When we were looking for a home, we would talk about all the changes we wanted to make on our first visit to a home, not just to be on the same page about the potential that we saw, but to get a feel for it. what kind of we would need to do in our budget to make these ideas a reality.
Most of the time I would throw up an exhausting list that would make it clear that the house was not that one, but with this house I confidently stated that if we only did one big project here it would be update the floors as that would do everything to transform it completely. While there is still a list of things we want to update about this home, the new floors have delivered that transformation and already make this place feel like brand new – that’s it, we’re done. all the work of the house (not really, but want to !!)
Our search for the right floor was reduced to warm, light, neutral / slanted hardwood floors that would go with any decorating and furniture decisions we would ever make. A thousand samples later, we landed on these wide plank white oak engineered hardwood floors in the Lago Como style from Monarch Plank, which I contacted for a partnership on this project with Finishing Touch Floors. because I was drawn to many options in their modern selection of floors. Loved the size of the 7 ” wide board, the quality and thickness of the samples, and the fact that they had a low gloss finish. It also really helped that their Instagram had a lot of customer photos showing what installed floors look like in real spaces.
Originally I had planned to document and show you the process, but instead I formatted this post to answer the most asked questions I received in my DMs while I shared the installation in stories. Here’s what you wanted to know:
Why did you install new floors?
Let me say, I think the original floors here were beautiful and had great potential, but more than not being my style, there were issues with the condition and other factors that prompted us to consider installing new floors. Finishing them was a very viable option at first, but there were a few things that put us off.
First, our schedule for all the initial pre-move-in work we wanted to do ended up going from 3 weeks to 3 months. We moved in at the end of 3 weeks and then lived through a drywall dust storm the next two months. It was brutal, and another dust storm from refurbishing the floors while we and all of our stuff were in the house is something we never want to experience.
Second, there were imperfections in the original hardwood that the refurbishment wouldn’t have hidden, the kind that ages the house in a way that doesn’t give character but in a way that makes you feel. ask if the installer was at gunpoint while working? What happened?? Sloppy spots like the one above, visible pits in the ground, holes and gaps and other signs of poor condition were going to bother me forever.
There were also three types of floors in the house outside of the kitchen and bathrooms: hardwood, laminate, and carpet (we also found vinyl under the carpet and laminate). Ideally, we wanted uniform flooring throughout the house, so if we wanted to do that …
… Let us then realize the dream of white oak floors with wide planks. Third, this is what we wanted and envisioned for our house forever. We follow our hearts!
How did you choose the floors?
We opted for engineered hardwood for its appearance, durability, lower price and ease of installation compared to solid hardwood, and its potential for reconditioning in the future. The last point was mostly about having the next homeowner have the option to touch up and / or change the color of the floors to whatever they want, which I know you should like the house you are in and do that. that you want without always prioritizing reselling, but still want to be aware of that future with our home improvement decisions.
As for choosing the color, I looked at many great samples from a local flooring dealer. Much like looking at paint samples, it is best to compare at different times of the day in different lighting situations in all the rooms it will be in. Some of you have said that you think our floors are different in the photos and videos I shared in the stories and it’s true! The floors seem to change color depending on the time of day and lighting, including the angle of the light, and the color we ended up choosing was the one we always loved in all of them. the variables we tested.
Example: It’s a corner of our bedroom in the early morning with filtered light. The soils are darker and browner, which I love to see the depth of color these soils have. By the way, these baseboards are 5 inches high and many of you were interested in this detail. Updating the baseboards makes a big difference!
Same floors but in our mid-morning living room with lots of light shining through the sliding doors and the open front door where I am. The floors are almost white here, which I also like. In that same room, they can also appear brown or gray depending on the time of day. Test the soil sample in all your rooms under different lighting conditions and make sure you like it all.
How much do these floors cost?
All of the samples I looked at, including the one we chose, ranged from $ 6.50 to $ 7.50 / square foot. The exact price will vary depending on the flooring dealer, but that should give you a good idea of what to expect for this style and quality.
The installation method will also affect the cost. Glue is more expensive and laborious than stapling or floating, and the best method depends on the subfloor. Everyone we spoke to recommended glue for our home, so we went this route. Side note: happy to report that our floors no longer make big squeaks!
How is the dust when installing the floor? Is the process complicated?
Dust doesn’t seem to be a problem during installation. The installer told me they did a job where they pulled a carpet that was so dirty it filled the house with a cloud of impregnating dust, so I would say if your house was relatively clean before, you shouldn’t have this kind of problem.
With any build there will be some sort of mess with multiple bodies moving in and out of the house, shoes scuffing dirt or glue, scuff marks on walls, doors and doors, fingerprints and stains, this is all just part of it. So while I have shown in stories that the setup was pretty quick and seemed hassle free, the house was still completely shaken up to move all of our stuff and there was a lot of cleaning to do afterwards. With the glue installation in particular, I didn’t expect glue dots to be tracked on all floors. Fortunately, they come off with the right cleanser, but with a fair amount of wiping.
We intentionally didn’t fully unpack after the move because we knew we would be installing floors from the start. Luckily, we were able to move most of our belongings to the garage and the larger items we left out for installers to move, most of them placed in our backyard. Without the large pop-up tent we set up in the yard for our furniture to go under and were prepared with drop cloths and flat sheets to cover them, I would have been much more stressed about the potential sun damage. and the aging of our business for the few days they lived there.
All this to say that it is not a painless process. It’s a pretty big disruption and your house will be in disarray for a while. Of course, the best time to install floors is before you move in, but it won’t ruin your life like drywall dust would if you’ve all moved in.
Don’t these floors require a lot of maintenance?
More than dark colored floors, absolutely. What I couldn’t tell from the large soil sample was the variation of these boards in terms of color, knots, and other natural imperfections. Seeing it now in our home I’m glad these imperfections are there because in addition to the character they add, I can already tell that they will disguise the normal wear and tear of these floors well over time. I would say the character of the wood is a characteristic to consider for light colors if you want to feel less strained about marks and scratches. These floors also have a very low gloss finish, making scuffing much less noticeable than on floors with a brighter finish.
Spills and water should be cleaned up immediately and the recommended cleaner for these floors is Bona. My long dark hair is very visible on this floor (long haired ladies you know our hair is everywhere) and I will be diligent to pick it up as I go but also, I will not dwell on it. We use our Dyson v11 Torque drive as part of dry cleaning floors, which is confirmed to be safe and gentle to use on wood floors. All of our furniture now has felt floor protectors and as always no shoes in the house.
Oh yes, do you remember the master bedroom that became the family room? We can finally move forward with that! We enjoyed the comfort of the rug here, but besides looking a bit shaggy and worn in addition to the stains from the previous owner, I’m just not a fan of this stuff. I much prefer the wood floors here and I think they go well with the ceiling beams that were already there (and which I decided not to change the color after going back and forth over that decision for some time). Time to put a big comfy rug and section here, a sideboard for extra storage on the back wall, and a table / desk for that nook between the closets. Closet doors are 3 panel bifold doors that have been in our garage since we moved in and were perhaps what I was most excited for so we could hide all the things that had piled up in those closets.
The nursery is also underway now that the floors are in place! The nesting season has been both hectic and exciting and we crammed house projects before we soon became unfamiliar with sleeping because of the baby, but these floors were our biggest object and I am so relieved to be. end with that. The nursery will soon be shared on the blog!