Thursday, October 11, 2012

Floors and stuff!


OH WE HAVE FLOORS.

And lights.  Ya'll.


Right now I'm live from The Mattress Under the Windows, since our bunks are disassembled and parked in the garage at the new house.  Knox is in his prime slumbering position, with his little hand right under my collar bone.  Not sure when he'll outgrow this, but I'm hoping it's sometime before he leaves for college.  Or prior, just to keep things uncreepy.  Stinker.


 Did you know that installing hardwood flooring is potentially more painful and miserable than giving birth?  Like childbirth, you hurt afterwards in places never before mentioned.  Possible you were never sure that part existed until the big event.  Same with this.  Five glorious days of labor.  But once it's over, it's over, and you forget all about how much it took to get through that final push.  Hooray for you!  I mean, me! 

Saturday morn Nick and our neighbor from Eaton St. installed recessed lighting in our very very very very very very dim living room.  Major and vast improvement!

Nick's mom took the kiddos overnight Saturday, awesome!  We got a ton done but still didn't wrap it up until Wednesday evening.  I think we put in approx. 900 square feet.  We've never done hardwoods before, so we learned lots and I would absolutely 100% hire someone to do it next time.  Well not really because I will never be able to afford it.  After wrapping up the upstairs, I got busy checking my bank account to see if I could pay someone to do the bottom floor.  Took several minutes to come to terms with the fact that nobody in this world would do it for $136.44.

This is our bedroom before/after. 

the final board upstairs!  Can we hire someone yet?

We worked on it all night Saturday, then all day Sunday and Monday. Now we were learning, and figuring out our best and most efficient method, but once we got going we did all right.  Plus we had our kiddos around a couple of the days, but we kept them busy:
Knox was catching hornets with his pliers.  Thanks, bud!
Roo was drawing on the boards and posing :)
 The biggest challenge was all the rifling through the boards to pick the best ones to install.  Now I'm not sure if I mentioned that we try to do everything within a super modest cash budget.  Did I?  Well, the hardwoods I found that fit the bill cost a MERE $.96 per SQUARE FOOT!  Schwinnnng!  I found them when we first went under contract on our sweet little house.  I figured I had better have an affordable plan if I was going to talk Nick into actually going through with our little Property O Potential.  I wanted rustic-looking, wide-planked, and REAL wood floors.  I found these at Lumber Liquidators online, and when we went in to check them out in person we fell in lubba-dub-dub.

 These got mixed and genuine reviews online.  This lumber was utility grade- all the cast-offs from the mill that might have missing tongues/grooves, saw burns (YES!!), burls (YEEEESSSSSS!!) and big ol' knot holes in it.  PERFECT, I'll take 900 sf. and my darling and able-bodied husband would be delighted to pick them up in three separate loads.  Each bundle has a mix of red and white oak, so some of the boards are super dark, knotty, super white, or red.  Most of the boards are short- we had only maybe 10% that were really long but we were okay with that because LOOK AT IT!! :

Utility grade 5" oak flooring from Lumber Liquidators... freshly installed, unfinished at this point.  Love the colors!!
 Buying this stuff, you have to be prepared for a lot of waste.  The dudes at the store say about 10%, but I think we had more than that.  Tulah and I organized all the extras so I can make some sweet table tops down the road.  See how much waste there was?  This was from basically just the living room.
All those nice rare, long boards on the left were too narrow or missing grooves, so bummed!  Until I put them to other good use!!  This was the waste pile, from installing appx 400-500 sf of usable planks.
Nickface was adamant about having our favorite floor guys, Brian and Victor, come to stain and poly the floors.  I personally wanted to experiment with other dyes or stains, after seeing my momsie post this on pinterest: http://www.moneypit.com/article/natural-non-toxic-wood-stain-coffee-berries-and-more
Seriously.  Can't you just picture some penny-vinegar stain streaking blue along some random boards, and coffee on the others?  I'm pretty sure my new hardwoods like coffee just as much as I do.   But I did not win him over in any way, he just wanted it DONE and done right.  And fast!!  To heck with the environment, he says!  So I lost.  I can admit defeat.  I can also probably still try to have a big fat say in how they turn out, Mr. GinnBoree.  You'll see.  And I'm sure the floor guys will love all of my creative input on how they finish them up.  Sorry, guys. As my bff  Ashleigh just told me, I would be a nightmare to work with, in the best possible way of course!

They came over today to fill and sand them.  Usually they sand quite a depth off, like they did here at our yellow house.  But I didn't want them super smoothed down, I want my socks to snag once in a while, you know?  I want grooves!  Knot holes!  I WANT SPLINTERS, OKAY?!!  Well no to the splinters, actually... But I don't want a super smooth floor.  Just uh, safe, I guess.  We opted for a very light stain color, and only to tone the yellowishness that oak tends to take on.  Also with a thin stain coat, we'll get the wood filler dark enough to look aged and repaired.  Important since there will be a lot of it! 

Right side is poly only, and left side is the stain.  Almost the same color, just less yellow.  Still lots of contrast.  I think in this photo the right side actually looks better, but in person the opposite was true.  The stuff on the right looks richer right now because it's the polyurethane, but once the left gets a coat of gloss it will look just as rich.  Can't wait!


May I also use this opportunity to demonstrate what is under your carpeting in your home?  This was the main walk way after we pulled out the carpeting and pad.  DIRT JUST LIVES UNDER THERE.  Well, some dirt, but probably mostly disintegrating carpet pad.  Yuck!!!  Literally there were little dirt paths under the padding through the main walk ways in the room.

I had a lot to say today!  I spent the whole nap time typing and resizing photos.  I need to get better at this if I am going to keep you up to date!   Knox is now awake, and so is my girl.  They are eating crumbly things in my bed next to me.  Too bad my shop-vac is at the other house.

I am just loving our new home!!  Even though I'm still pulling splinters out of my hands :)  Get 'em before the gangrene does, I guess.

Digging into the AMAZING apples from our tree!!


Roo drew our little family on a board.  Knox helped her by scribbling out half of her drawing.  SUCH a little brother.
Howdy is already pretty comfy on his new floors :)  Love this pup.




























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