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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Our First Home - Phase Two of Renovations - Hardwood Floors

Previous posts in the Our First Home series:

The Before Photos
Phase One - Ripping up carpet and painting

The house is now painted, and the floors are bare. The hallway and bedrooms are ready for new carpet which will come later, and the front entry way and bathroom are ready for tile.

The living room, dining room and kitchen are ready for hardwood!

We decided on a beautiful natural maple hardwood, which is completely real. It has a lot of color variations of really light to super dark and all shades in between. It's tongue and groove wood so we rented a power stapler to assist us in installing the floor.

Once we brought the wood home, we acclimated it in the area we were going to lay it for several days as we painted the rest of the house.

Then, we opened the boxes and laid out each individual piece of wood so it could acclimate further, and we separated them into light and dark piles so we could choose different colors when assembling the floor later.
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The day we began to lay the hardwood, I taught a photography workshop so I wasn't there when they first started to put it down.
My mom chose the boards and handed them to the boys, and Matt and my dad installed them.
When I arrived several hours into the project, they had accomplished this much. Some of the boards were really long and some were only a foot long. We were very deliberate and careful in making sure we had good seams, and that the pattern was beautiful.
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The process was very intensive and deliberate. Slow going, but worth it.
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We had to move out the stove so boards could go underneath it.
It's coming along beautifully now!
This is at least a day or two into the project.
I liked doing this part.
The tongue and groove parts of the boards fit together super tightly so they needed to be tapped into place. I tried that part once and couldn't get it to work out at all. I handed that job on to Matt and my dad, and did this part instead.
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On the home stretch!!
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The last full board! All that was left of the floor at this point were a couple really skinny pieces to fill the gaps between the last edge boards and the wall.
We had to move the fridge out to put boards underneath it.
The boards at the end of each row had to be cut according to the length of space left between the previous board and the wall. 
I took a turn with the saw.
Can you tell I was really nervous to be running this? I have limited experience with power tools.
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The wood floors are gorgeous and add a nice element to the house. We love the variation in the color, and the fact that they are fairly light overall so they make the space seem even larger than it is.
Next up - phase three of renovations: moving our goods from our apartment into our new garage, having new carpet installed, tiling the entry way and the bathroom, and assembling our new furniture.

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