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Hah – I’ll bet you thought I was talking about left-overs in the fridge, right? Well, we’re talking about left-overs from when someone does a new hard wood floor.

In this case, the DH and your Aunt Toby, a long (long!) time ago, when we put an addition on the house here at Chez Sibera, put in oak floors in the dining room and in the new upstairs bedroom. Now, looking back, I’m not sure I would have put this in the dining room because at the time, due to the layout of the house, we were doing such things as carrying five gallon buckets of hot water out of the house to take up to the barn for the sheep and goats. And the route took us… right through the dining room, which meant that sooner than later, water got spilled, flooring got stained and eventually we ended up having to have the floors refinished (but we had also ripped up all the rugs in the house so this made sense).

But, as usual, I digress and this is not a post entitled, “Ten Reasons Not To Put In Hard Wood Floors”. This is about the left-overs, which we have kept in a big plastic garbage can in the back basement of Chez Siberia. And a good thing it was, too, because when we ripped up the rugs, we found that the flooring at the bottom of the stairs had a couple of pieces that needed to be replaced. And they were the same wood and there we were with random bits that the contractor could go through and choose pieces that he could sand down and stain to match the original flooring. Frankly at this point, no one would be able to tell which pieces of flooring were original and which ones were the replacements. So, if you ever plan to put in hard wood floors in a room in your home (especially if you have an older home which probably already has hard wood floors elsewhere in the house), remember this: You will definitely end up with odd lengths of flooring left over at the after end. Put them someplace like the attic or up in the joists in the basement and keep them safe because when you need them, you will have them and you won’t have to go to the lumbar yard or the ‘extremely large national chain home center which competes with your local lumber yard’ and have to buy an entire BOX of flooring (because my dear little wombats, this is how flooring comes – you cannot go in and say to the lumber man, “I’d like one piece of flooring, please.”), just so you have a couple of pieces of flooring to do repairs. By the same token, if you ever see an ad on Craigslist (or your local version thereof) offering free odd bits of hard wood flooring, or you know someone who is talking about doing hard wood flooring at their home, offer to take it off their hands, even if it costs a bit. Because buying a whole box of hard wood flooring, even at one of the liquidator centers is going to cost you a lot of money, especially when all you might need are a couple of pieces to do a repair. So, keep your eyes and ears out.

But again, this is not exactly the point of this post. This is actually an introductory post to another project. Our son, The Boy, has moved out of the house and has taken with him a lot of the odd bits of furniture that over the years we have accumulated here at Chez Siberia. This has left us in the front porch with no side table. No place to set down a book or a glass of iced tea, which is annoying. Now, considering that it is November and not exactly ‘sitting out in the front porch of an evening’ sort of weather, your Aunt Toby is not exactly in a sweat to remedy this situation immediately, but it does give me an opportunity to do something I have never done before: Build a table.

(Ah, the light dawns: the whole point of the post)

Now, we have a lot of odd lengths of flooring – the photo above is showing most of the largest we had in that plastic garbage can. And I lined them up and measured them; the shortest is 23.5 inches long, so no matter what, my table top is going to have a certain length limit. I’m also thinking about putting some 1×3 around the edges, ‘breadboard’ style, which would bring the length into the 25-26″ range. I’m also thinking seriously that because this is ‘front porch furniture’ (and I think readers will understand that this phrase describes a class of furniture which is usually characterized by being casual, rather beaten up, handed down, and many times has a finish which leaves a good deal to be desired), that this table will have ‘cross-buck’ legs (that is, legs in an ‘x’ configuration). For the moment, this is as far as I have gotten in the planning for this project. Any ideas or suggestions from more experienced folks would be much appreciated.

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