Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Project House Update: The Floor is Lava

If you've ever given my yearly list of projects a detailed look, you would notice that one of the jobs for almost every room in our house is 'new floors'.

Few people believe me when I talk about how bad the floors are if they haven't seen them. When we moved in, the ENTIRE house was carpeted (minus some bad tile in the entryway and some bad pergo in the breakfast nook). Original to the house, 1983 carpet.

It was in the kitchen. It was in the bathrooms. It had a tile border around the edge so that nothing ever sat level. It was thread-bare at parts so the cats could pull at strings in it.

It's been on the list for quite a while mainly because Dan and I couldn't agree. We both agreed it was terrible, but we couldn't agree with what to replace it with and the timeline to replace it.

Our house has a very craftsman feel. It got a gorgeous wood ceiling and we've leaned vintage with a lot of our design choices. Because we live in the Southwest, it's very typical for houses to be almost completely tiled, or even stained concrete. Those are nice looks, but not for us and our house.

I've always liked the idea of wood, but it worried Dan. Neither of us had ever lived in a house with it, so we didn't know how difficult it would be to keep it nice. As a compromise, he was on the 'wood tile' bandwagon.

No offense to anyone that has wood tile, but it's not for me. Maybe the technology will get there someday, but there's not enough variety in the tiles to seem natural and the grout lines are too thick and noticeable.

And that's where we were. Dan fully committed to wood tile and me fully against it. And we stayed there for many years. I think he thought eventually I would come around or the tiles would become better looking. But the opposite happened. I got him looking at engineered woods and bamboos and he came around to my side of things. We just had one problem: the kitchen.

Our kitchen is very functional, but it's also very dated. The plan has always been to completely gut it at some point in the future. And part of that gutting would be removing all the cabinets and installing new floors under them. Dan didn't want to rip out the old carpet, install new floors, and then find out when we redo the kitchen that we can't get any more of the material to install under the cabinets.

Once the idea of new floors was fully seeded in my brain, I came up with a solution. If we were going to redo the floors in the rest of the house, it would only increase the cost by about $500 to have them install the wood in the kitchen as well. Now, that's not chump change, but I would pay that to be done with carpet. And, in the future when we redo the kitchen, if we find out that wood in the kitchen was a bad idea, we can redo it again. I just needed that carpet gone!

And my plan worked! He was on board! It was full steam ahead on new floors! We looked for a few weeks at the big box stores and couldn't find that perfect solution. It wasn't until we tried a store that just specializes in floors that we found our perfect match! It's a lovely reddish wood that matches the wood in our ceiling. It's got a distressed look so any damage we do should be hidden. And it comes in a variety of widths for a more organic feel.

So, over Fourth of July weekend, we pulled the trigger. We bought enough wood floors to be a small car. The euphoria was amazing...for about an hour. That was until we realized all we needed to get done before the floors could be installed. The only way I could keep sane was to make a flow-chart (nerd alert) to track it.

The posts for the next couple of weeks, if not months, will be going into these things more, but right now, it's full panic mode. We've got less than three weeks until floors are installed and things are way out of control. The results are going to be amazing, though!

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