Saturday, May 9, 2015

Top 10 Favorite Reno's - #8 Hardwood floors

It's hard to beat the timelessness of hardwood floors. No matter what shape they're in, a little TLC can go a long way for beautiful long lasting floors. I was super fortunate to have the classic red oak hardwoods at Mulberry Forest. It's one of the reasons I bought the house - despite all of it's flaws it had great bones, hardwoods being one of them. Years of neglect had left the flooring dull and covered in scratches, even stains in certain areas - but nothing that couldn't be repaired. I contracted a local hardwood re-finisher to do the work (power tools don't scare me, floor sanders do). I removed the trim to prep the floors, giving him a clean slate to work with. Just sanding alone livened the floors up instantly - I call this phase naked floors. I was going for a dark look so before sealing the floors I tested three stains, choosing a rich color that wouldn't be too dark or too red and also asked for two layers of top coat/sealant. The end result was beautiful. Talk about instant impact. With the exception of the kitchen and bathroom the whole house was transformed in a matter of two days. Fast forward two years and the addition of my sweet but ginormous, playful, clumsy English Mastiff Sweet Lucy - they floors were still in mint condition. For $2.85 a square foot this project transformed the entire home and was an investment I saw a HUGE return on when I sold.

Naked floors.

When touring my next house, 10th and Wash, I hoped and prayed for hardwoods under the carpets - not so lucky. When I created my list of to-do's, hardwoods were a must considering this house was 145 years old. Unfortunately given the massive project in the kitchen, installing solid hardwoods was not in my budget. It was important that the hardwoods help to create an increased sense of space within this small house, so after tearing down the wall between the kitchen and living room, I needed wider plank hardwoods going the length of the house including the hallway. Thus creating a seamless transition from the dining to the living to the kitchen. I settled on the Distressed Kinsley Hickory 4 3/4" wide floating floor. Admittedly I couldn't get the name out of my head, my first niece is Kinsleigh so it had to be - these planks just had so much character, just like her! The color, varied wood grain and hand scrape marks made it feel like the perfect balance between a house built in 1869 and a modern 2014 home. AND I got to use my brand new Kobalt Compound Miter Saw. Win. While the floors are floating, I ended up gluing each plank and nailing every third row to ensure these would last a long time. The hardwoods were the icing on the cake after updating the house and creating the open concept floor plan - they tied it all together.

Before the dining room was used as a living room. It made more sense to swap the living in dining to create an open concept floor plan. 

On our most recent remodel project, the kitchen at the Lakehouse, I suggested to Tommy Thompson that we re-finish the hardwoods in the dining room at the same time. Not wanting to add on to the budget we initially said no, however after seeing the kitchen looking so awesome, we couldn't help but re-do the floors. Not to mention it made sense since the house was already in re-model mode, just knock it out. So we did. Our fabulous contractor brought in his hardwood team and in one day, they sanded it, repaired an area that previously held a doorway and stained and sealed it with a water based sealant to keep the fumes down. We added the same tall trim with no reveal as we used on 10th and Wash to give the feel of taller walls, painting these bright white to contract the deep color of the floors. A minor inconvenience to clear the room of furniture and stay out of the house for a day in trade for beautiful long lasting hardwood floors that will hold up to our family for years to come.

Tommy Thompson and Sweet Lucy taking advantage of the large open room to wrestle. 

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