Or, worse yet, it may work out that it's not stupid, but impossible.
The decision to remove part of the floor, right or wrong, was not ours. We can't beat ourselves up over what was done in the past. All we can do is move on and do what we can to salvage the ass-wipe of a situation.
That being said, I truly think the party is over for the hard wood as flooring. We've debated the relatively few options that would let us use leave the hard wood visible, and none of them are appealing: either cover the subfloor with something else (hard wood, laminate), cut it out and replace with something else (hard wood, laminate) and do some kind of divider straight down the middle of the room delineating between the two floors; or, create a feature in the room (like a step) but basically do the same thing. We could move our bedroom into the living room and make the subfloor area our closet (which would mean moving the living room to the back of the house).
All of the ideas were scrapped as ridiculous.
We concluded that the flooring ship sailed 40 years ago when half of the hard wood was removed from the house and discarded. But if that old wood can never be flooring again, could it be something else?
I've been mulling it over and over and over, and a glimmer of an idea has taken shape as a remote possibility. Any interior decorators (or interior decorator wannabes) please DO voice your opinion.
The idea (no clue about logistics at this point, which is why I said it may turn out to be a good idea but impossible):
Rather than just cover up the hard wood with laminate and never see it again, we're considering taking out one of the planks and cutting it down (and refinishing, of course) and using it to replace the three windowsills.
Here's a shot of one of the windowsills. Look carefully under Blake's ass and you might be able to see it (har har):
The three windowsills in the room are about 8 inches wide.
This is the longest one--the front picture window.
Remember, Blake is the size of a small elephant
Remember, Blake is the size of a small elephant
and his right ass-cheek is still falling off.
Hear me out. I absolutely do not want to commit a historical preservation sin that will land me in interior decorating hell. But, I really think this could be a neat idea.
First of all, if we don't do something, the hard wood will be covered up for probably another 40 years (the warranty on the laminate we chose is 30 years--40 years is a guestimate). Which is to say, the hard wood won't be lost, it should be protected from damage, but still: even though no one can anticipate what might happen in the next 40 years, if we cover it up we assuredly won't be able to enjoy the beauty of the hard wood. That's a Given. So is "out of sight, out of mind."
Secondly, the hard wood is the old style. Oregonians have no clue what the old style is (and before last Sunday, nor did I), so in case you're wondering what "old style" is: the planks are huge (not like the manufactured 2 to 4 inch wide planks you see at Home Depot -- rather, the size of a sheet of plywood, which is what we'd have to use to put in place of the one we take out). One plank should be plenty to replace all the windowsills.
Back to the "first of all:" that means there would still be the same unusable amount of hard wood that would be untouched and protected beneath laminate. In 40 years or whenever, when/if we (or someone else) take up the laminate, the situation is going to be no WORSE off, and no BETTER off, then where it is now. Still SCREWED because there still won't be enough to do anything with.
So although yes I can see there is a definite downside (once you cut it, you can't put it back), I still think it is okay because the whole point is that right NOW, before we've cut or altered anything, there isn't enough hard wood to use it as functional flooring. What's one more plank when half of it is already gone?
Also, it's is a neat idea because our windowsills are so uncool. In the picture, you can see it's a weird color. That's because I painted it. That's right, I painted our windowsills. I know that sounds like the sin that should land me into interior decorating hell, but trust me: the windowsills were so offensive to the eye, painting them was the only solution. Eventually we want to replace the windows anyway, so I didn't worry about it too much when I did it. It looks a million times better though because:
The windowsills, under the paint, are the leftover vinyl laminate from the kitchen counters! Avocado green marble vinyl/plastic/laminate (I have no idea what it really is) from 30-40 years ago! The windowsills! It was too bizarre; my brain couldn't even handle it.
Our goal timeline for replacing the three windows in this room is within the next 2 years, so we would probably just pull up the plank and keep it safe until we're ready to do the windows.
Any thoughts out there?
FORMICA!!! That was the word I couldn't think of. Our windowsills (that I painted) were originally avocado green, marble-style FORMICA. Major faux pas. Major UGH-O-RAMA.