Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Good Bye Old Floor!

Guess what's going on at our house?  Take a peek:

Before: It's decent and doesn't look too bad from a distance...

Change in Progress:

We opted for no DIY other than the demo.  For installation, we've hired a professional.  We have a contractor installing our floors. We just weren't comfortable to DIY in this case. In areas where a project becomes a major investment, we're a little less confident and a little less risky. Strand bamboo floors are HARD and strong.  However, you know how much home improvement fascinates me.  I promise I wasn't in the way, but I did hang out from this vantage point a lot of the time watching the process:

Don't worry - I resisted the temptation to crawl inside that truck to have a look around at all of those tools!

It's advised that you never hire a contractor without reading reviews/researching the company. For that reason, we're adding our experience with our contractor in the event a Google search helps introduce someone locally to our favorite contractor.  Meet: Gary Stone.  A word of mouth recommendation from a friend is the best compliment/review. Our experience has been extremely satisfactory.  We were so impressed with his knowledge and understanding of so many projects, his friendly service and his patience in describing/teaching steps and tips, providing education- should we attempt the bamboo flooring installation ourselves throughout the rest of the house (although we've had a very positive experience working with Gary and look forward to working with him again on future projects if needed). We enjoyed hearing his suggestions and professional advice for changing small things for the best results. We love the quality work and would highly recommend him to anyone local looking for professional contractor services.

General Construction & Project Management 
 Cabot, PA

Gary's Tip for bamboo flooring installation for DIY readers:  Using nails like these ones from Maze make the "drive" of the nail easier as they're double hot dipped zinc. They also come in a variety of colors.

  • Hardwood trim nails
  • Made from high-carbon steel to ensure good driving into oak, birch, walnut, and other hardwoods
  • Many more nails per pound than ordinary finish nails
  • Made in the USA
  • Fewer wood splits

I tried to convince him to do a guest blog post.  He has so many helpful/useful DIY tips he's learned from years in the home improvement field. Maybe he'll consider it when he has a slow schedule or start his own website/blog with handy tips.
When we moved in, we removed the carpet and refinished original pine floors. It was an improvement but there were bad patch jobs throughout the house.  The pine had gaps that pinched Mr. DIY's feet in certain areas.

Then during the kitchen remodel, we removed the vinyl and plywood base and exposed the original pinewood.  Part of the kitchen floor is 1927 (pine) and the other half is 1999 (plywood) and was covered with another layer of plywood covered with vinyl.  That's all gone:

But the floors are uneven and don't quite match up.  Mr. DIY has laid Pergo floors in a previous home but when it comes to the bamboo and condition of the floor underneath, we just felt safer having a professional do these three areas:  kitchen, dining room, future open pantry/hall.  Once we have the money to do the rest of the first floor with the bamboo we chose, we may give it a DIY shot...now that we've had a few priceless tips  from a professional.  

'Before' view from outside into the kitchen...

We chose Antique Java Fossilized™ Strand Wide Plank .  It's distressed and unlike engineered wood, every piece is different. It's handscraped. There are different distressed patterns, the bamboo strands make each piece unique and color varies (LOVE that part).  The distressing shows "black" and is so random.  It's beautiful.  For more information on our bamboo floors, visit Cali Bamboo. Know what I love about them? The light, the dark and all of that gorgeous distressing but most of the durability and strength!

Antique Java Wide Plank Fossilized Strand™ Bamboo Flooring
Our reasons for choosing this bamboo:

  • Durability.  Strand bamboo Janka (hardness) rating is 3000-5000. Strongest in the world!  Maple (our original choice) is 1450. My husband does the cooking. I like hardwood in the kitchen but he's not so careful.  We also have a cat with claws intact. So scratches on the maple would have broken my heart!  lol  Especially after such a large investment (our entire main floor eventually).
  • We chose a distressed finish.  If scratches do occur, they add to the character. It's also a look that fits with our farmhouse style. 
  • Bamboo is the most environmentally sustainable wood on earth!
  • I love that it had a reasonably priced wide plank option.  I love the wide planks.
  • I love the variation in color.  I love dark floors but I've read people regretting their decision because it shows every speck of dust, etc. This product has dark and medium tones. No two pieces are the same. 
  • It can also be refinished years down the road if needed.
So, just a sneak peek, a description of our experience and products. Reveal coming soon!  I'll be out-of-town tomorrow (more about that soon!) so when I return - the floor will be completed!  I can't wait to see it!

