Our goal before moving in the new house, was to knock out the messiest and stinkiest projects. Most of the changes and updates will be cosmetic, and happen over time, but some are just easier (and safer) done while the house is unoccupied.
Because of the whole magazine thing, we needed to stay in our former home after it sold…so that gave us a full month to update the kitchen, and replace the lower level floors. Both of which made a huge difference, but because of the dust and fumes, would have been near-impossible to do if we already lived there. So that was definitely a hidden blessing in the whole ‘ohemgee, we own 2 houses!’ stress-fest.
Of course our rockstar-contractor came through, and had the Kitchen mostly move-in ready a week ago, allowing the floor installers time and space to do their thing. And man did they do it well!
Aren’t they just stunning?! After a lot of shopping around, and educating ourselves on wood floors, we decided on glued-down engineered hardwood. They are real wood (not laminate flooring), but are produced with several layers of hardwood bonded together, so they are less likely to be affected by changes in humidity and temperature. They are also pre-finished, so the installation is fairly quick.
We used Lumber Liquidators for both the materials and installation, and could not be happier with the experience, or the results. The customer service was top-notch, too, which isn’t easy to come by in some of these industries. We had one small issue with the stairs, but they handled it cooly, and promptly made things right.
After trying out countless samples, we decided on this wide plank, distressed hickory, with dark finish. With kids and a dog, the distressed texture will fit better with our lifestyle, and any knicks can be colored with a stain stick, and blend right in. Glueing them down to the slab, as opposed to floating them, makes them feel more solid underfoot, and helps them to walk quieter.
Side note FYI: For rough pricing calculations, estimate another $6/square foot for installation and additional materials.
My camera battery died, and the charger was packed, so I had to snap these with my phone..but you can still see the impact the floors make. We carried them throughout the entire lower level…I’ll show you more soon.
Trim was added to the windows to make them more substancial. I’m not sure if I’ll paint it the color of the cabinets or the moldings. Thoughts?
The black-hole Lazy Susan was converted to deep shelves, and the door will be hinged, and open all the way out.
Oh! And thanks to many of your clever suggestions…we raised the tile on the little sliver of wall by the cabinets, so it matches the level of the tile behind the cooktop. Love it!
Through this renovation, I’ve learned just how important timing is….scheduling contractors, painters, window replacement, carpet removal, floor demo and installation is like a dance…and if you don’t coordinate them in the right sequence, everyone steps on each other’s toes…which ultimately costs you time and money. Same goes for making sure you’re ready with decisions and materials.
I’ve also learned just how much I love managing projects like this! Who needs help with a renovation?? I’m addicted!