I’ve decided to save the real after photos for later (once I have the house put back together, ahem). So here’s the last bit of the story.
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.
My observations about the installation so far, in no particular order:
1. I can’t believe how fast they work.
That’s 11 boxes left. Which means that 29 boxes were laid down in one day. They told us to plan on three days, and I assumed the first day would be like a prep day–cut out the subfloor, pound some nails to get rid of squeaks, prep the subfloor, that sort of thing. They did all of that and laid most of the floor itself. Amazing.
2. The sawdust is epic.
I knew there would be a mess, but I underestimated the supernatural powers of sawdust. This is the installers’ boombox, which is sitting on my kitchen counter. So if the radio looks this bad, you can imagine what the rest of the kitchen looks like. Sawdust is insidious and stealthy–it sneaks in behind closed cupboards and drawers. It clings to walls and light fixtures and anything not moving. Correction: it also attacks moving objects, i.e. kitties.
We closed the doors to the bedrooms and bathroom but we might as well have left them wide open, as every blessed thing in every blessed room of our house is now blanketed in a fine mist of sawdust. Everything. Every towel, every doorknob, every shoe in my closet. Note to self: next time you have hardwood floors installed, stuff towels under the doors. And clear out absolutely everything, including trash cans, boogie food and the dish soap. Second note: Swiffer dusters work pretty well to get sawdust off walls. Just FYI.
3. You really can’t trust the sample.
The sample we had of natural hickory was very light and had cool undertones. The flooring in our house is more mid-tone and very warm. I think it’s gorgeous, but it doesn’t bear much resemblance to the sample. The paint colors we chose are cool, and I think they offset the warmth of the floor in a nice way. But it is taking some getting used to.
I’ll be sharing a fun series of before/after photos as we start to move furniture around and actually settle in–four months after we moved! The change in the house is dramatic and the wood floors are really the finishing touch. I still marvel at how far we’ve come and how a little bit of hard work and a nice chunk of change transformed Grandma’s country cottage into an eclectic, modern space. More to come!