Broken record, yo. First, I told you how the hallway looked incredible. And then the kid’s rooms were brightened and beautiful. The dining room was transformed. And now, as if by some surprise to all of us, OMG, the maple hardwoods have made our living room look like it never has before thanks to a glorious light reflection. It’s perfecto. So awesome. Basically, sawsome.
This is how far we got before I had the baby – the last row still needs to be surface nailed, and there’s some trim work to complete, but we’re 99% of the way there. In four days (Monday 11/4 -Thursday 11/7), we worked feverishly to get the living room as wrapped as possible, knowing full well that when in the company of a newborn, it would be a little harder to rage with the pneumatic nailer and chop saw, and harder for us to able to work in tandem to keep the project moving along at a good speed. By this point in the whole flooring installation project–we’re a month in–we were both feeling more adept in the art of racking and installing the floorboards, so even though it took four days to almost complete our nearly 375 sq. ft. space with me racking and Pete nailing, it felt like it went pretty quick, and certainly with less cursing than some of the other rooms.
We didn’t clear the room this time when working on the project; it was simply large enough for us to shift the furniture from one side to the other as we worked.
The decision to work on the living room before the bedroom was strategic. Because we knew (or, because I insisted) that the living room be predominantly “select” in appearance, I had to sort through another 15 boxes of boards to get the blonde not-overly-striated wood and separate out the ones that weren’t as flawless. There were a lot of darker, more “natural” boards already in our opened inventory, and I continued to add to this supply, labeling the whole batch for “bedroom use only,” where we already had decided that the blonde “select” consistency would be less important beneath large area rugs. We used more colored boards in the kid’s rooms and actually think the natural appearance looks good, just not right for the living room which meets the dining room and hallway which are both already installed very “select-ively.” Bedroom stash organization is what I finished up the day that we went into the hospital, and it’s not all shown below, but probably enough to complete about 1/3 of our large master bedroom.
I still haven’t written up a post outlining how we’ve been installing the stairs, because trying to explain a process that’s entirely being figured out on the fly doesn’t make me feel especially confident, and, well, also because the stairs aren’t finished yet. In flooring the upper landing and the sunken living room however, the risers for these stairs had to be installed using some 1×6″ prefinished boards that we bought at The Home Depot. As of yesterday, the stairs look like this, obviously absent of the step’s bullnose and floor, wood filler and final coat of white paint, but still demonstrating how great the top step finished:
It’s nothing short of a small miracle that the floorboards in the sunken space align perfectly with the boards that run through the rest of the house, appearing as a continual line (check back at the first picture in the post to see what I mean). And it’s nothing short of entirely gratifying to see the living room free of carpet, even if the dining room table is still poised on end in the entryway until we get our bearings. What isn’t entirely apparent by these photos is the amount of work that went into customizing the end of every course to fit precisely with the stonework on the planter, and on the entire wall with the fireplace and hearth. It may have slowed us down a lot to make these cuts and use the Dremel and sandpaper to customize the fit of each board–we suspect that if we hired professional installers they wouldn’t have dedicated as much time to the job and may have just slapped on some quarter-round to make it look finished–but our approach looks really nice, like the stone and hardwoods have always been together.
Pete has lofty goals to clear the master bedroom and begin removing the carpet and underlying oak this week – the “quiet” work involved with refinishing the floor. Maybe this will actually be done before the holidays?