. You’re a writer, scar, remember?
Right. Yes. Here’s what happened last weekend.
From previous posts you may remember that I am currently renovating my flat. It’s a Georgian conversion and I think it’s beautiful – or at least, I think it’s potentially beautiful.
I am gradually making some headway, but most of it’s been hard. Like, realising the bathroom floor’s literally full of shit hard. Like, oh look a random hole has opened up in the hallway downstairs and also the wall is crumbling hard. Like, oh dear the roof fell off hard. Like, when I pulled off one layer of woodchip wallpaper I found THREE OTHER LAYERS BEHIND IT hard.
Need I go on? It’s been hard.
But but but. Sometimes life is nice to us.
Case in point: the other week I started pulling up the living room floor. I’d pulled up the floor in the hallway already and it was about what I’d expected: dusty, broken in places, but at least floorboards, which was better than the bedroom which had just had a precarious layer of chipboard.
The hallway bleeds into the living room, and as you can see from the picture above, there’s a marked difference between the hallway floor (left) and the living room floor (right).
At that point I stopped pulling up flooring because I was like, wait a second. In the unlikely event that the rest of the living room floor is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL ORIGINAL FLOORING, I don’t want to ruin it when I finish stripping the wallpaper.
Then Clint the lovely handyman came and finished stripping the walls for me, because I’d been at it for ages and was feeling fuckitty.
So one weekend I decided it was time. And I pulled up the rest of the floor. And I spent several hours on Instagram Stories going HOLY CRAP IT LOOKS LIKE IT MIGHT ALL BE LIKE THIS… OH MY GOD HALFWAY THERE AND STILL PRETTY… HOLY FUCKING SHIT IS THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENING… OH MY GOD FUCK ME LOOK AT THESE BEAUTIFUL FLOORBOARDS.
I don’t get out much.
Anyway it was actually happening, and THE WHOLE FLOOR – apart from a tiny bit in front of the fireplace which doesn’t matter anyway because it’s getting replaced when I put the stove in – IS BEAUTIFUL AND OLD AND HONEY-BLONDE-WHISKY-CARAMEL COLOUR.
So, yeah. I’m a bit happy.
If you’re here because you’ve googled tips for pulling up your old flooring: I literally just grabbed a crowbar and set to it.
It’s easier if you pull up the bits around the sides first – I’m not sure what they’re called, but like, the skinny bits between the skirting boards and the actual flooring. You’ll need a bit of leverage. It helps if you’re feeling angry.
Once you’ve done that, lever the crowbar under a bit of floor about half a metre from the edge of the skirtingboard. Pull. Hard. Then when you’ve got a bit of give, grab the flooring with your hands and pull with all your might. It will (hopefully) come off in one huge satisfying chunk.
And if you’re very lucky, like I was this weekend, you’ll end up with a floor like this underneath.
It needs buffing and cleaning and varnishing, but when it’s done it’s going to look amazing, and I am very very happy to have found it hiding under the manky laminate flooring the previous inhabitants put down.