House For Six

New Floors & Working With A Curved Step

Deme Crinion9 Comments
This post is looooong overdue.....because flooring is the one project in our home that is actually finished.   And it happened before Christmas.  Who takes over a month to tell you about the one and only project that has been completed in the past 2 months on her home/DIY/project blog?  Me.

As much as I would like to be tearing through moving boxes and busting out projects like a DIY ninja, I'm more like an overweight ninja with a neon sign flashing "donuts" in front of her (also known as "unpacking in winter")...

I should be unpacking boxes....Wait! It's snowing!  I should sit and drink hot coffee with lots and lots of cream.

The kids are napping, I should paint that wall.....Hmmmm.  That would require me to change my clothes, and being that I'm unwilling to remove even ONE of the 72 layers I'm wearing because it's negative something out, with negative something worse wind chill, I think I will just keep them all on thankyouverymuch.

And so it has gone for Snowmagedon 2014.

But floors!!  They're done and they're fabulous!

This home was almost a twin to our last house in the way of flooring.  As in, there were three different types of carpet, one variety of tile in the entry, another type of flooring in the family room/kitchen and yet another in the basement.  Floor identity crisis.
And clearly, a coat crisis as well.

These pics we're quickly snapped on moving day before I hustled the kids out from underfoot of the movers.

The carpet doesn't look too bad here, but it was in bad shape.  Soiled, stained, and worn.  I wasn't a fan of the curved step either.

Or this lovely curve, with a carpet hospital corner leading into the dining area.  More importantly, kids + food + carpet = no bueno. 

We heavily weighed the decision to tackle the floors right away or wait until later.  The previous owners had a large dog and both of our boys are allergic to pups.  Given Jack's asthma/allergies/skin sensitivies, we decided that if we had the means to do the floors in the worst areas, it would be a worthwhile investment to make up front.  

We needed to address the carpet on the mail level, stairs, and upstairs hallway....possibly the kids' bedroom carpets....and the outdated tile in the entry, half bath and laundry room.  The carpet in the kids' rooms was in much better shape than the main level, so we opted to keep those in place with just a good cleaning.  

We purchased enough flooring on a Black Friday sale (a perk of moving in over Thanksgiving), to replace the living room carpet, tiled areas, and the upstairs hallway.   We took care of the main level in this first round and will tackle those stairs and upstairs hallway later this year.  

The flooring is this TrafficMASTER laminate flooring from Home Depot in Farmstead Hickory.  It's 12mm thick, so it feels really substantial and solid.  It had great reviews online and we're totally satisfied customers when it comes to the color and quality.  (No one paid me to say that).  

Would I have loved real hard wood?  Yes.  Was it way over our budget?  Yes.  Am I happy with a quality yet budget-friendly laminate instead?  Absolutely.  More than happy.  It's completely changed the feel of the house.  And so far it has stood up to the beating that is my children beautifully. 

The other decision was whether to DIY this bad boy or hire out the job.  A friend gave us a great carpenter recommendation who charges a very fair rate (about 1/3 of the cost of going through the store), does exceptional work, and does it fast.   Being that we were in a completely unsettled state having just moved in but not unpacked, we had Dave take on the job for us. Dave was so much faster than us novices and because there was going to be some construction involved to fix those curves, his expertise and efficiency were well worth it. 

We saved some money by avoiding tile demo and going right over the top (I didn't even think that was an option until Dave mentioned it - it won't work in every case, but our tile was level and we were using a floating laminate that didn't require any gluing or nailing.  I would recommend seeking a professional opinion before going forward with that option).  We also ripped up the carpet and purchased/stained all the trim pieces ourselves.  

Unfortunately, I didn't get many pics of this process because we were busy trying to keep 3 curious monkeys away from the nail gun and hammers.   But here's a few in progress shots that we shared via Instagram and Facebook....

entry coat closet...

1/2 bathroom...


 Originally, we hoped to cut back the curves leaving a nice straight line for the hard flooring.  But it was concrete.  So, Dave built out the sides to be flush with the front of the curve. 

 Same with the curved step leading up to the dining area...
 Dave was able to use extra pieces of flooring to cover the sides of the steps.  We just grabbed a few unfinished pieces of L-shaped trim from Lowes, and stained them with two coats of Rustoleum's Wood Stain in Dark Walnut for a pretty close match.

Ironically, we now have yet another brown conundrum on our hands.  As much as those walls are a great neutral, they do have a sort of pink fleshy undertone in person.  We're going for something a little lighter and brighter to break up all that brown, and I'm still on the hunt for a rug or fabric that can help infuse some color into this neutral room.  The front door and armoire will eventually get some paint love to help with that. 

In the end, we're so happy that we used Dave to get this project taken care of when we first moved in.  It would have taken us twenty times as long to do ourselves and Dave is a master at his trade.  He's also an excellent finisher and we couldn't be more pleased with the attention to detail he took in our space. We also learned a lot by watching him work.

Even though the unpacking is slow going and the snow will probably last until May, we are just so thankful to have the gift of a home to make our own.

Has anyone else attempted to change the layout or shape of their floors?  Do you DIY when it comes to flooring or leave it to the pros?

*Linked up at Remodelaholic!

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!