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The Mystery of Old Houses

Old houses are like mysteries. You’re always wondering what you’ll find when you pull back another layer. We pulled back some layers in the entryway recently as the preliminary step to laying tile. Beneath the drab brown carpet was ugly green linoleum.

Peeking beneath the edges where the carpet led to the family room revealed an old oak floor beneath. That led to the scraping away of the ugly green linoleum to discover if an oak floor lay beneath there as well. You can imagine my amazement mixed with total confusion at why someone would glue linoleum on top of a once beautiful oak floor!

But the mystery did not stop there. A place in the middle of the entryway turned out not to be part of the oak floor, but plywood nailed over where a trap door used to be. Knowing the older part of the house was held up by hewn logs, the bark still on in places, it made me wonder how the house used to be laid out. Had the trap door always been by the front door. What if it were open as someone came dashing through the front door? Not a pretty picture.

We’ve given up on the idea of tiling the entryway. The oak floor throughout the lower level is a much more appealing idea. For now new plywood has replaced the old battered plywood covering the trapdoor. Eventually we hope to replace it with oak, blending it to the rest of the entryway floor. In the meantime I’ll be shopping for an entry rug to disguise the unfinished area. Now we’re ready for the final sanding of the entryway followed by a coat of varnish. And then? It’s off to discover what other mysteries are waiting to be uncovered in our old house.

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Categories: Life
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