Our floors are DONE!!! Ahhh, we are SO excited. As soon as we got the inkling that this was the house for us, we began talking about how we wanted to update the hardwood. We had a style in mind (wide plank, character) but had no idea where to begin. It can be daunting, that's why I want to share how we went about everything and got the exact look we were searching for, in the hopes that we can help someone out there!
We started with a vision.
This was the inspiration for our floors. We thought, why try to explain the look we're going for when Pinterest has the exact images of what we want?! We also knew our budget at the moment only allowed for us to do a couple of rooms, 1 very large family room and the small playroom. We hope to update more of the house in the future!
We called around.
My dad has been doing property management and building for YEARS, so he was the first person we went to for contacts. We chatted with 3 different flooring specialists, sent them our inspiration photo and eventually went with the one who offered us the best price, timeline and seemed to really know what we wanted.
We decided on wide plank (7in) character white oak.
We did the demo ourselves.
And when I say "we", I mean Dan, my dad and brother-in-law haha. This saved us a good amount of money and is a great option if you have the time, tools and know-how.
We decided on details.
Because my dad is so detail-oriented and does everything the right way (even if it takes longer), he pointed out that the baseboards were rug-height, meaning it was placed on the subfloor instead of on the hardwood. It means that the final baseboards were shorter than they should be. This meant we had to decide if we should take off the baseboards and update it or leave it as is. We decided we really wanted to do everything the right way, so we took it all off and will be replacing it!
As you can see above, we also updated the returns (air vents) to be flushed and in the same hardwood. I think it's a really nice little update.
The work began.
The team came in every work day for about 7 days. They laid the floors, glued and nailed them in, sanded, sealed and coated.
My dad, Dan and I checked in every day to make sure the floors were coming along how we wanted and asked LOTS of questions. This is too big and expensive of a job to not check in and question everything. This is a must!
How we decided on a finish.
Because we're going for a very raw, earthy look, we knew right away we didn't want the floors stained. We also knew we wanted the finished product as matte as possible while still providing protection. For our final finish we went with "matte" instead of "satin".
If you want a stain, your flooring company should give you the option to see however many stains you'd like sampled out on the floor, after which they will sand right off.
I would have loved the floors unsealed and completely raw, but it would have been SO difficult to keep in good condition—everything would stain it...and with the way we spill wine around here, that would have cost us a lot of money haha. I was also really pleased with how the finish really popped out all the grain and knots which wasn't so obvious in its raw state.
So, to recap...
1. Know what you want. Search interior design blogs, magazines, pinterest or grab a photo from something you saw on instagram. Whatever you want your final finished floors to look like, grab that pic!
2. Shop around. Call different companies, get recommendations from friends or even through social media. Ask many questions—it's essentially an interview. Send them photos of what you want and ask them how they would do it. Have them send you photos of floors they've done similar. Get prices and timelines.
3. Once you've chosen who to go with, decide if you will do any of the work yourself and discuss that with them. Also, make decisions on details such as floorboards/shoe molding and air returns.
4. Get to work. Check in daily on the progress and don't be afraid to ask questions!!
5. Decide on a finish/stain.
6. Look over the finished product carefully for dried drips, bubbles, glue, scratches or unevenness. Take photos and send to your flooring company so they can come fix it.
Now we're ready to get working on finishing up the two rooms we did the floors in! We will be painting, changing and adding light fixtures and lots more, so stay tuned!