Hardwood Floors – Week 1 & 2

Pinch me! We’ve officially started prepping for our flooring installation. Just a quick reminder, we are laying wood floors throughout our entire first floor. Since this is our first time installing hardwood floor, we are taking it slow and going room-by-room.

We decided to start with our Living and Dining Rooms. They are attached and both rooms can be temporarily emptied while we complete the project. We are only working on this project during the weekends–so our weekly progress will probably equate to a few days of work per week.

Step 1: Remove all Furniture

We move the furniture from these two rooms to other places in the house. I had most of it worked out in my head, and just hoped that everything would actually fit. It did work out–although the house is looking very crazy. Like you might start worrying if this is the start of a hoarder’s house. The Family room is packed full of furniture. Every wall and corner is filled. But the living and dining rooms are emptied!

We moved the dining room table to the eat in kitchen area of the house. Even with the leaf out of the table, it’s much too large. But it works for now.

Step 2: Remove Baseboards

We removed the baseboards in both rooms by using a hammer and this mini set of crow bars. We are replacing the baseboards with taller versions, so we prepared these to be disposed (removed nails and cut into smaller pieces to fit in the garbage can). However, if you plan on reusing your baseboards, I’d recommend labeling them so you know which wall they belong on.

We also removed the chair railing, because we have plans to install board and batten in the dining room (more about that below).

Step 3: Remove Carpet and Padding

We cut the carpet between the living and dining room with a razor blade, so that we would have a small pieces to work with. Then we just stated in a corner and pulled it up. The Carpet will easily detach from the tacks and you can roll it up. Carpet is surprisingly heavy, so you’ll need to make sure you can carry it and dispose of it. The padding is light and easily comes up. However, you may have some carpet padding that remains because of the staples.

Next, you’ll need to remove the carpet tack strips and the staples from the floor. Removing the staples is pretty straight forward, just use plyers (I usually have a needle nose and regular pair) and pull them straight up.

Step 4: Paint Trim

We plan on painting all the trim white. I like the wood trim but it’s too orange and feels too 90’s. White feels classic and can easily painted another color if needed.

To paint the trim, we used a deglosser (we used this one), Ultra Pure White Behr paint, and my favorite paint brush. To prep the trim for painting, first wipe everything clean. Here is my secret–I love using baby wipes for this. They don’t leave behind any residue or lint.

To apply the deglosser (or “liquid sandpaper”), soak a lint-free rag in the solution and rub onto the surface in a circular motion. Occasionally refold the rag to prevent any spread of dirt/dust that you may have picked up along the way (cleaning prior to this will help prevent this). After the deglosser has dried, I wiped the surface again with a baby wipe and I was ready to paint. (QUICK NOTE: If you do not want to use a deglosser, you can use a special “gripper” primer. The one I used for painting B’s desk the second time is recommended. I did not want to use it because it’s extremely stinky.)

I knew I was going to paint the room, so I did not worry about being precise when painting the trim next to walls. However, when painting the window trim, I took it slow and steady. You do not need to use painters tape if you have a steady hand and are patient with the short handled 2 inch angled brush. I have tried all the gimmicky stuff for painting trim, but I have found just being patient and taking it slow usually works best.

The trim needed 4 coats, oye! But my gluts are feeling good guys. All those squats really paid off!

Step 5: Project Scope Creep

To be honest, this happened right after step 1. Jer and I were discussing the project to make sure we we’re both on the same page. Jer wanted to install the board and batten in the dining room prior to installing the hardwood floors. I was skeptical and had my reservations about doing this. But we continue to talked and he convinced me that installing it before the floors would prevent unnecessary damage to the floors. I agreed….so now we are installing board and batten.

The model of our board and batten in the dining room.

The board and batten deserves a post of it own. It will be on all four walls of the dining room. While designing it, we struggled with how to space the stiles. I wanted everything to look unified. After a couple of iterations, we finally landed on one design that made sense. We’ll do a separate post on the design/construction.

Step 6: Paint the Walls

After the trim was finished, we painted the walls. I’ve been collecting paint samples for 3 years and I had already decided on the color I wanted. It’s Asiago by Valspare. I am really liking the Infinity HGTV Sherwin Williams paint at Lowes, so we color matched Asiago in that paint brand (we purchased the satin finish).

This weekend we’ll start installing the board and batten. I’m going to cross my fingers that we did the math correctly and it all works out!

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