What is it about house contractors and picking the absolute worst carpet they can find? I’m sure price had a lot do with it, but come on. We’ve been in our house for 3 1/2 years now, and the carpet has never looked good. It’s never looked bad either, but it’s certainly never looked good. So when Liz suggested we put down new flooring I thought it was a great idea. In addition the carpet, our house was also blessed with what must be one of the most poorly constructed half walls ever installed. Leaning from day one, I wouldn’t trust it to hold my beer. It’s not in your face bad, but when it’s your house and you see it every day, it becomes sort of a glaring problem.
Well this year with our budget in place and some tax money on the way back, Liz and I decided to take the plunge. Only a few months and about 37 flooring samples later, we were ready to go. Lucky for us, my dad is a glutton for punishment and offered a hand. A hand for which I am very grateful as I would have given up, or been glued to the floor by now had he not been there.
Here’s what happened, and what I learned from our weekend flooring adventure. Flooring is hard but doable work for the DIYer, but this particular project is going to throw your life into chaos no matter how well you plan. We thought we’d get ahead of the game and start packing up books, movies, photos, electronics, vases, and other decorations and necessities little by little as the week leading up to the project progressed. This eventually turned into a last minute effort involving both bathtubs being filled to the brim with books (a pretty awesome problem if you ask me), and the purchase of some new containers for storage. The half wall was destroyed mid week and the wall and wiring patched over, I think this was Liz’s favorite part. We were only putting new flooring in the downstairs area of our house, which left room upstairs and in the kitchen for furniture. Friday afternoon was when the real work began. Dad and I moved the final heavier pieces of furniture to their temporary locations and began demo. This is one of the few moments in my life when I’m glad someone took the easy way out. None of the carpet or padding was glued and it came up easily. The hardest part was keeping Hemingway out of the old rolled up carpet.
Saturday morning began the actual flooring. We decided on a stranded bamboo with a glue down application for our little slab townhouse. From here things went smoothly. We measured, we cut, we troweled, and we placed. The only thing that went wrong as that it took a lot longer than expected and our work rolled all the way in to Sunday afternoon, and even in to Monday afternoon if you count installing transition strips and quarter round trim to all the walls.
All in all, it was well worth it. Our home has a totally different feel to it now, one I’m much happier with. Fitz wasn’t quite as happy about the change, he spent the first day or two trying his hardest not to stand on the new floors, but he loves them now, they make toys go a whole lot farther. If you want to make a drastic change to your house, this is a great way to do it, and if you want to have the experience of drinking your morning coffee on your couch, in your kitchen, looking at your turtle, this is a good way to make that happen. Enjoy the photos of the process, and if you look closely you can see that Hemingway was very careful about overseeing our progress each day.