Well, they are DONE! The floors are down, sanded and stained. It took the guys yesterday and today to get the quarter round down and painted, and then the furniture back in – so I’ve been smiling and fluffing and giddy all evening. ;)
The house is still (mostly) a mess – but I’ve been trying to get the layer of dust out of a couple rooms to show you the results!
I mentioned before that we went with hardwoods finished on site instead of prefinished. (You can go here to see how we came to that decision.) Remember the dark prefinished sample I fell in love with?:
Well, here’s how ours turned out (same spot):
Yes. I went dark. Not crazy dark. Just dark. er. ish.
The stain color is from Minwax and it’s called Jacobean:
Originally we were going with a walnut, but then the flooring guy said the Jacobean was just a tad deeper and more brown. Because our laminate had a reddish tone that I wasn’t crazy about anymore, I wanted to go as brown as possible.
I know many of you warned about the dark floors showing everything, and believe me I get you. Our laminate floors weren’t super dark, but dark enough. Every single crumb and waft of cat hair showed, so I’m used to it.
What always bugged me more about our laminate was how shiny they were – it looked GREAT when they were clean, but as soon as someone walked across them with bare feet, they were toast.
The crumbs I can deal with – it was the footprints and smudges that drove me batty! I wanted dark floors, so I knew just what to do to keep the floors from showing everything. I talked to Floor Guy, and we went with a satin polyurethane instead of a gloss:
And it worked like a CHARM!! It’s crazy awesome – you can’t see anything on these floors!
I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!
Really. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me after trying to keep that blasted laminate clean. ;)
It was pouring rain today, so the guys were in and out over and over to bring in the furniture – with wet boots. (They took great care to cover their shoes up till then – there was no way around it when they brought in furniture.) Two guys with wet shoes walked through that spot up there in the pic at least five times, and that’s how it looks. I didn’t even wipe it down.
I'M SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A few of you asked about the baseboards during installation, and we did not remove them. The flooring was placed right up against them and then the quarter round covered any gaps:
I know some don’t use quarter round, but in order to do that you’d have to take up all of the baseboards, then reinstall them afterwards.
Um...I had enough of a mess on my hands. ;) I like both looks, with or without the quarter round. But I have to say -- when they installed and painted ours, they made the already awesome floors look stunning. It’s the whole contrast thing for me I’m sure. :)
And many of you were passionate about the quarter round matching the baseboards – I SO agree! I didn’t think of that when our laminate was installed and it matched the floors. It made our already wimpy baseboards look even smaller. I’m SO thrilled to have all white!
I love how the boards each have their own natural characteristics. It looks SO LOVELY. I love this board with the little worm holes:
Each piece stained so differently and it gives our house so much character. Some boards are light, some are dark. Some are super smooth, some have some texture. I am SO thrilled with how it turned out. Beyond thrilled. Ecstatic. :)
So how about some before and afters?!
Here’s the living room before:
And now, with the floors down:
Of course it was raining and cloudy and perfectly awful picture-taking weather today, so my pictures aren’t great. It was hard to get a decent shot of everything.
The transformation in the family room and kitchen isn’t as dramatic, because the laminate was down before:
But you can see all the character in the floors now:
The laminate used to stop by our basement steps, and now that everything is hardwood, it makes our main level feet HUGE:
It’s so funny – we feel like we have a brand new house, but it also feels like it’s been like this forever. I don’t even remember the carpet and laminate, already. Well, I do…but the cherry and animal and Christmas tree stains on the carpet and the dirty laminate are oh so easy to put out of my mind. :)
The change has so many new projects running through my head now too – it’s like my mojo was given a jolt! I’ve already completed a few (small) projects and have a few (HUGE) projects in mind.
Now I hope to get some Halloween decor up (the Bub has been SO patient) and then get our house fallified as well. I’ve been holding out on any decor because of this process. I’ll show you more of the floors and my latest projects soon – hopefully with better light!
Thanks for coming along with us during this project!! Everyone told me and I will say it – (now) I don’t mind at all that the old fridge pooped out on us and leaked everywhere. :) NOW I can say that. Seven weeks later. ;)