Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that a few weeks ago, Robbie and I undertook our most involved DIY project to date: replacing our flooring. I'm not sure if it's because we're in nesting mode or just the fact that we were getting really tired of the old, dingy beige carpeting (which had badly buckled over time), but we decided that we absolutely had to have new floors throughout the downstairs, stat. We went back and forth between real hardwood and laminate, but in the end, decided that laminate would be a better investment. With a new baby making messes and the fact that good laminate flooring tends to last longer with considerably less upkeep (not to mention a lower cost), it just made sense. After a whole lot of indecisiveness, we ended up choosing a rustic, wide-plank hickory from an eco-friendly collection.
We live in a townhouse (and it's not very big), so the square footage seemed doable price-wise for the downstairs. But we knew that to really save money, we'd still need to do it ourselves. We were very lucky in that a good friend of ours works for a wood flooring company and was able to offer us a deal on pricing on high quality laminate. Thankfully, this same friend offered to help us install it. And thank goodness he did, because it ended up being a much bigger project than we anticipated. (You rock Chris! Thank you a million times!)
The main reason that the project turned nightmarish was the absolutely backwards way that the linoleum tiles in the kitchen and hallways had been put down. It took two straight days of nonstop work for Robbie to pull them up. It was also an interesting experience to have to work around the big pieces of furniture. There just wasn't anywhere for them to go in the meantime, so we just pushed them away from the areas where we worked and pushed them back later. (I need to interject here before I go any further and confess that aside from moving lightweight things around, sweeping, discarding old flooring, and painting baseboards, I didn't contribute much. I tried you guys, I really did. But sitting scrunched up on the floor and constantly getting up and down is harder than it looks when you're an awkward 6.5 months pregnant, which I was at the time.) Fortunately, once the tile and top layer of sub-floor underneath it were finally removed, things started to move more quickly.
We initially got all cocky (oh the naivety) and proclaimed that our new floors would be completely finished in 24 hours. Yeah, that didn't happen. From start to finish, including tearing up all of the old flooring, laying the new flooring, adding in all of the trim, and repainting the baseboards, it took a week. Thankfully Robbie was off the road and able to spend time on it everyday, or we would have lived in a serious construction zone for at least a month.
In the end, installing new flooring was absolutely worth the time and effort involved. Our house looks transformed, and the look is so much more our style than the carpet and tiles that had previously been there. We learned some lessons the hard way, but we both agreed that we'd do it again. We are both very DIY-minded, and although in between swearing and yelling throughout the course of the project we may have repeatedly announced that we should have hired someone to do it for us, we're so glad that we chose to do it ourselves. If you're considering putting in wood or laminate floors and own or can borrow the right tools (we mainly borrowed and it worked out great), I highly recommend installing yourself. You'll save so much money, and it feels like such an accomplishment to see the results of your work after you're all done.
Now I can't stop focusing on much I dislike and want to replace our current couch. Sigh. Never satisfied... Have any of you installed new flooring yourselves? Or done any other DIY home renovations recently?