So let me tell you what happens when you jubilantly hop off to the Caribbean for Christmas and then proudly announce to the blogsophere that you are indeed enjoying Mai-Tai’s while subjecting people to ugly photos of your bathroom…
You get sick. Really sick. Twice. Karma is a big old …. yeah.
Finally, after 3 weeks I’m feeling mostly better but obviously the New Year did not get off to the start I had hoped, especially here on the old blog. Many, many thanks for the comments you all have left. I am truly touched to hear from all 5 of my faithful readers ;)! So, let’s get this blog updated, shall we?
So, floors. Pretty much essential to occupancy, no? Last I mentioned floors, we were ripping up particle board and laying down plywood so we could have wood floors installed. Done and Done.
Removing that particle board was a huge giant pile of work, let me tell you …and putting in the plywood was no picnic either. There were moments hours when I thought, “Surely we must be insane. Surely carpet would be better. Surely I am going to be nailing/screwing/gluing this plywood down for the rest of my life.” It was tremendously physically exhausting. Pro: able to eat anything and gain zero weight. Con: too tired to actually eat anything enjoyable.
Well, the rest of my life was only about 10 days and the install took about 3 weeks. Was it worth it?
Wait, that’s not a hardwood floor! Gotcha folks who only look at the pictures;)! Actually, I wanted to show you the old entry floor (remember when I broke it up?) so you could better appreciate the photo below (taken from the other end of the entry, but I know all 5 of you are smart enough to figure it out!).
Looks much better, YES?
We put 3 1/4′ wide white oak hardwoods throughout the main level of the house -3 bedrooms, hallway, formal living/dining, entry and den – everywhere but the kitchen and baths.. It was not cheap – easily the biggest part of our remodeling budget for the whole house – but I think they are beautiful. We looked all over for wood floors (not all are created equal!) and finally landed at Ten Oaks Flooring. They make an excellent product, right here in Virginia. I like knowing that our floors are local and raised in a sustainable forest. The floors were site-finished, meaning they were sanded and stained after being laid here in the house. I know there is a ton of pre-finished flooring out there (Lumber Liquidators and Floor Trader spring to mind) but I’d encourage anyone thinking of doing this to get estimates on site-finished flooring as well. Our site finished floor costs $3,000 LESS than the pre-finished flooring from the same company would have cost.
Also, despite how it looks in the pictures, it is all the same wood, all the same stain. The floors change color quite a bit throughout the day, depending on how the light hits them. You can see a bit of color variation from board to board, and I really (much to my own surprise) like that a lot. They are done with a satin poly and are not shiny (the first picture is misleading in that way, the sun is hitting the floor just so) which helps minimize the visibility of dust. I like that a lot too.
I originally meant for the floors to be much darker. I looooove dark wood floors. Something like coffee. Chocolate. Mocha. Somewhere along the way, though, it just didn’t feel right for this house. This lot is very shady, the ceilings are only 8 ft, and we have wide eaves, so while you’ll never catch me saying the house is dark (the horror! I prefer brightness-challenged) I will say we don’t get a lot of direct sunlight. Lightening up seemed like the right thing to do. Sometimes you have to listen to the house. I do wonder from time to time if they would have looked better darker, but that is one question that will have to wait for the next pile of bricks!