Childproofing · Heating and Cooling

Gravity heaters and childproofing

Childproofing our home is turning out to be a constant ongoing project of its own. The first week that we moved in, Miles discovered that he loved opening and closing the bedroom doors. Really cute, until he slammed his fingers in the door. I realized we never had this problem in our old apartment because we usually only let him roam around the common areas which was an open concept layout. Anyhow, after he smashed his fingers again, I desperately scoured the Internet for a solution and came across these foam door stoppers, which I promptly ordered. It’s a scary sight to watch your baby use all 20 lbs of his bodyweight to try to close his bedroom door, but these suckers actually do work.

Well, one of the things I did have the foresight to childproof were the gravity heaters in our home. You’ve probably seen these before. Those are the gas-powered heaters that are placed under the floorboards and allow gravity to push the warm air through the entire house. Since Miles sticks his fingers in everything and still crawls around a lot, I wanted to remove the grates and cover up the holes, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. We actually had to remove the entire furnace so that the new wood could lie completely flat. Then a wooden frame was placed around the inside of the hole to give the planks have something to rest on. If we laid in the new floor at this point it would look like an obvious patch job. Instead we removed some of the existing wood in a staggered pattern so that the new planks could be woven in seamlessly. But once we had the planks in, we realized they were a skosh to high so they had to be sanded down to match the rest of the floor. Then it’s a couple coats of stain and varnish with drying time in between. Not a simple job! But I’m really glad we did it.


(Clockwise from upper left) Underneath the metal grate is a gas-powered furnace that had to be disconnected and removed. // A wood frame was placed in the hole to give the planks something to rest on. // Then the new planks were laid in. Notice how some of the existing wood was removed to help weave in the new planks and avoid a patched up look. The planks needed to be sanded down to match the level of the rest of the floor. I suppose this could have been avoided with better measurement and adjusting the wooden frame to sit lower in the hole. // The new stained and varnished floor just needs a few more hours to dry.

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