This is one of those long overdue projects that just had to get done. Earlier this year my husband Don and I purchased hardwood flooring for my sewing studio and we loved it so much that we decided to purchase more of the same flooring for the living room. Both rooms are on the ground floor of the house and they both had some very dated carpeting.
My husband successfully did the studio floor; but between time and the fear of not doing the job just right, we did not want to do the living room ourselves. We were also waiting for our little one to get a little older and to do his worst to the carpeting. The wood was sitting in our kitchen at one period in time and was stored in our front hall closet for most of the year. Our friend James is a professional carpenter and he offered to do the job, and this past week we finally found the time to get it done.
To make the process more manageable, my husband removed the carpet and underlay in sections. I have to say, it was actually very scary to see under the carpet when it was lifted. As a result, I am seriously thinking of putting hardwood on the second floor as well (we will see how that goes).
My husband and I removed the carpet tack strips and underlay staples, followed by the baseboards. We are going to reuse the baseboards, so we were very carful when we removed them and they were numbered with a pencil to remember were they belong. With the sub floor prepped and cleaned we were excited to get things started.
We chose a 3/4 inch x 3 1/4 inch solid white oak in a beautiful toffee colour. It was a great deal from Home Depot and was one of their "special buy" items. This meant that we had to do a bit of hunting between stores to find the amount of wood we needed. We had to travel to an out of town store to pick up a majority of the boxes, as they were not willing to transfer them to the store that was closest to us. The price of the wood and how stunning it looks makes the hassle well worth it in the end. We even have some wood to spare that we are thinking of using in the home office.
The most time consuming part of the job was cutting the pieces to fit the curves in the room; however, our friend James did an amazing job.
It was difficult to match our oak staircase, so the floors are a bit darker; however, I think it works well together and is a wonderful change from the carpet. With the floor freshly finished, it is time to put our baseboards back on and to work on other elements of the room. We have a beautiful wool rug that we purchased from HomeSense to add to the room, and there will be several other exciting changes.
- Buy a little more flooring than what you think you will need
- Clear the room as much as possible
- Remove old carpeting or flooring down to the bare sub floor
- Remove any staples from the carpet underlay and hammer down any upraised nails on the sub floor
- Check the condition of your sub floor and address any problems
- Clean things up with a broom and/or shop-vac
- Note the direction of your joists under the sub floor and install the flooring perpendicular to the joists
- Use a chalk line to ensure that your first row is completely straight
- Wear hearing and eye protection
- Consider having a professional do the job
Hardwood Flooring Reference:
- White Oak solid hardwood flooring - Toffee Colour - 3/4 Inch x 3 1/4 Inch random length. Home Depot (similar product), approx. $3.15 per sq. ft.