Jul 20, 2010

the last big project.


This past weekend we decided to finally tackle the living room floors.  For those of you considering putting in wood floors at some point... think hard about that before you do it.  I'll go ahead and be super informative just in case you're wondering.

We have done laminate wood flooring before and found it fairly easy to install.  This go around we went for engineered wood (basically layers of real wood with a factory installed coating - as opposed to real wood which is one solid chunk of wood and sometimes you stain it after it is installed).   Engineered wood flooring can be sanded and refinished but only once or twice.  Also it does not expand/contract with the weather as much as solid hardwood flooring does - a definite plus.  Oh, and depending on the kind you get it is cheaper than wood (ours was definitely the cheaper kind).

Our room was 202 square feet and the wood was $1.49/sq ft at a local salvage place.  $300 +tax was such a deal compared to the prices we were seeing at Home Depot (which included installation).  So even though it cost about $100 to rent the equipment and buy staples we figured it just couldn't be that bad... and we plunged in.

In retrospect I should say that it probably wasn't that bad.  I mean, after all, it did only take 2 days (we weren't paying another day of rental fees!).  But there were definitely a couple of points (which I will describe later) where we both wanted to just give up and cover all the unfinished spots with furniture.

Worth it?  Yes.

Will we do it again?  I would love to say an emphatic "NO!" but given my husband's love of selling/buying houses and our mutual love of home improvements... yeah, we probably will.  But next time we will be experts!  Right?

I thought a little time lapse might be fun.  We'll start out at 2:08pm.  This is actually 6 hours into the project.  AFTER we previously laid these first rows with the groove facing the wrong way, AFTER John had to switch out our stapler for a more powerful one, AFTER John drove downtown to get some splice so that we wouldn't have to rip up the first rows we laid incorrectly, AFTER he came back home and found out those splices were too big and we ripped up the rows anyway, and AFTER we face nailed in the first 2 rows because they were to close to the wall for the stapler to fit.  So here goes...






12:05pm (next day)



Okay, I will interject here.  Notice the time difference between the last two photos?  If 4 1/2 hours seems like a long time for ONE row... it is.  Wanna know why?  (sure you do!)  Each row has to be fitted snugly to the previous row before it can be stapled in.  To do this we used a scrap board and hammer.  So when we got to the last row... right next to the wall... where we couldn't fit a hammer to get the rows snugly together... we were stuck.  We tried several different lever and crow bar scenarios.  None worked.  So I took a trip to Home Depot (and Lowes) to try to get some help.  No help (although I did find a rug and a curtain rod, go me!).  We finally ended up cutting off part of the groove and just kind of setting the board in - instead of using the tongue/groove system.  I realize none of that may have made any sense but it really makes me feel like I've accomplished something to write it all out.

6:55 pm (DONE!!)

And now, because no home improvement project is as enjoyable with out a little before and after, I give you... the transformation...

Before (previous owners)

During (painted)

After (ta-da!!)

Coming soon to my living room...

  • pictures on the walls
  • the curtains I found on Ebay for $6.99 and hopefully will love
  • the piano that has been living at my parents house for almost 2 years!
  • quarter round and other finishing touches for the floor
  • decorative pillows for the couch
  • accent chairs if I can ever find some I like for cheap on Craigslist

Wow.  This certainly was a thorough post.  If you are still here you should win a prize!


Jason and Gretchen said...

I win a prize!! :) Looks great, can't wait to see it tonight!!

Mandie said...

The room looks fantastic! Great job!