Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hardwood, Ahoy!

 We are almost completely moved in, and staring down a ton of projects at both the apartment (spackling, cleaning, vacuuming) and the house (painting, painting, unpacking, painting). The past week and a half has been a total whirlwind, with hardwood floor installation, moving and a trip to the Outer Banks all happening in the span of 8 days.

Speaking of hardwood floors, I thought I'd give you a little before-and-after eye candy! When we first toured the house, we were disappointed to find out it didn't have hardwoods underneath its beige carpet. Hardwood floors were super important to me, and almost every other house we saw had them, but those other houses didn't have some of the great things this house had: a big yard, a great floor plan, a bonus room, and some important updates, like a fairly new water heater.

When we realized that some of the houses we were considering were more expensive AND needed new roofs and/or HVACs, we realized buying this house for less and splurging on hardwoods actually made more sense. As I told Sean the day we made an offer: "Adding hardwoods will make me love this house 85% more."

 I seriously can barely remember what this room felt like, but I can tell you it was depressing as hell.

 We wanted to go with solid hardwoods  because we are making an investment and we want to improve resale value. Laminates look better than ever, but they still look like laminate to me, and they don't offer any option for refinishing, which could be important to a future buyer. But sadly, it turned out the subfloor wasn't plywood and that eliminated solid hardwood as an option, because installers cannot nail or glue hardwood onto anything other than a plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) subfloor.

We were seriously devastated by this, but then we learned you can float a hardwood floor over a non-wood subfloor and the installation would actually be cheaper. That still has drawbacks (dips in the floor, a bouncy feeling in spots), but compared to spending thousands more to rip up the old subfloor and replace it with plywood, it was a better option for our budget. We still are a little sad we couldn't do a traditional hardwood floor, but we keep reminding ourselves it's still better than the carpet.

 We ended up getting Bellawood's natural red oak engineered planks, which are strips of real wood layered with fake wood on the bottom, so it's technically more environmentally friendly because fewer trees are being felled. Although I had moments of waffling about the color, I am SO happy with it. It just glows, especially against all my mid century-inspired furniture and the bright white walls in the den. We had it installed in the living/dining room, den and hallways. It makes a HUGE difference.

Can you even believe that's the same room? We spend most of our time here and I catch myself just sitting and admiring how cozy and bright it feels now.
This is a comparison of the entry from the day we bought the house to the weekend we moved in. It's amazing how hardwood makes spaces look much bigger!

And this is the living/dining room without the wallpaper, random railing or wall-to-wall carpet (but plus a super dirty old faux-flokati rug I'm using for the time being). I cannot wait to paint in here and hang some art!

The hardwoods were a huge investment, but I cannot even express how much they improved the look and feel of this house. I think if the house had these floors when it was on the market, it would have sold for at least $10,000 more dollars. Now I just have to take care of best believe I've been slapping felt furniture sliders on anything that stands!

1 comment:

Laura R. said...

the floors look fantastic!