Disclaimer:  We were not compensated by our contractor, Maze or Cali Bamboo. This is our own unpaid review of our opinions and experience with the products we used. 


Katie said...

It looks gorgeous already! Can't wait to see it finished!

Deborah said...

Gorgeous!! You both must be thrilled!!
Awesome to find someone who is such an expert at his work and willing to share his secrets with you ..

Deborah xoxo

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

Oh...I'm loving the floor you chose. I can't wait for the big reveal! I'm so happy to have won the Country Living Kitchen Book too. I'm a little obsessed with kitchens especially white traditional ones.

Jennifer said...

Really pretty!! I LOVE dark wood, so I am digging the color of your new floors.

Directions Not Included said...

They look great. We did dark hardwoods too and had a professional install them. Not that we couldn't do them ourselves but with an old house and all those kinks that come with it, we wanted a good hand working on them.

Bobi said...

Lookin' GOOD! How exciting, can't wait to see the finished project:)

Coley said...

It's coming along :) I'm excited to see it all done!

Katie Newcomb said...

Roeshel, the floors look fantastic! I love dark wood floor and it will go great in your kitchen :) Can't wait to see the 'after'!

Carla @ Hammers and High Heels said...

Oooo! Looking good! Can't wait to see the afters! Love the dark color.

my2girlies said...

I looove the color! Or should I say colors. They are beautiful




At The Picket Fence said...

That is going to look gorgeous! I love the color and can't wait to see it when its all done! :-)

Mommy of Monkeyshines said...

I love the color...but not sure whether I love your floors or kitty more. We have one just like that and are looking to add another one in a year or two. :)

P.S. I love your blog.

Jaime said...

Roeshel what a giant jigsaw puzzle of flooring and layers! So glad you hired out the install, a good contractor is your best friend for life now I only wish I had married one!

Terry said...

I have new walnut hardwood floors on the main floor and elm hardwood up in the master and we just love it. Yours is looking so great and and you will just love it.

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

I love the product you chose, it looks so nice in there. I would also not try to do that ourselves!

laxsupermom said...

Love that strand bamboo! It's so pretty! I don't blame you for hiring it out. Our friends installed hardwood in two small rooms, and it was 4 or 5 days of backbreaking work. Can't wait to see the final reveal.

The Mrs. said...

It's looking so good!! I can't wait to see the finished product!


Comeca Jones said...

Love darker wood floors lookin great!

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

I love the flooring you picked out! It's going to look fantastic when it's finished. It already looks great. I would have left it to the professionals too!

Twyla Gariepy said...

It looks pretty; I like the handscraped look, but it was not affordable for me when I went in a couple months ago for new flooring. I wound up with some cinnamon coloured narrow strip maple -holy crap was it hard to cut - burned out at least three saw blades. Its not that hard to install even for a newb that can't use a power tool. Really I can't. But when asked why I got my flooring so cheap (it was 3.99/sq ft which was only a few pennies more than the fake looking laminate) they wanted to know what was wrong with it I did have to say that the installation was the drawback. It took a day longer than we (my bro & sis and parents helped) intended. It was not as hard to keep it on a level as people think; after doing the entire width of the house we were only 1/4" out at one end. Its not done yet so no pics as I am waiting for the rain to stop so the patio door can be put in and those bits finished. Overall though, even the nailer thingy was easy to use but the hammer left black marks on the walls where it was tight. My knuckle still hurts from where I hit it with the hammer & broke it tho.

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I've been catching up on all your posts, how exciting to get new flooring. I can only dream about hardwood floors at this point.

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