Once upon a time a boy and a girl bought a house. It was builder grade when it was built and very plain. The people who sold it to the boy and girl had tried to make it pretty, but there was still much to be done. As they could, the boy and girl started to make it beautiful. But one day they could no longer ignore the gross kitchen floor. After much discussion they went to the internet. The internet told them that Home Depot had way prettier options than Lowes so they went there…just to do “research.” They bought a box of floor pieces and laid them out in the kitchen, just to see. For “research.”
The boy knew the girl could never stop at “research” so he slowly started to paint a picture of how grand it would be to replace all the floors in the downstairs not just the kitchen. The girl put up a valiant fight, striving to be practical, but in the end was won over by the boy’s charisma and charm. Just like she always was.
The girl insisted that everything had to be done before Halloween or she’d be cranky indeed and the boy promised.
A trailer and two pallets of flooring later, and their almost two month adventure began.
We had to open a whole bunch of the boxes to get a feel for all the different colors and sizes. Neil and the kids had fun sorting them. The first target was the kitchen so up came the gross linoleum.
The kids rolled with the stages of chaos admirably. Garyn became an expert plank hammerer and at one point Neil was out running an errand and Garyn put in a row by himself. He told me he liked being my handyman when Dad was gone. Love that kid.
Being allowed to help and paint when they wanted to, probably helped their overall outlook on the crazy.
We knew before we started that the plan would be to pull off the baseboards, sand them, and repaint them before re-installing them. It was a time consuming endeavor but we got it down pretty quick. Overall it was totally worth it and we are so happy how they turned out.
Under the washer we found mold. Bummer. We put up a fan blowing air over the floor for a few days until it dried enough and we felt ok putting the floor down.
During projects we live for the after pictures. I didn’t take great “before” shots but know that the floor is even better than we hoped it would be. I also decided that in the spirit of embracing the chaos, now would be a great time to paint the kitchen. In the last picture above, you can see the old mint green up above the fridge and cupboards. I wanted something just a bit more sage and loved how the new color made the whole space feel calmer and more grounded. one of my favorite victories on this adventure. Moving on, we went into the front room.
Move stuff, vacuum, pull out carpet and pad, vacuum, pry up tack strips, vacuum, pull off baseboards, lay floors, prep and paint boards, re-install boards, vacuum and repeat.
Every area we finished seemed to grow about a foot on each side. Varying hypothesis include changed acoustics, baseboards seem taller, and the dark color. Who knows why it seems so much bigger, I’ll take it!
Our school room was next on the docket and was one of the hardest spaces. There was a bizarre wallpaper boarder around the middle of the wall. After much combing of the internet, Neil ordered a cool tool to puncture the paper with tiny holes. Then we sprayed it with a special spray and after a soak, it would scrape right off. I also decided to paint two of the walls the same sage green as in the kitchen to start to make our house seem a little more cohesive.
It was as I was sitting here typing that I realized that I didn’t have an after picture for the school room. So I rushed over and just took some. The lighting is horrible and the room is not very neat, but the floor is great! Look at the floor and the lovely green walls!
The people who were here before us had redone the floor in the master bathroom. We went back and forth on just leaving it but we love how there are no joints or transitions in the rest of the downstairs. We thought it would be weird if the bathroom was the only separate thing. Neil got to learn all about how toilets are put together, since he had to take it apart to put new floor under it.
Doing the bathroom too was the right choice.
Last up was the master bedroom and master closet. Our bed isn’t too bad weight wise…but our Purple brand mattress is a beast of a thing. So Neil just moved it around and eventually laid boards under it while it was in place. Tatanka sleeps under our bed (she can barely squeeze herself under) and we felt bad taking out the carpet. So we ended up putting a cut rectangle of the carpet back under after the floor was in. We discovered that the only way Tatanka can get herself under was to grip the carpet with her back toes and shimmy under. She can’t grip on the new floors so it’s taken her almost two weeks to figure out how to get into her “cave.” Even now, sometimes we give her rump a shove to help her out.
I also forgot to take an after picture of our room, but we are currently watching a movie and I want to get this post up tonight. Once again you’ll have to take my word for it that it looks awesome. Because it really does. And now for the ending of the story…
The boy can’t get over how cool it is that the floor is like one solid piece through the whole downstairs. The girl appreciates that no matter how much her family lives on this floor it never looks dirty. She gets to vacuum it (which she loves) and never really needs to mop (which she loves even more). The kids and the dog are used to it now and don’t really notice it anymore which is as it should be. The boy delivered on his promise: the floor is done with two weeks to spare. The girl already has plans for the next project to beautify the house…re-finishing the kitchen cupboards and drawers. The electric sander becoming her second favorite device (right behind her vacuum cleaner) might have something to do with it.