This post is in partnership with Boardwalk Floors and Vintage Flooring
Well, we did it, we officially have gorgeous hardwood floors in our home. If you’re thinking that this is an impossible DIY project for you to try, I’d like to help change your mind. When we shared that we would be partnering with Boardwalk Hardwood Floors and Vintage Flooring, we got so many questions about how you could do it yourself! When we selected the floors, we knew that we were in for a dramatic change to our home!
While we took on a very large flooring project with over 1400 square feet of demo and installation, we learned quite a few things along the way. Spoiler alert, it definitely didn’t go as we planned it, but so grateful it went the way it did! Today, I wanted to share some tips and tricks that worked for us to set expectations and to work as a team. And if you don’t think you can help, think again! I even got in on the construction!
Now let me preface this by the fact that my husband has done previous flooring projects in the past, so he had some idea of what we were doing but still needed guidance. There were other areas where we needed a few extra hands to get areas complete.
Work with Great Resources
After we selected Vintage Red Oak Harbor Sculpted for our flooring, we were scheduled for an in-person Flooring Class at Boardwalk Hardwood Floors to learn everything we needed to know about floor installation. We spent a good 90 minutes with Showroom Manager, Justin, at the St. Peters location discussing the plan for the project. Justin asked us to provide a blueprint of our space so that we could formulate a plan of where to start. We opted to begin at the fireplace and work outward. During the class, we learned how to use the tools that we were able to rent from them. I even learned how to use a nail gun! Even after we had our class, Jeff had additional follow up questions and called for clarification. With such a large project and investment, you want to do it right the first time.
Now let me brag on Vintage Flooring for a minute. They say that you should mix and match the boxes to make sure if there was any slight color change that it would blend in. The detail and the character of each plank were distinct and unique to each board to really give it a personalized feel to our home. Jeff loved the ease of the tongue and groove installation and said it was great to work with.
Plan Plan Plan
When taking on a big project like this, the number one thing you can do is plan ahead and then plan more. Since we had a multi-room project, we had to logistically think about where furniture and large appliances would move from room to room. We also had to think about the best way to arrange boxes so that they are accessible. 74 Boxes is a lot of wood and we had to make some smart choices to save time and energy.
Another big thing we did before we started was measuring the rooms for accurate square footage. I’m fairly certain we measured the entire space a handful of times to ensure we had the correct numbers to order the flooring and as we got started, knowing where to cut the pieces to fit into place. We definitely put our tape measures to work on this project between the flooring and the baseboard.
Plan for Setbacks
If you watch any DIY Shows you know that it seems like every episode there is a crazy set back or an added cost that wasn’t planned for in the project. Surprise! We had that happen too. We found out that the French Doors in our kitchen were not quite installed properly when we first moved in 12 years ago and we had a substantial subfloor rot issue. Jeff was not comfortable doing the work himself and we had to hire out the work. While it wasn’t a terrible setback, we did have to rework our initial plan. Thankfully, it was an easy fix and we got along with the rest of the project.
Lower Expectations for Timing
Jeff had taken the week off to the floors. I thought we would have demo done in a day, and we’d be set to start putting hardwood floors down on that Monday and baseboards would be fully installed by Friday afternoon. Apparently, I had very unrealistic expectations. Our demo took three full days of pulling up carpet and hardwood floors. I remember at the end of day one, I asked when we would start putting flooring down. Jeff just laughed and handed me a pair of pliers. I then spent an entire day pulling staples out of the subfloor. Tedious work, but necessary to make sure that the floors to go down properly.
When all of our flooring was complete, it was onto baseboard installation. To be perfectly honest, we were exhausted from living in construction and needed a break. So, little by little we did the baseboards one room at a time over a couple of weeks. That way, we still were able to put the house back in order, but still have the project moving ahead. I would say what was to be a one week project crept into about a month. It was totally okay. We reset expectations and came up with a new game plan. The best plans are ones that can pivot when necessary.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to see if your friends and family can help you out. Most days, we had extra hands helping out. We even had friends stop by for an hour or 2 to help demo, or just help organize planks for easier installation. It takes a village and we’re so grateful for ours. We also had quite a bit of assistance from my Father-In-Law who was key in helping us with the more detailed areas with cutting and placing the wood. The installation of the air vents took time and we had quite a few, but I love how they turned out. And if your kids are sitting around bored like ours was, encourage them to get to work too! We offered up small tasks and jobs that made them feel apart of the team too!
While you may be thinking you’re not quite the DIY & construction helper, let me assure you, you can help! I too felt this way and was able to help out plenty. From unloading the planks from boxes, running cardboard to recycling, or even doing food runs, I felt like I contributed to the project. By the end, I was helping layout flooring to help expedite the process. When you work together, the floors get laid out and installed so much quicker. Hattie even got in on helping us.
Could we have paid a contractor to install it? Absolutely.
Would it have been done faster? You bet.
Is there an overflowing sense of pride and accomplishment that we did it? 100% This. Months later, we still walk in and comment on how much we love the floors and point out the specific pieces of wood with unique characteristics that we intentionally placed in spots because we knew it would bring more charm and warmth to places. Overall, we would have done the same thing again and are THRILLED with how it looks. As we slowly begin to update spaces, we will do before and afters of each room. I feel like this kitchen before and after is such a big change. With the floors and baseboard, it’s such a gorgeous enhancement.
Thank you again to Boardwalk Hardwood Floors and Vintage Floors for all of the assistance and stunning flooring. Truly our home looks like a completely different space.