The flooring saga

You may remember, way back in mid August, when the back bedrooms flooded we discovered that the carpets were not just damp but slightly moldy & the trim in one corner was disintegrating & we decided to rip out all the carpet & replace it with wood.

But of course it’s not that easy. The room with the worst damage was the room that flowed into the hall & down the stairs to the kitchen. The room you see when you walk in our house. And how I’d been wanting to replace the boys’ room carpet for years & wasn’t happy to be replacing the carpet in the room that hardly gets used instead. So we decided what the hell, just replace it all?

Being us of course we decided to install it the same weekend Hurricane Irene was supposed to hit.

Because we like a bit of manufactured drama in our lives.

It’s so much safer than actual drama.

Have you ever seen the show on the DIY channel called Renovation Realities? People are shown building decks, redoing kitchens, or like us, putting in all new flooring. I’ve often wondered how that actually works. Do you call up DIY and say “Hey we’re going to do some work on our house. Want to come film us doing it?” and then DIY shows up with a film crew at some point. Or do you get someone you know to film it & send in the footage? The quality is too high for it to be friends but I have to think the logistics of getting a crew out would be challenging.

Unless they only film homeowners within 20 miles of the DIY offices.

DH & I watch this show all the time and while we would love to be on it (hoping for a bit of cash to offset our costs) we both agree we’d make bad viewing.

We don’t argue enough & we never set hard & fast deadlines (which admittedly can be a source of argument).

So, bright & early Saturday morning DH moved the furniture out of the boys’ room & we got to work.


We banged that floor out with alarming speed, both of us using the power tools.



Well, I used the mitre saw. I don’t like the circular saw. The miter saw will only cut my finger off, the circular saw feels like it has a life of it’s own and will take off my leg and half the floor if I don’t have a death grip on it.

From start to finish, no lie, it was about 5 hours, including furniture moving, minus the doorway gap where a trim piece would be needed.


Then we moved on to the hallway, stopping around 4:30pm because we were expecting company.


Do you know who we were expecting?  You are not going to believe this but…


Really! This house was built by our neighbor’s daughter & her husband and the daughter was in town and wanted to come by & see the place. We warned them we were putting in some flooring but said they were welcome to stop by anyway & they said they’d call around 5 and come over.

But sadly they never did.

I wonder if they read this blog and were intimidated by the long list of questions I have for them regarding it’s construction.

Then the rain hit. The hurricane stayed off shore & wasn’t nearly as impressive around here as it was hyped to be.

But it was that impressive closer to the coast where the company DH works for has towers & he spent most of Sunday on the phone directing his minions out to various sites with problems. A couple minions were not answering their phones, so DH ended up on the phone much more than he’d planned. This left me installing wood in the second bedroom


while DH spent all day trying to put in a single piece of trim


After this we discovered we didn’t have enough trim, though we did have two unopened extra boxes of flooring, plus one opened box more than half full. So Tuesday I hauled the extra wood back to Lowes and exchanged it for trim. Then we learned that stair nose trim is not kept in stock and must be special ordered. So we ordered a piece

It came in on a Friday and on Saturday we discovered that the trim is 82 inches long and the stairs are 3 feet and 6 inches long making us 2 inches short of what we needed. We’d need a second piece of stair nose to cover the top of the landing. Stair nose trim only has about a half inch of overhang and due to the concrete slab we have about 2 inches that needs covered. We wanted to put one piece across the front and then one on the top like normal stair nose trim.

I just like saying stair nose trim. Stair. Nose.

We were not able to get to Lowes over the weekend due to various obligations and it was once again a Tuesday before we could make another special order. This time it didn’t come in until the following week.

The concrete needed sanding & holes had to be drilled so it had to wait for the weekend. The weekend came, holes were drilled, trim was installed but the screws stood out like sore thumbs and a special tool was needed to cut little circular pieces of trim out to cover the screws. The special tool was eventually purchased (delay due more to absence and absentmindedness than due to the tool being hard to find) and this weekend the final bits of trim were put in place and the baseboards replaced.

I thought ahead and helpfully marked the trim boards with their location on the back of the boards.

Except this one, which is the second piece on the left side of the hall


This is the spare room


and this is the view from the kitchen of the hall


If you are wondering why we went with dark trim it is because of this


and this


The whole kitchen is a light/reddish wood trimmed with dark wood & we carried that back through the hall & bedrooms.

I like it. The back bedrooms are so much lighter than with the carpet and it is so much easier to clean.

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12 comments to The flooring saga

  • SFD

    Looks great. I can’t believe you did an entire room in five hours… were the kids in another county or something?

  • that looks awesome Stacey… glad you didn’t get hit too hard by the hurricane.

  • Star

    Wow 5 hours that is an awesome job! x

  • It turned out great, Stacy! I know you guys have been working on them forever, but it looks fab! I wish we could redo our whole house. This carpet needs to go away stat!

  • Kat

    Looking great, Stacy!! It’s amazing the DIY you are doing, wish me and hubby could/would do it, but DH is DIY challenged, and with the now with the twins it’s a question of time really… possibly years. LOL.

  • Well, assuming I really have *finally* resolved my problems with leaving comments….

    I have actually followed this saga… but couldn’t comment to say so… The end result looks super-fab and great and wonderful – and really rather awesome! Much more impressive than our hard-floor that we laid in DS’ new bedroom (which developed an irritating small gap, that we could not fix, despite removing and re-laying several pieces over & over… bleah! I think you two make a good team – you’re very good at that stuff!

    Laughed about the couple who build the house and never turned up to visit.. perhaps they buried a body when they laid the concrete under the floors… (maybe not tell that to Havoc or Mayhem… sleepwalking.. no, bad idea eh?)

    Hope the gutters/gulleys now stay clear, so your efforts are not in vain – pity if it was spoiled by more water.

    I’m really so impressed though.. it looks so professional!

    Have a great week.

  • Gorgeous! Want to come do my upstairs now? LOL!
    So sorry you didn’t get to meet with the stoner builders . . . I’m imagining they’re planning to com over someday because they actually buried treasure (or at least a stash) someone in the house.

  • looks fantastic! makes me almost brave enough to suggest to husband that we rip up our grotty carpets… then again, maybe not.

  • We are starting to refinish our kitchen floor this weekend.. sigh…big job but so well needed.. I hope ours looks as good as yours does when we get done!

  • You did a fab job with the floors!
    Alison xx

  • Wow that looks amazing…great job! Now can you come over to my place and do my floors :)