Guys. GUYS! The one thing I have been looking forward to doing the MOST on our house has begun! That’s right… THE FLOORS ARE GETTING REPLACED! Sorry. I know that was a lot of caps. But it seemed appropriate given how I was basically yelling (in excitement) at all of you. Sorry ’bout that. But I’ve wanted to replace the floors in this house since the day we first stepped foot in it. And now it is happening! It is very exciting!!!!
The floors are almost done now but I’ve been slow at posting. I guess working from 8am-8pm every day will do that to you. My bad. But I also don’t feel TOO bad because everything has happened within the past 3 weeks. It has been utter insanity. We decided to do the floor demo, install, and finishing touches all ourselves. You know, to save money and to be able to say that we did. While I’ve been working my tail off I have been thinking of you guys though! I have been chronicling our whole process so I can it share with all of you. And to encourage those of you who think laying hardwoods is too difficult. I promise it isn’t! It isn’t that hard at all… just a little time consuming. Especially if you are laying almost 800 square feet.
So let’s get this party started! The first step to laying new hardwoods is ordering hardwoods. Obviously. There are tons of options out there but we went with BuildDirect.com. And can I say… they are freaking awesome. They don’t know me and I’m not getting paid to say this, but their prices and quality are second to none. And if you order a FREE sample, it will be on your doorstep in less than 24 hours. I’m hoping to do a post all about picking out hardwoods so I’ll give you more info on that at a later date.
Back to the topic of this post. DEMO. We had our floors ordered so we needed to demo our old floors so we could install the gorgeous new ones. Step one in the demo process is to decide if you want to remove baseboards or not. Your options are basically #1: remove baseboards and re-install them on top of the new floors or #2: leave your current baseboards attached to the wall and lay the floors right up to your baseboards. With option 2 you just use quarter-round trim to cover the necessary expansion gap. We chose option #1. Partly because we had to remove some of the baseboards anyways to rip up old floors and subflooring (more on that in a sec) and partly because we wanted to replace all the baseboards due to the previous owners’ what-I-can-only-assume-was-a-live-in pack of wolves.
Removal of said baseboards was pretty easy peasy. Cut the caulk with a utility knife. Wedge a flat tip screwdriver between the wall and the baseboards. Hammer the screwdriver with a few taps to pull the baseboards away from the wall. Move screwdriver down the baseboard until the entire piece comes off in one piece! TA-DA!
I’ve had a few online people ask us why we want to replace our floors because they looked pretty good. All I can say to those dear people is…. Awww. Honey. The magic of photoshop makes our floors look decent! No one has ever asked us that question in person. Mostly because they could see why. Here are a few pieces of evidence against the old floors. Evidence A: a 3×1-inch hole in the flooring that extends through the subflooring. The previous owners were kind enough to caulk that hole up for us. How sweet. Evidence #2: Ripped up vinyl flooring. Right underneath the washer and dryers. Awesome! I always wanted exposed subflooring in a wet area. Sarcasm. Evidence D: Drill holes? That is all I can assume those holes are. Lucky me, they were touched up with paint so I couldn’t see them. HA! Or not.
Also, we were going for a more seamless look. The area we are laying new floors had 4 different types of flooring: laminate, vinyl, real hardwood, and another different laminate. The vinyl just really, REALLY made us want to put in new floors.
While I was ripping up baseboards, I also decided to remove the little bit of beadboard around our pantry door. It was the only area in the whole great room that had any beadboard. So I ripped it off the wall. And found another kaleidoscope of colors. Yikes. All I can say is that I hope it wasn’t painted like that at the same time! Forget Love, Pomegranate House! I should rename the blog Love, Rainbow House!
On a side note, this picture is probably the truest color of the floors. Often times the true color gets washed out when I’m taking pictures of this room but here you can really see how stained and yellow those “white” floors are.
The next step after removing baseboards was to rip up some of the old flooring. We started in the living room. It was just a blonde click-and-lock laminate flooring. We were lucky because it was just floated so we basically just lifted one edge and it all came up, one plank at a time. Most of it was in great condition so we were able to stack it up and store it in our basement until we finish the basement.
Then we had to rip up the hardwood in the hallway. Yes. The hardwood was only in the hallway. The floors were so mismatched it drove me nuts! We were able to pry up all of the boards with a crowbar pretty easily. FYI, that is dirt. Not mold.
Next came the big part of demo. You see, our stupid vinyl floors were on an additional layer of subflooring. Once we ripped up the floors in the living room, hallway, and master bedroom the subflooring was glaringly obvious. Luckily, we knew about it before all the demo. We first discovered it when we removed the transitions between the different floorings. The problem with it?? We couldn’t very well lay one continuous flooring when they would be on different levels.
After talking with a bunch of subcontractors and a few handymen, we found out that the best thing to do was to remove the additional subflooring from the kitchen, dining room, and laundry room. All of them said it was a hard job. So we decided to hire someone to do it for us for only $500. That was a good trade-off. They work hard and get paid money and I stand around taking pictures and not do back-breaking work. Win-win.
So 3 weeks ago they came and ripped up all of the subflooring. The subfloors were stapled down so they didn’t have too hard of a time, but they did have to go and remove the staples from the floor by hand. If you live in the Denver area, Footprints Floors did a great job for us and were done within one day.
Then all of our floors were gone! I can’t even tell you how awesome it was to see our house like this. The thing of dreams people! Of course, we got sick of it real fast when we had to walk on subfloors for 2 weeks. But I was still thrilled that the old ones were gone.
Next came all the prep for the new floors! More on that in a few days!