I Like Wood, Part 2: Installing Hard Woods

Life in my world is absolutely bonkers right now. We're not living at home because we've demolished the one room that allows us to eat. Pursuit Magazine just published the most complicated and rewarding story I've ever written. And ... I can't think of a third thing because my brain is so fried from it all. (It's a good fried. But it's got that greasy, mushy feeling none the less.) So here's the house update if you've been curious...remember how I told you that I like wood?

Here's proof.


before demo

This is the only picture I could find of the floor "before." Apparently I hated taking pictures of it because it's so heinous.


stained wood floors


Here's a photo from the den looking into the kitchen. They've already put a stain down, here... but as you can tell the color was really light... and just didn't look right up against the other floors (after all, we are goign to have three different hardwoods going on in our tiny house and we want them to look at least a little bit alike).

stained wood floors

So we asked the nice folks at Verchota Floors if they could try again on the stain... to warm it up a bit. Here's what it looks like now:

floors with correct stain

Much better, am I right?

We can't wait to show ya'll the rest! It's really coming together nicely. How are things where you are? Bonkers? is spring busy for everyone, or just for people who are remodeling?

The Floor Dilemma: I just like wood.

Even though there were tons of options, choosing marble for our kitchen countertops was fun. Choosing what to do with our floors? Well. Let's just say I haven't taken a picture with anything. This has been a toughie. Problem #1. The current tile.

IMG_1140Big brown grout lines, orange mexican tile, umm... what else is there to say? Believe it or not, we went back and forth for a while about whether or not to leave the floor (and save a few hundred buckaroos) but, I felt like if we're redoing everything else, I would walk into the kitchen and think—why didn't we do the floor while we had the chance? So. We're doing the floor.

Problem #2. All the other floors under our current floor.

old kitchen floors

This is the air vent. When we pull up the grate, you can see the sediment of floors underneath our tile. Tile, cement, hardy-backer, linoleum, ????, pine. I put those questions marks there because apparently, way back in the day when it was really cool to cover your beautiful pine wood floors with a layer of plastic, contractors used a particular type of glue that contained a$be$to$. I don't even want to admit that it might be there... because then legally, we might have to hire a hazmat team to come clean up this blog. Anyway. That's a major dilemma. We don't know for sure what it is... but there's a good chance it is what we don't want it to be.

Problem #3. We already have two different hardwoods in the house.

two different hard woods

Check out this view through the kitchen. In the front room, we have these beautiful, original birch beech wood floors. In the back (an addition made who knows when) we have oak, which was laid the other direction. Similar finishes, but different wood.  Currently, the tile breaks it all up a bit so you can't notice. But for a while, we himmed and hawed over what to do—because I simply couldn't find a tile that I liked to replace the tile we already have.

The truth is... I just like wood.

But would putting down a third hardwood floor be a huge homeowner faux pas?


Option #1. Leave the tile. Not an option.

Option #2. Dig through the layers and refinish the pine. Most dangerous (because we could be disrupting that mesothelioma-inducing stuff)... and potentially most expensive, because the pine down there is probably not going to look all that great after all these years and all those layers on top.

Option #3. Find another tile. I really couldn't. And believe me. We looked. And pinned. And failed.

Option #4. (WINNER!) Dig down just beyond the hardy-backer, leave the linoleum, and lay fresh hardwoods, and forget anyone who says you can't have three different hardwoods in your house.

So there you have it folks. I just like wood. But I don't like @$be$to$. So we're splitting the difference.


What are your thoughts? What would you do? Anything we haven't thought of? Have you had to deal with the a-word before? It's getting close to demo time!!