October 4, 2011

The Floors: Before and After

Not sure if anyone has picked up on this, but every 'after' picture shows our hardwood floors, which were definitely not there when we bought the house. What was there? Smelly, stained carpet. On really humid days the smell of 'animal' would permiate the house (I am guessing the previous owner had a dog or cat, or maybe both). One of the first things we did was rip it all out and install hardwood floors. We found an excellent deal on the flooring at our Home Depot clearance center. In hindsight there are a few things we might have done differently, so I'll share some advice:

1.   Think very hard about how much you want dark flooring. It shows every little dust particle that happens to land on it. I still love our selection, but my husband insists that our next house will have lighter wood. Darker hardwoods definiately require more sweeping!

2.   Next time around we would prefer to go with 100% solid wood (our floors are pre-engineered). This is going to be a very un-technical description, but you know how 'real' floors have that clear shellac over them? It helps to protect the floor from furniture, dropped items, spills, etc. We don't have that luxury. When our freezer accidentially defrosted in the middle of the night, the floorboards in the kitched were completed warped and had to be replaced. We know we won't live in this house forever, so it's a lesson learned.

So here are some pictures of the carpet when we first walked in our home:

Remember I said we joke that the old owner was drunk? Well, it's never more evident than in his tile job. It's impossible to see in this picture, but it was not pretty. We decided that putting hardwoods down in every room downstairs would unify the entire floorplan.

Next comes the prep work:

We replaced the subfloor directly in front of the door because it was in complete disrepair.

No idea what this is 'officially' called, but they kinda look like roof shingles!

Over the roof shingles goes the thin black paper stuff.

Then its time to start laying the floor.

Here are some after shots:

The real 'after' shots are al the recent pictures I post. The living and dining room especially are the only places that the quarterround in place and are really finished.

p.s. Had to throw this in since I am such a Craigslist fanatic: We actually bought way more flooring than we needed, with no way to return it. So what did we do? Well, sell it on Craigslist of course! Someone was looking for just enough wood floor to do one room in their house!

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