I must admit, as excited as I was to replace the old flooring, the linoleum in the kitchen, and wall to wall carpeting in the bedrooms, I was dreading the actual process. What was going to be a 2 week project turned out to take almost a month. My husband who works bi-coastally (is that a word?), decided it would be best if he stayed back on the East Coast during the process. As much as I would have loved to have joined him, I thought someone should be here in case any problems arose. And of course, there were complications aplenty.
Things started well enough. I had emptied all of the closets and moved the small stuff in preparation for the demo and installation. Luckily, we have a bedroom and office with cement floors which we chose to keep, so I decided I would move into that bedroom for the duration.
Two young guys came the next day and moved out all of the furniture. Most of it went into the garage, the oven and the kitchen island went out on the patio covered in plastic, and the remaining furniture and the refrigerator went into the office. I figured it would kind of be like camping. At least I had a fridge and a bathroom! What could go wrong?
The house was built in the fifties and renovated in 2000. It was built on a slab, so the engineered hardwood floors would have to be floating….not glued or nailed. When the old floors were demoed, we found water and moisture underneath. Definitely not good. We had leak professionals come in and they found nothing. Also not good. No one could figure out where the water had come from. Our contractor thought it may have been condensation that had been trapped. The good news was that there was no leak. The bad news was that the cement slab had to completely dry out before we could proceed with the floors. Even with our low humidity climate and three fans blowing around the clock, it took a week for it to dry out.
Finally, the day arrived for the flooring to start being installed. I knew from experience that it would (hopefully) go pretty quickly. I left to run a few errands, excited to see the progress upon return. Instead, I was greeted by floorboards riddled with gigantic knots. Uh oh. These didn’t look like the sample floors I had seen. It turned out that it was a bad batch of flooring and would take weeks to reorder new ones. Ugh! The floor guys and I ended up going through every box of flooring, weeding out the really bad ones. While more flooring eventually had to be ordered, we were able to salvage enough to get started. Needless to say the flooring company never ordered flooring from that distributor again. Meanwhile, I had decided midway through this whole experience that it would make sense to paint the living room. After all, all of the the furniture was out of the way. Oh, and while we were at it, why not paint the kitchen cabinets too?
It was a long and painful process (kind of like childbirth) but (also like childbirth) the pain was well worth it. Those grueling 30 days are now forgotten the moment I step onto those beautiful wooden floors in my bare feet and everything feels new and fresh. Was it worth it? Yes. Would I do it again? Certainly not any time soon…