To see where we started, check out flooring: the before.
I came home from work on Tuesday with butterflies in my stomach. To say that I was stressed about the floor was a huge understatement. With all of the headaches and delays, I was having nightmares about all of the myriad ways the installers could screw it up. To be fair, the big-box installers who did our bathroom vinyl did a pretty shoddy job, so I still had that bad taste in my mouth. But I tried to be positive. Mr. Phish kept telling me that they were professionals and if they sucked, they wouldn’t be able to keep their jobs. This only made me feel marginally better, as the big-box installers had jobs and they most certainly sucked.
I was literally not breathing as I came up the stairs. I found three guys covered in sawdust and this:
They did so much in one day! I couldn’t believe it. The 40 boxes in the basement had been reduced to 11 boxes, in just one day. The decibel level was very, very high, with the tools and air compressors and who knows what. But I gathered that things were going okay. Just okay? I asked. And then the truth came out.
Major Problem Numero Uno: Wrong moldings. The area around our stairs is tricky–we actually had to pay extra for them to deal with it and they ordered special molding, which turned out to be the wrong molding. So the installer said he would try to figure something out. Bummer. But I didn’t have time to dwell on it because things got worse quickly.
Major Problem Numero Dos: The fridge didn’t fit. They had pulled it out, installed the wood under it, and when they went to push it back in, it didn’t fit. Here’s a quick before shot for reference:
Please note the intense yellow paint and the roosters atop the fridge. Alas, when we moved in, the house became a rooster-free zone, so these guys are just a fond memory. As you can see, the gigantic fridge fits neatly into the space and is framed by cabinets on all sides. So the installer said we had three choices: a) get a new fridge, b) hire a carpenter to cut the cupboards out, or c) hire someone to sand the cupboards down. I didn’t feel like shelling out more money to hire anyone, so Mr. Phish and I got handy.
So we did what any naive homeowner would do: we bought a palm sander and did it ourselves. Or we tried. After several sweaty hours and an entire package of coarse sandpaper, we gave up and went to bed. Poor Mr. Phish gave it his best shot. It was an awkward, difficult situation. He’ll hate me for this, but here’s the action shot:
He wedged himself back there for two full hours trying to make it work. But that damn fridge just would not go. This was problematic not only because we couldn’t have a fridge in the middle of the kitchen, but also because unless we got the fridge back in, the installers couldn’t put the stove back in. And we needed them to move the stove, because it’s a two-person job and I’m a useless pregnant person. So time was of the essence.
Mr. Phish refused to give up. The next morning, he bought more coarse sandpaper and some kind of wood file. And before he went into work, he kept at the dang cupboards. And eventually, the sander chewed off enough cupboard that the fridge fit. He called me at work to tell me the good news and I was pretty proud of the guy. Note to self: if we ever sell the house, the fridge stays. I don’t care how much we don’t want to spend the money for a new fridge. It stays.
The boogies were confined during the day and they had mixed reactions to the mess and loud noise. Bella took up residence under the bed, refusing to come out for food or water or potty breaks. Genevieve sat by the door, waiting to come out and check out what all the fuss was about. And Mooster freaked the eff out. He panicked, scrunching himself into the tiniest ball of kitty in the darkest back corner of the closet. When I went in to check on them, after a few minutes of me calling, he army-crawled out on his belly, eyes wide and tail floofed. He was not a fan. Even after the installers left for the day, he spent the rest of the night army-crawling from room to room, staying close to the walls and ducking for cover at every sound.
All in all, the during part of the install offer setbacks and small victories. We’re pretty happy with the floor so far and really looking forward to the end of this eternal process.