Saving Etta: Why I Couldn’t Save the Original 1900 Floors

Saving Etta: Why I Couldn’t Save the Original 1900 Wood Floors

The day I realized I couldn’t save Etta’s original wood floors was one of the roughest days during the demolition phase. By then we discovered that most of the flooring in the north bedroom was too water damaged to reuse. The floors in the south bedroom were in better shape, but they were covered with a glue down linoleum flooring.

Sadly there wasn’t a sure fire way to tell if they would be salvageable after removal of the linoleum. I decided to proceed with demolition and try to salvage as much of the wood floor as I could. But during demolition almost every board we pulled up cracked and splintered as we freed them from the floor joists. Because there was no subfloor, the wood had been exposed to the crawlspace for more than 100 years. Time had taken a toll on them, and they were officially shot. After assessing the situation with the flooring, it became clear that the original wood floors weren’t salvageable. I may have cried a fair amount as I watched them being piled up for trash.

This next picture is hard to look at. If you can’t stand seeing antique hardwood floors being destroyed, look away my friend …look away.

Before they were hauled away, I grabbed as many boards as I could fit in my truck (hoping to be able to use them on another project.) For now, those planks are stored away in my garage.

What I Chose Instead:

Fast forward several weeks and I contacted Impressions Hardwood Collection, a local flooring distributor, about being a Saving Etta sponsor. I explained to them my predicament and they graciously invited me to their local office to see the samples of their flooring. With so many beautiful options to choose from, I knew it would be hard to make a decision. But, I brought two pieces of salvaged flooring from Etta to try to find something that would be fitting of a house built in 1900.

As I began looking through all the beautiful samples, two stood out from the rows of new shiny wood flooring. I pulled them and saw that they were both from the Elegance series. The grain on the wood was beautiful and the finish was almost an imperceptible flat finish.

Chris explained to me that the Elegance series is wire brushed to enhance the grain and it has a low luster finish.

I was instantly in love with the Elegance flooring because it looked old, not shiny or new.

Both the wheat and flint colors looked similar to Etta’s original flooring. Ultimately, I chose the Flint color (the darker of the two) because it has that dark aged wood look. I could not be happier with this decision. Suddenly, what had been a dark cloud over the flooring loss, became a silver lining after discovering this beautiful solid wood flooring. As a bonus, I was thrilled to be partnering with a local family-owned flooring distributor who offers quality flooring to their customers.

Wood Flooring  Installation:

As you know from the last Saving Etta update, the tile floors were being installed while the Elegance Series wood floors acclimated to the house. Why is this important? Impressions Hardwood has a great blog post explaining why you don’t install wood floors right after delivery.

After the delivery of the flooring, I couldn’t wait to rip open the boxes and gaze on them.

After ten days (and after the tile floors were in), it was finally time to install these beauties! I hired a local flooring contractor to install the wood floors and they did a phenomenal job.

Of course, I had to resist the urge to clean off those sawdust foot prints until the job was complete.

Pretty impressive when the living room view transitioned from this:

to this in a few days:

I leave you to drool over these beautiful photos of the Impressions Hardwood Collection Elegance Series solid wood flooring in Flint stain color.

They look so good against the vintage hex tiles! Both look like they could be original to the house, right?!

But, hey, look here! They go great with modern tiles too!

And this photo legit makes my heart skip a beat! The new floors with the original pine door from 1900. I can’t handle how gorgeous they look together (even though people will talk, saying that door is a cougar and way too old for that young handsome floor. LOL.)

Are you in love with these solid wood floors? Can you forgive me for having to ditch the original floors? Have you seen all the other flooring options Impressions Hardwood Collection has to choose from?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Impressions Hardwood Collection in exchange for their sponsorship of the Saving Etta project. I was not told what to write. All opinions and ideas are my own. As always, I am very particular about the brands I choose to work with. You will always be notified if you are reading a sponsored post. 

12 replies
  1. Lisa Riggs
    Lisa Riggs says:

    I love the flooring Brittany and it definitely works in Etta! You’ve done such awesome work on this project and it’s exciting to know that it will be somebody’s home very soon. Praying for your inspections.

  2. lynnintx
    lynnintx says:

    I’m curious as to why there is a transition piece with the small hex tile and not with the larger more modern tile. All the flooring looks awesome!

  3. Linda L Weeks
    Linda L Weeks says:

    Wow, the flooring is so pretty! You know what I wondered about? When you take up the old flooring, what was underneath of it? Looks like that was all between new floor and beams! Did they replace beams and such? Was there a hardwood under the old floor? Love your work!

  4. Eileen
    Eileen says:

    The wood floors are gorgeous, Brttany! I would have picked the Flint color too. It’s perfect. Congratulations on the quick sale. You certainly worked hard enough advertising and in general. You did fabulous job saving Etta or The Allen House. I wonder what your next project will be. After a well earned vacation! Happy Holidays! Eileen

  5. Jane Windham
    Jane Windham says:

    Oh, the new flooring is gorgeous! I clicked over to see what you selected because we are going to have to replace some of the old southern pine floors in our house. We had a slow leak and didn’t find the source for a long while. I know I’ll never be able to match what we have but the ones you selected might blend. I will check out the availability of the floors locally. I know what you mean about it being a sad day to realize that you couldn’t save Etta’s old floors. When they cut ours to see the damage, I could have just died! But Etta is looking grand now!

  6. Mariele Storm
    Mariele Storm says:

    I grew up in a falling-apart old farmhouse that was built in the 1930s with original hardwood flooring… let me tell you, aside from the fact that the planks in our house were super skinny, it’s identical. Same color, knots, etc… I’m glad you appreciate the old and are going for authentic options. It’s just a touch too authentic for some of us. 😉


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