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Hardwood Floor Installation: Guest Remodel

24 July 2010

Deb @ Confessions Of An Ugly Mom has beautiful new hardwood floors.

We kicked off the project by tearing out our original wood in the hallway and foyer, which had been installed by Matt, my dad, my granddad and my brother. Fourpeople, four days, one hallway. Think about that for a moment: the man you love spending four days in a hallway with your brother, your dad and your granddad. And then be ever grateful he stayed married to you.

And then tear it all out 11 years later in 10 minutes.

Then we tore out the carpet and vinyl. Just looking at pictures of the subfloor hurts my teeth. Like cutting aluminum foil with scissors or touching chalk. So it was with walking on subfloors in socks or scooching out a chair. Shiver. 

The first row took f-o-r-e-v-e-r. But the final row depends on the first, so forever is just the right amount of time for a first row. Is it pathetic to decorate your first seven rows at the end of Day 1?

Mid-way through the process, my in-laws drove 1,000 miles to stay with us for a week. With the kitchen and family room a disaster, my office had the only seating in the house. For six of us.

Due to the fury it still ignites in my soul, I won't do more than mention that the Bane of My Existence did his business on the new floor three separate times during installation, ruining several boards, but you can read about it if you like. (Bad chocolate lab for sale, cheap.)

I wouldn't be entirely truthful if I didn't fess up that we had a little help...

This was truly one of the best days of my life. On this day, the wood we installed in the hallway and office, which started at the front of the house with the infamous First Row, met up with the kitchen and dining room and actually formed a straight line from one side of the house to the other. There were doubters among us that we amateurs could make it happen (we amateurs included), but voila! Beginners' luck.

One of the most tedious steps was "racking," which became my job since Matt had little patience for it. To rack the room, you lay out the rows before you install them so that you can mix in wood from different boxes (necessary because each box varies significantly in color) and make sure each piece ends a proper distance from all other pieces around it -- at least 6 inches. Harder than it seems. Sometimes a few rows would take hours; some nights I'd stay up all night so we could hit the ground running when we started after work the next day. Racking was definitely my least favorite part. It was much more fun to cut and whack.

My mind has blocked out how long we actually spent on our hands and knees installing this floor, but my blog indicates it took us about a month of late nights and weekends. Sometimes I still can't believe we actually did it -- except that it's still not exactly finished, so that's how I know it was us as opposed to someone who knows what they're doing.

I have to say installing the floor was truly a blessing in my life. I got to spend lots of quality time with Matt, just he and me reconnecting while the kids roamed the neighborhood parentless. Thank goodness for great neighbors.

What a project.  The hardwood floor looks fantastic!  Some day with fingers crossed and babies sat, we will have new hardwood floors also.
How does every one like it?


Miranda July 24, 2010 at 5:03 PM  

I LOVE the floor. It looks almost identical to what we put in our dream house (that we had to sell). The floor is stunning and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Great choice and you guys did an awesome job.

Sarah @ TheUglyDucklingHouse July 26, 2010 at 9:40 AM  

We are in the process of going through a similar install with our new laminate floors. We just finished the upstairs section last week, and I spent most of yesterday turning our living room into a subfloor pile of dust and carpet debris. I found it incredibly theraputic, especially when I know how beautiful it will look soon! Great job here, the floors look fantastic!

Deb @ Confessions of an Ugly Mom July 26, 2010 at 10:50 AM  

Sincere thanks for featuring our install on your site. I've gotten great ideas here, so thanks for all you do to share the remodel projects.

Anonymous,  July 26, 2010 at 5:05 PM  

We are doing perpetual floor intallation. First when we actually switched to hardwood on purpose, and then again when our shower exploded (don't ask). It looks like you guys did a beautiful job. The pattern of the wood is very similar to ours so I KNOW you have excellent taste :)... inspect your plumbing. Cheers!

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