Before we even moved into this house, before we even saw the house in person, I let Jeff know I had my eye on the carpeting in the dining room. For a room that is the “most formal” in the house, carpeting just didn’t work for me. I also do a lot of photo shoots in my dining room for this blog as well as freelance articles, so it was important to me to have the larger surfaces of the room (floor, walls, etc.) looking just how I wanted.
There was also the practical side of things. The carpet is 13 years old and, although you can’t see it in the picture, it was looking a little tired. Wood floors would be easier to keep clean, especially since the dining room is right off of the foyer.
The dining room flows into the kitchen/eating area, so we wanted the floors to match. And that meant we would have to have the floors finished on-site.
We may have considered installing pre-finished floors ourselves, but finishing floors on-site is a whole other ball of wax. With Jeff in a full-time masters degree program (last semester!) and working full-time, it was just better to hire out this particular project.
Can I just say, as a DIYer, it’s really hard to hire out things you can do yourself! We’ve hired out some projects before, but they’ve all been ones we really needed to hire out, because they required specialty skills or equipment that we didn’t have. But, in this season of life, for this specific project, it was the best option.
After I announced that we were moving to Rochester, MN, I received an e-mail from a long-time reader and MMS Milk Paint user, Olivia. We even featured her MMS Milk Paint kitchen makeover in Look Book One. She just wanted to stop by to say hello, meet my family (she’s a boy mom as well), and see our new house. She mentioned that her husband had a wood floor business, Wagner’s Wood Floors, so I asked if he could take a look at our dining room and office and give us an estimate for installing and finishing wood floors.
We had Olivia and her family over during Christmas break. The boys played together, Olivia and I chatted about blogs, photography, and decorating, and Jeff and her husband, Andy, talked football and wood floors. He clearly knew his stuff and Jeff & I liked the idea of supporting the business of such a great family, so we hired Andy for the job.
In January, he dropped off the flooring, so it could acclimate to the humidity in our house for a few weeks. We selected a birch to match the floors in the kitchen/eating area. The original floors have ambered over time, so we knew the new floor would look a little different. For that reason, we opted for a walnut border in the dining room. It works for the style of the house and formality of the room, but the main reason was to provide a little separation between the new and old floor.
Last weekend, we moved all of the furniture out of my office and the dining room and put the bulk of it in the living room and eating area. We actually got it all packed in there pretty nicely, so it wasn’t too much of an inconvenience.
Jeff and I ripped out the carpet in the office (I’ll share about that in another post), but we couldn’t in the dining room due to the stacks of wood flooring. We had done everything we could to get ready for the big week!
Andy came about 8:00 every morning for a week to install, fill, sand, and finally seal and finish the floors. He was even cutting boards outside, as falling snow was mingling with sawdust in his “workshop” set up on our porch! He was quick, professional, and we are so pleased with how the floors turned out. They look so good.
The finish was stinky, since it was oil based, but the smell wasn’t too bad and it dissipated relatively quickly. I closed the doors to our bedrooms and to the basement, so there were places in the house we could go where it didn’t smell. It definitely would’ve been better if we did the floors when it was warmer and we could have the windows opened, but this worked out okay.
This weekend, Jeff and I installed and painted the quarter-round shoe molding in the dining room…
…and moved all of the furniture back into the room.
I’m planning on getting a round braided jute rug for under the table, but I need to wait for a month for the floors to cure before laying it down. I am still trying to figure out all of the furniture placement and how I want to finish off this room, but it is definitely heading in the right direction! I’ll share some of my thoughts and ideas for the room in another post.
For now, I am just enjoying those beautiful new floors!