My wife and I decided that since we were going to be empty nesters this fall, we would take the opportunity to redo the flooring in the main level of the home. We started the project in the latter part of February finally finishing it up in the late part of May. My wife is a nurse and ended up being called to another facility for several weeks which slowed up our progress considerably.
Originally the living room and dining room were covered in a Berber carpet and the kitchen and foyer were tiled in ceramic. After many hours of chipping, sweeping and swearing we removed all of the old ceramic tile.
A few hundred more hours (or so it seemed) we managed to pull the twelve bazillion staples out that were holding the carpet pad in place. (The old carpeting has found a new home at my older son’s college dwelling, where he and seven roommates now enjoy a beautifully carpeted living room!)
Finally we were able to start the installation of the actual hardwood flooring. Now I’ve done laminate flooring before. We did an area in our game room that took just over a weekend. Let me tell you, 3” strips of hardwood flooring take a bit longer.
After installing about 50 rows, we discovered a flaw in one of the boards we had installed 13 rows earlier. Guess what? The boards are tongue and grooved together, so we had to remove 13 rows to replace that single piece. That set us back almost two days. I’m sure glad we decided to staple the flooring down instead of gluing like we had originally intended.
Several weekends later and several uninstalls and reinstalls and we finally reached the other end of the room. By the way, the main area of our home is 28 by 28. That is a lot of 3” rows!
The original sub flooring in the foyer and kitchen was a bit rough and uneven. I decided to put a 1/4” layer of OSB down to make the installation of the new stick on tiles easier. We got a bit of grief from some folks that hadn’t seen the new tiles right away. They couldn’t understand why we would replace perfectly good ceramic with a “stickie tile” from one of the local BORGs. After nine years of use, we were not happy with the cold hard tile which constantly seemed to be getting chipped or cracked every time you dropped something. Once the folks saw the new flooring, we had a hard time convincing them is wasn’t travertine!
I had a bit of a problem with some of the tiles not sticking well to the new OSB underlayment in the foyer, so when it came time to do the kitchen, we primed the entire floor first. Problem solved!
We found the entire project to be quite rewarding. We’ve received numerous “oohs and ahhs” and the new flooring is holding up really well. Here are a couple of shots to show the final results. Hope you enjoy.
-- Hard work spotlights the character of people; some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all!