Many years ago, in the 1980’s it was, I purchased my first home in Western Australia. The suburb was up in the Hills area – Greenmount. It was an old timber home, constructed probably circa 1950’s or a tad earlier. One of the main reasons for buying that home was the view. It had spectacular, uninhibited views over Perth. All the floors were jarrah timber flooring. But do you know what? They had all been carpeted over and in the kitchen, believe it or not, they had laid ceramic floor tiles over the jarrah floorboards.
The house even had a name: York House, as it was built on Old York Road. We lived in that home for the next 13 years, raising a family and making home improvements almost every weekend. The yard was half an acre of clay and unforgiving granite boulders. As I played football, the gardening served as a secondary way to keep fit!
After being there for some 2 – 3 years, it was time to uncover the hidden treasure of these wonderful jarrah floors. If you were to put down this much jarrah today, well you couldn’t, not without a substantial lottery win.
How to Do It
In the days pre-internet, there was no YouTube videos to view to tell you how to go about pulling up carpet, and removing tiles to ensure minimal damage to jarrah timber floors. There was no DIY video to give you step by step instructions on how to best prepare the floor for sanding. There was nobody in my circle of friends who knew anything about sanding and I wasn’t even sure where to find a timber floor sanding machine. My father-in-law came to the rescue as he was another generation removed. “Estapol,” was all he said.
There were three bedrooms, the hallway, the dining room, the foyer, the bathroom and an enormous living room all of which needed the carpets to be removed. The next step was to get down on your knees with a hammer and make sure all the nails holding the timber flooring were knocked back down. I didn’t get them all and you can imagine what happened when the sander hit these. Total destruction, yes!
The old man was right about the Estapol. I applied no less than three coats and in some areas an extra coat for that hard, gloss finish. If you know jarrah timber flooring, then you know what that hard wood looks like when it has been varnished. Fabulous, right!? It did look great and gave the house a whole new feel.
These days, you can get timber flooring supplied and installed by professionals. Whether you choose expensive jarrah flooring is a financial decision but there is something about bare wooden floors that provide some serious character to a home. No need to put on your slippers early in the morning because of a cold floor when you choose timber. The choice of woods or look – alike wooden synthetic type material for floors is large. They certainly add character.