Thursday, September 2, 2010

Twelve Thousand Dollars

"Hey, Joe," I typed in Facebook chat, "I had a dream about you the other night."

Oops.  Too late, I realized he might take that the wrong way.

"Oh really??  Good or bad??" he asked.  I could practically hear the leer in his typing.

"Horrible," I told him.

See, my friend Joe owns a hardwood floor business and I am in need of his skills.  Those glue-encrusted floors in the entryway, two parlors, dining room and bedroom have got to go.  The trouble is, when the floors go so will a huge chunk of my money.  That's where the dream about Joe comes in.  I've been meaning to call the man to get an estimate, but every time I reach for the phone my hands start to shake and my mouth goes dry.  This is less a reaction to Joe himself than it is to the cost of refinishing floors.  Spending lots of money scares me.  So I've put off calling him. 

But now, a couple of times a week, I have a recurring nightmare about Joe.  In it, he comes over to take a look at the floors.  He walks through the house somberly shaking his head and taking notes.  In the nightmare, this seems to take hours.  Finally, he turns to me and says that he has an estimate for me.

"Nine thousand dollars," he says.

I scream.

And then I wake up.  And worry that it's not really a nightmare, but a premonition. 

So I hit Joe up on chat the other night, confessed my nightmare, and then asked, "It won't really be $9K, right?"

"No way," he replied.

"Oh good," I answered.

And then he typed, "More like 12 thousand dollars."

Such good friends I have.


  1. He's kidding, right?

    What have you done so far to try to remove this glue?
    I know this sounds crazy but I would be all over a project like this!! I don't know if it's the challenge that I enjoy, or the satisfaction I get when the job is done, but I'd definitely give it a shot!

    Here is a list of suggestions I found online:

    all-natural peanut butter -rub on and buff (don't think I'm crazy, I'm just shareing what I read)

    ice- (freeze and chip away)

    Goo Gone - be careful, could damage wood



    Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Wash (found in the laundry aisle)

    mineral spirits

    Or you could rent a commercial sander and DIY. (But be careful, my brother took a chunk out of a ladies dining room floor with one of those.)

    Whatever you decide, I'll be here cheering you on! ;D

  2. I'm's Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda.
    I've had luck with this product, but you need a really strong scrub brush.

  3. Oh, gosh. At least it's not the roof. That you can't put off.

  4. I'd be a little careful about goo gone. i suspect it's highly flammable.

    Are the floors salvageable if the glue is removed? I've never done this, but on house blogs people are always renting sanders and sanding down their floors themselves.

    I got an estimate for putting in hardwood flooring on about 700 sq. ft of my house. I have removed the wall to wall carpet and pulled out the staples and nails myself. It was about $3000-$3500. That's not getting done for awhile :-)

  5. Milah, I hope he's kidding! Sometimes it's hard to tell with Joe. I've tried everything on your list to no avail. Well, except the sander.

    Karen Anne, You're right, Goo Gone is highly flammable. I think the floors are salvageable, but I'll let Joey make the final decision on that. I don't think this is the original flooring, and Joe's concern is that it might not be thick enough to sand down. We'll see. If I ever get brave enough to call him. lol

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I'm with Christine - I like this guy!

    OK, this might seem like a dumb question, but have you tried a palm sander in a remote spot just to see if sanding is possible? As for the floors being thick enough, considering the PO's lack of maintenance, I'd think there would be plenty of floor left.

    And I'd be more worried about the fumes from Goo Gone than the flammability. That stuff stinks!

  8. Although completely unrelated to this posting, I found something I needed to share with you: your house's modernist cousin.

    Hope you like!

  9. Another blog mentioned Citrus Strip. Dunno if it will handle glue, but maybe test in an out of the way area.

  10. I'm thinking you could sand them down. I've redone Aunt Sandi's living/dining room in a weekend with a rented sander. Got it in Richmond for $70 for the weekend. Put a coat of stain and two coats of polyurethane on it also. Hers was bad in the before version also.