There were many, many things that we knew we wanted to change about our home from the moment we first laid eyes on it. That is part of what drew us to this property in the first place-we love putting our stamp on a space and making it our own. One element of our new abode that we immediately agreed was top priority: ripping up all of the wall-to-wall carpeting and replacing it with hardwood flooring.
The dog hair and dander imbedded into almost 2,000 square feet of flooring was not doing our respiratory health any favors. Having a wipeable surface where pollen and dust cannot hide as easily was very appealing. And aesthetically, what is more pleasing to the design-minded eye (other than Johnny Depp obviously) than continuity in flooring across an entire space? With the goal of having the carpeting gone before moving in, we wasted no time in pulling it up the day we closed on our house. We also purchased our hardwoods that day. It was a busy (and expensive!) one. This is my (extremely flattering) ripping-up-carpet-takes-muscle face.
We snapped a few photos of the carpet before pulling it up, which was fairly high-quality and in remarkable condition considering the light color, and posted them in the free section on Craigslist with a cautionary about the dog hair. Within a half-hour span, we had 30 emails with an “I’ll take it!” Every last roll of carpet and carpet pad were picked up the very same day by the sweetest husband-wife duo that were renovating their first home. The dog hair situation was not a problem, they reassured us-they were very happy to take it off of our hands. Felt so good. Yay for not automatically assuming everything has to go to a landfill (which I will admit was my first instinct). One man’s trash is another man’s new flooring, amIright?
Note the sheer chaos in the photos below. We removed all of our kitchen’s lower cabinets in order to run the hardwoods from wall to wall, making our future kitchen layout options boundless. All of the baseboards came up too. And don’t let that innocuous-looking vinyl flooring in our entryway and kitchen fool you. She was a wicked beast to remove. The floor was glued down to a substrate that was glued, nailed and screwed to the subfloor beneath it. With the help of our multi-tool, pry bars and lots of good ol’ fashioned determination, we finally got it up. What we were left with was a bare subfloor ready for some new hardwood flooring!
We had spent the better part of the month prior to our closing date picking out our hardwood flooring. And as I mentioned above, we placed the order for the hardwoods the day we bought our home. But how did we choose which hardwoods were right for us? We had several criteria, most of which came about through trial and error with our first home’s hardwood flooring:
So taking all of our criteria into consideration, we were able to easily eliminate the choices that didn’t fit our vision. We finally landed on 3/4 x 5″ wire-brushed Sugar Mill Hickory from Lumber Liquidators which is also where we purchased our first home’s hardwood flooring. Squint and you can see a couple of dog hairs on the wood. They don’t stand out like a sore thumb yet won’t get lost in a sea of carpet either. You can’t hide from me, now, lint! Muahaha!
I chatted up the saleslady, casually mentioned that we had purchased from them in the past and then politely asked for a discount off their lowest price per square foot. And, as has been our experience more often than not, she made it happen! So definitely try that. Oh and we went with their eco Silent Sound HD underlayment, which dampens sound tremendously. Marco picked up our order from the store a couple weeks after it was placed and, box by heavy freakin’ box, we lugged it into our new house to acclimate for a couple of weeks before starting the marathon task of laying hardwood flooring. Public service announcement: do not skimp the timeframe on this step. Always heed your flooring manufacturer’s recommendation on this one. Your wood MUST have adequate time to swell and shrink in your space before you begin laying it or you will have issues with squeaking and/or big gaps. No es bueno. And so we don’t leave you hanging, here’s a sneaky peak or two of our new floors going in!
We’ll chat later this week about nailing down 2,000 square feet of hardwood flooring with just our four hands (and “help” from a two-year-old…did I mention we’re crazy?) and lived stayed married to tell the tale. Spoiler alert: it was so worth it.