Preparing for the new wood flooring

For some time we’ve been wanting to replace the flooring in three rooms: the entry, the front formal living room, and the dining room. Total square foot (Dining, Living, Entry) = 410

Originally we were going to go with the natural Bruce engineered wood, flooring product we bought from Lowes to do the upstairs hallway. It has proven durable and it is priced very reasonably. However we were put on hold with the project due to money and while time past we re-thought this and wanted to go with a darker wood floor. My only concern is in a dark room the dark floor would suck in light.

BTW before picking out a wood floor you have to realize that it’s the substrate that determines the type of floor you can install. Whether it is concrete (which needs a vapor test before proceeding) or plywood, does decide what type of wood flooring (i.e laminate, engineered hardwood etc…) you can install.

So the money is here, the floor materials (Lumber Liquidators, Bamboo flooring) bought and held for two weeks indoors to acclimate, and the project is now underway… Let’s follow along shall we?

Out with the old – the flooring and it’s plywood substrate is pulled out with a crowbar, revealing the cement foundation. Our kids jumped in for the money and got it all pulled out. It’s now boxed or wrapped in bundles and awaiting tomorrow’s garbage collection. Wow! I am getting way excited to see this new floor in! It’s only taken two years!!


Tip: cohesive paint color for walls

I didn’t take a before photo of the dining and living room but they were just empty blank canvases with ratty old carpet, so I don’t think you missed much!

Both rooms are painted with Valspar’s allen + roth Rock ar720 (Lowes) and I have to say that I’m LOVING THIS COLOR! It’s dark enough that it gives color to the wall – unlike the cream neutral we had before. It also isn’t so dark that I feel like I’m living in a cave! It’s also neutral so would go with many colors that you would want to use for furnishings, art, etc…

The Rock color will go through the entire downstairs area – the formal living and dining, as well as the front hall, the kitchen and the family room. I’ve mentioned that when we went on the Parade of Homes tour, the builders had all used the same neutral color in the downstairs to make the area look larger. That’s the point of this paint job as we hope to put the house on the market within 18 months.

Because of the natural lighting and the flash on my camera, the color on the walls doesn’t always appear accurate in the photos; I’ve noted where the most accurate color representation is in the following photos:

view from dining to living
least accurate color - paint is not yellow
very accurate wall color
most accurate wall color

Still to do on Dining Room: sheers for window, 4 wall sconces, floor and baseboard.

Still to do on Living Room:  wall art, floor and baseboard.

The biggest problem I’m having though is this stupid formal living room. Because of the room layout – one very large window on one wall, another wall with a very large arch doorway into the dining and another wall with an entry arch, the room is pretty much nothing but a pass through. Furniture will have to be arranged facing each other, leaving a huge road in the middle to allow traffic. I’ve got to figure out a way to make this appealing and comfortable.

Project: Library Shelves

My hubby is a master shelf builder! One of the first products I asked him to make were these very strong and deep bookshelves for my home office. He put a lot of nice molding around the top and front sides that I think really make this piece stand out.

They were designed to butt against each other smoothly on one end, with the other end wrapped with molding. This was a nice touch in the design as they allowed a seamless top for display.

Unfortunately, after I painted them black and lived with them for a few years, I realized that a lot of this nice design and molding detail was lost because of the deep rich black. It was time for an update!

molding detail on shelvesThe molding pieces I distressed back with fine sandpaper on my Mouse Sander. When using your electric sander, do so with a light touch; it’s power can often remove too much.

A brushing of Cabots’ Dark Walnut stain, was applied and then rubbed off. It brought the tone back down and was a nice compliment to the black.

I had seen an inspirational photo where bookshelves had a backing with a different color and I really liked it. The painted black, plywood sheets on the back were replaced with Birch veneer sheets stained with Cabots’ Dark Walnut.

The entire unit was then given a top coat of Mini-Wax Rub-On Poly.

finished black bookshelf