Bedroom Closet / Dressing Room Our Bedroom The Victorian House

Repairing and Replacing the Closet Floor

Our bedroom floor had some give to it, right by the door to the closet. The floor in the closet was soft too and it had been carpeted, presumably because it was a cheap and easy fix. We’re about to address a similar problem in the hallway, and we figured we ought to fix these spots at the same time.

We got the carpet out of there, and as suspected, the floor underneath was in bad shape. You can tell that someone had tried to do some temporary repairs (basically “add all the nails you can find!”). The wood floor is the same stuff that was in the hallway, probably added in the forties. Super thin, old, and brittle. Underneath? A subfloor that had been patched. With beadboard. And under the beadboard (yikes), the floor joists had been notched out to run plumbing for the very heavy cast iron radiator. No wonder the floor hadn’t held up there!

Closet Subfloor

We saved the best pieces of flooring from the closet so that we could fix the portion in the bedroom at the same time. The floor in there runs through to the next room without a threshold, and to replace all of that right now isn’t something that we’re interested in doing. It isn’t in perfect shape, but the worst of it was that spot by the closet, and if we could patch it, that seemed like the best option.

Closet and Bedroom Subfloor

I’m happy to lay new flooring (we’ve done it before), but fixing something that had already been fixed improperly? I was afraid I’d end up doing the same thing, which would lead to problems either immediately or down the line. Either way: not good. So after the wood planks were pried up, we had a pro remove the damaged sections of subfloor. The patched portion came up pretty easily with a crowbar and the back of a hammer, and he cut away a few other areas as well. Some of the floor joists were sistered and sturdy plywood was cut to fit.

Radiator Plumbing Through Floor Joists

Tools to Fix the Closet Subfloor

Once the bedroom patch was done and the subfloor in the closet had been fixed, we had a sturdy surface that was ready for the new hardwood flooring.

New Subfloor in the Bedroom and Closet

Patched Wood Flooring, New Subfloor

A strong subfloor instead of a flimsy 75-year-old beadboard patch! How novel.

We shopped at Floor & Decor for wood to replace the old stuff in the remodeled portion of our hallway last year and had a great experience with them, so I was happy that they were looking to partner again.

Wood Flooring at Floor & Decor

They have big samples on display (this is just one small section of their wood flooring) and I really like their gray-based finishes, but I chose the same style as before: prefinished Gunstock solid oak hardwood flooring in 2-1/4″ wide planks, 3/4″ thick. It’s similar in color and width to what we have throughout the rest of the house, and since it’s solid oak, we could sand and refinish it if we ever wanted to. I also picked up the same underlayment again. It muffles noise, serves as a vapor barrier, and provides a little cushion.

Buying Wood Flooring at Floor & Decor

Installation was pretty straightforward and took us three days (around four or five hours per day). Floor & Decor holds free classes on Saturdays teaching people about wood and laminate floors, how to install backsplashes, and all about working with tile and stone. They also have videos on their site with information on installation and choosing the right products. When you head out there, they have tons of options in stock and at really good prices, so you can choose your materials and bring everything you need home with you that day. Hooray for instant gratification! Just remember that if you’re putting in hardwood flooring like us, you need to give yourself a few days’ lead time to let the product sit and acclimate to your house.

Laying New Wood Flooring and Premium Underlayment

Laying New Hardwood Floors from Floor & Decor

The new flooring (on the right) makes the old floor (left) look pretty bad. You don’t realize how crummy something is until you get the nice, new stuff right up next to it! I mean, it’s a fine problem to have (boohoo, our new floor is too nice).

Old Floor, New Floor

The closet floor needed to be replaced for practical reasons, but I’ve gotta say, it’s way more satisfying that some of the other work we’ve been doing to the house lately. Actual visual changes! Not just a vague “it’s safer” feeling, but something we can actually see! Woohoo.

Hardwood Flooring in the Closet

Hardwood Flooring from Floor & Decor (Gunstock Oak)

The new floor makes me want to freshen up the rest of the closet now, too. It was a cool space before with it’s curved wall and window, and the little sink nook, but now it has the potential to be something pretty special.

Master Bedroom Closet with New Hardwood Flooring

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  • Stephanie
    November 30, 2015 at 8:16 am

    The new floor looks so lovely. I’m sure you’ll find a great way to decorate the new closet. Well done!
    xx, Stephanie

    • Making it Lovely
      December 1, 2015 at 9:34 am

      Thanks! I’m excited about the possibilities now. It’s a shared closet, but Brandon is on board for whatever I want to do with it. I thought about painting the walls in a fun color, but I do my makeup in there and I don’t want a weird color cast. Maybe pretty curtains instead? And shoe storage. Oh man do I hate the over-the-door shoe rack that we have.

  • MJ
    November 30, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    This is to thank you for introducing me to one of your sponsor companies, Floor and Decor. If I have not already said TKU. I enjoy reading about your victorian and seeing your decor choices. Although they are mostly too modern for me, I often find gems that I tuck away for later. Floor and Decor will be one of my stops next spring if my house doesn’t sell in the meantime. I’m so far out in the mountains that it will b a three+ hour journey one way, but it looks as if it will be worth it.
    I also read about your journey to breadwinner and it shed light on how that works with the blogging and other interests. You and your husband are lucky to have each other, IMO, as you seem to make a good team. My late husband and i took turns working and it was good for both of us.
    Were I younger, i’d be envious of you and your lovely victorian, but it tired me out, just thinking of the 3rd floor nursery!!!! LOL
    Wishing you well and a happy christmas and wonderful new year. And thanks for your excellent blog.
    MJ in western NC.

    • Making it Lovely
      December 1, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Thank you. And a happy Christmas and new year to you, too!

  • Heather
    November 30, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    This is so pretty! I’m pretty sure I somehow found your blog–originally, years ago–when I came across your closet post with the IKEA wardrobe. You made that look beautiful and I can’t wait to see what you do with this fancier space. :) I love your blog!

  • Stephanie
    November 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Oh that is lovely!! Now I’m nervous about the seriously soft part in my daughters room….

    Also, I want to know what kind of acrobatics went into to getting the photo of the whole finished floor (third photo from the bottom). Methinks you have to pull out some Spiderman moves!

    • Making it Lovely
      December 1, 2015 at 9:31 am

      Isn’t that crazy? Wide angle lenses can do some amazing things. I did have to tip toe my feet back to avoid getting them in the shot. ;)

  • Amanda
    December 1, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Holy smokes! That looks amazing!

  • Shannon
    December 4, 2015 at 10:00 am

    The view from above looking down on the new floor made me say, “wow, that’s beautiful.” Out loud. I love hardwoods. New and old. Glad you’ve gotten to have a visual update. Sometimes it’s just what is needed to keep plowing on.

    • --Michelle
      December 6, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Oh man. I JUST started working for a huge flooring company (hardwood/carpet etc) here in the Chicago area this week and after my week of training, I am reading this going yep, underlayment, yep, transitions, yep warehouse, yep….

      Basically reading this was like I was back at work today…LOL

  • Marlena
    December 8, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Looks great!

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