Installing hardwood floors

When we moved into our house almost 4 years ago, we knew the carpet was 15 years old. It looked worn. There were stains. But we had college aged sons, and let’s face it, money doesn’t grow on trees.
But over the last couple years my husband has been sick more than any time in our marriage. I’ve fought sinus infections and sinus headaches. My mother has to take allergy medicine before she comes to visit.

We knew that the previous owner had cats and dogs. We had paid for professional cleaning before we moved in and bought our own Hoover Spin Scrub carpet cleaner. I used it religiously every 6-8 weeks. But the dirty water was always disgusting. This carpet was toxic.

Then our dog started to get sick. Testing showed that he was reacting to the carpet as well. It was time to deal with the carpet — it was time for wood.

We decided on bamboo because it was ecologically friendly. We decided on a click together floating floor because we had done a nail down floor in our old home…and we are older and wiser now. The wood was delivered in boxes of about 20 square feet in a box. We opened each end and let the boxes sit for two weeks in order to acclimate to the moisture content of our house.

The first step in this project was to cut and roll up the carpet. This was a dusty, nasty, messy job. Duct tape holds the padding and carpet rolls together just long enough to load them in the minivan and take them off to the dump.

Then we had to remove the tack strips and the baseboard. We discovered evidence of old cat urine, particularly in one room. Two coats of Zinsser B-I-N shellac based primer and there was no longer any smell and the stains were sealed.

We began installing the wood. We measured the room to make sure that at the end of the project we wouldn’t be left with a tiny piece of wood and to make sure that the first row and last row are of equal width. Spacers (little red wedges) were placed between the wall and the first row and along the side walls. Finally we could install the first row!

Figuring out the angle to click together the two pieces takes a bit of time, and the bamboo we were using is 6 feet long. That is both helpful (it goes fast!) and challenging (that’s a lot of wood to have angled just right!). But we clicked and placed and clicked and placed….

…and the first bedroom is done!

the first bedroom

I will continue posting pictures and update you on the entire project.

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