October 22, 2015

Tore Up From The Floor Up

Slowly and surely we are making progress here at the new Gummerman house!! We had the original wood floors refinished right before we moved in with a custom stain color I mixed up after trying a few color combos. The new darker stain has a grey undertone to it and I think it does a great job of modernizing the overall feel of the house. Most of the original flooring is hardwood, which we love, but the kitchen and den had the weirdest mix of tile and shag carpet that I’ve ever seen so that was at the top of our to-do list once we got settled in.

I was actually dreaming about doing a really light colored floor in the kitchen/den area to keep it really bright, but after months of searching and bringing home a million different samples, I still could’t find the right color in a wood option that we could afford. Finally, we decided to match the wood in the rest of the house and replace the tile and carpet with new red oak hardwood. I tried out a few light stains on the new wood just to see if there were any I liked, but they weren’t opaque enough and mixing weirdly with the reddish tones in the oak so I couldn’t quite get the look I was going for. Eventually we decided to stain the flooring darker to match the rest of the house since we knew we already liked that color on red oak. It’s been a really long process, but the end is finally in sight!! This is the tile and carpet arrangement that we had when we moved in a few months ago. So weird right? Why is it shaped that way?? Once they tore up the carpet and tile, they had to also remove the 1960’s laminate that was originally underneath. Man, if you have never smelled the dust from 60’s laminate, it is the worst! Talk about toxic smelling….I was airing out the house for days.We ran into a snag with only having MDF board on top of the subfloor and had to replace the MDF with plywood instead before installing the new wood (I guess you can only put tile or laminate on top of MDF). Unfortunately, the plywood had to dry to the same humidity level as the wood before being installed, so I had this lovely floor you see above for two weeks before it was dry enough to install the flooring. Definitely had to wear shoes in the house those weeks—it was splinter city up in here!
Finally they put the new flooring in, but then I had to wait 3 weeks for the floors to settle and shift before they got a final sanding and were ready to be stained. Still on high splinter alert too for those weeks! The flooring guys said the oak splinters would really hurt so I was extra careful. The floors were actually just stained today but need a few coats of polyurethane before I can walk on the floors (fingers crossed!) in a few days from now. They look so good!

Until then, it’s just me hanging out in our front room with all the extra furniture from the den crowded in around me. Well, just me, the cats, and the mini fridge I got to get me through the week since my regular fridge is in our hallway flat against the wall and I can’t get to any of my chocolate. You know, the Stevia chocolate that I can only get from Whole Foods 30 minutes away?? I miss that chocolate.

Anyways, in case you were counting, that’s a total of 6 weeks of no floor or splinter floor and moving all my furniture back and forth between rooms, so I really can’t wait for it to be done. Also, it is a coincidence that they started demoing the floor only days after Todd left for their fall tour and will be done two days before he comes back??? He skipped all the work and inconvenience. Lucky dog.

It’s the last lap of the race. I can see the finish line!! Someone carry me across!!!!

xo. Laura

7 thoughts on “Tore Up From The Floor Up

  1. Rachel

    You’re almost done, and it’s going to look great! It’s really hard to have your whole kitchen torn up, and I’m sure you just want to be totally DONE at this point. Oh man, I sympathize. We painted the cabinets in our kitchen, then tore out the old flooring and redid the floors last week. There was vinyl, on top of linoleum, on top of old fir wood floors that we had restored. Ours didn’t smell bad when it was sanded off as far as I know. Sorry you got unlucky!

    I’m surprised it’s taking so long to finish your floors. All that waiting in between sounds really annoying. Ours only took 5 days, partly because it was wood that was already there, but they estimated it would only take a few days longer to install all new boards (we didn’t know what was beneath the vinyl). There wouldn’t have been any waiting between installation and sanding. Maybe they do things differently out here?

    If you’re like me, when your floors are done that means it’s time to install baseboard moldings. You’ve got yourself a miter saw, right? Come join me in adventures in trim installation. (It’s fiddly and annoying!)

    1. thebandwifeblog Post author

      I do need baseboards! That’s the flooring guys’ job though, I’m just painting them. Man, it sounds like you know what I’m going through though! Hope you love your new improvements!

      Laura 🙂

  2. Kristin B

    Looks like they tried to shape the laminate to accommodate the bar stools and the dining table – thus leaving a weird shape without furniture! The hardwood floors look so much better! How exciting@

  3. Lauren

    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy following your home story! It’s refreshing to see such dramatic improvements being made on what I consider to be a realistic budget and timeframe. Try not to get discouraged! It’s amazing what you’ve been able to accomplish!

    P.S. Looking through the before photos I noticed your fireplace brick went from natural, to dark grey, to white. Did you decide to repaint it white after changing your design plan from light floors to dark?

    1. thebandwifeblog Post author

      Yep! You got it Lauren! That’s exactly why I repainted the fireplace. Good eye!!

      Laura 🙂


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