Monday, June 6, 2011

Our hardwood far

Hi all.  We have been so busy around here.  I have had tons of questions from friends and family about the flooring, so I thought I'd post some pictures and answer some questions.

I didnt' really take any before pictures of the carpet we had before it was 12 years old, heavily stained and coming apart as I vacuumed it.  It was realtor beige.  Boring, dirty and embarrassing.  These first two pictures are the front room of our house now.  I'm standing in front of the front door as I took the first photo. It looks at the eating area.  I love it. I hated having carpet under the dining table.  It was so gross and dirty.  This is now so easy to clean up.  It's like a miracle.  :-)

 This is still the front room, but facing the front window.
 Here is our kitchen before. The vinyl sheet flooring was peeling up in front of the sink and dishwasher.  It was getting little holes all around in other places too, where things got dropped on it. It was turning brittle and not coming as clean as it used to.  To really get it clean I had to get on my hands and knees with a scrub brush and a bucket of soapy water.  Needless to say, that didn't happen very often, so I was finding that frustrating.  The mop would do OK, but not great.
 As you can see above and below, when we pulled up the carpet we discovered that the kitchen had two sub floors.  Weird!!  We pulled up the second one and just put the new hardwood on the first layer of sub floor.  It was a little extra work we weren't expecting, but that turned out fine.  We wanted the hardwood to be all one flat layer throughout the first floor of the house.  It is wonderful to walk around and not change flooring surfaces.
 Here it is the instant we finished in there.  The hard parts were moving the appliances out, and Duane getting the flooring down inside of the pantry.  I have a pic of him below squeezing himself in there with the nailer.
 Sarah and Theresa helped a little.  Theresa got pretty good at pulling up staples with a pair of pliers.  Sarah would help for a few minutes and then get tired of it and run off to do something else.
 Here is poor Duane trying to make himself fit. 
 When we were done with the front room and the kitchen we had to move all the appliances, tools, furniture and other junk out of the living room to do it last.  We lined up all the tools on this old blanket so we wouldn't scratch up the new flooring in the front room.  That was our tool kit.
 As soon as we finished the living room I took the kids upstairs to have their showers for the night.  When I came back Duane had already moved the couch where it goes.  Sorry I didn't get  pic of the floor without it.  You get the general idea. I am sorry you have to look at the 20 year old, teal and pink couch though.  :-(
 Here is the carpet.  I ordered a pickup from Waste Management and we are still waiting for them to take this away.  Goodbye ugly, gross carpet.  I don't miss you at all!!
So here are some questions I'm getting asked a lot.

Q: Was it hard work?
A: Yes.  We are both handy.  Especially Duane, who loves wood working and fixing anything.  We didn't have any problems using the tools or doing the work, it was just hard physical labor.  We were so tired and achy by the end of the 4th day.  It was good for us though.  :-)

Q: What kind of wood did you buy?
A:  It's a carbonized bamboo.  It's super hard and durable. The coloring is called Zebra.  I guess you can tell why.  We like that it's got so many shades of brown in it.  It really contrasts with our dining table and chairs which are a natural finish rock maple.  It is prefinished. No sanding and finishing. Also we recycled the boxes it came in, so we like to hope we didn't impact the environment too much, except for the old carpet.

Q: Is it louder in your house?
A: Yes.  We are relearning a new level of volume to speak and call to each other at.  No big deal to us, but if you are worried, maybe it's not for you.

Q:Won't it be cold?
A: Maybe.  It is the end of spring here now. We are having an above 90 degree day today.  I have to say it feels fabulous under my hot feet.  I love it. In the cold Colorado winter we will just have to have our slippers on all the time.  I don't think it's gonna be too bad, really.  By then we should hopefully have an area rug in the living room as well. That will help. 

Q: Aren't you done yet???
A: Sorry, no.  We ordered some boards which are special stair nosings.  When they finally arrive we will rip up the stair case and redo it also.  We plan on having the treads, (the part you step on) be the same bamboo, and the risers be white. We will also be removing the banister and painting it white.  These speciall stair nosing boards are, literally, on a slow boat from China.  We might have to wait a couple of more weeks.  We also ordered some custom made vent covers.  They will sit right down into the furnace vent openings and be flush with the floor.  We are still waiting on them as well.  We had to leave a space where they go, because we weren't sure the measurements we were given by Lumber Liquidators are correct.  Some of the other measurements they gave us were not accurate at all.  Once we have our special orders we can do the final work.  Yes, it's gonna be awhile.  We are mad, but there isn't anything anyone can do to get them here faster, so we are trying to just deal with it.

Q:Do the cats like it?
A: The first day they acted confused, after that they seem fine with it all. :-)

Overall, I have to say I'm very pleased.  It's super fast and easy to clean.  I think it's beautiful.  I am very disappointed in Lumber Liquidators. If we decide to order more wood, we will not be going back to their Denver location.  Ever.  We will try out Longmont instead.  I could complain about our experience with them for days, so I'll spare you all the gory details.  If you want the cheapest price, it's the place to go. If you want customer service, honest answers, someone to answer the phone or your emails, someone who cares, then the Denver location isn't where I'd recommend.  Moving on.....

We haven't dropped anything breakable on it yet.  No one has fallen down and hurt themselves yet. I think if you are worried it isn't safe you would be surprised how quickly you get used to the drastic difference.  We bought a lot of different sized felt pads before we even got started. As the project went along we put the pads on the bottom of all of our furniture.   I am loving how easy it is to slide things around and clean and rearrange.  Fabulous!!  I would have to say a lot of the pessimist comments we were hearing before hand are not coming true. 

Once we get the whole thing done I will post more pictures.  I can't wait to paint the banister white.  It will look so pretty and clean.  Thanks for stopping by to take a peek.

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