Oct 6, 2015

Our 1950s Ranch gets a Flooring Makeover

When we bought our 1950s ranch, we thought it had hardwood floors everywhere except for the addition, and that we'd be able to refinish the floors and just add hardwood to match in the addition. Easy. Relatively inexpensive.

That's what we thought...

Hardwood floors
Floors we hoped were throughout the house.
Turns out there was only hardwood in the two small bedrooms, and the rest of the house had either subfloor or asbestos tile under the carpet.  This meant we'd have to spend a lot more of the green stuff to update the flooring.

Since installing hardwood was no longer in the budget, we had to come up with a plan B. Carpet was out of the question. (Have you ever seen the dirt that collects under carpet? YUCK!) So we decided to go with laminate.

It took a long time to figure out what laminate we wanted. My design plan calls for something rustic since it is loosely a French Farmhouse design, and it had to be durable since we have two senior pets. Now I don't care what anyone says, laminate is never going to look like real hardwood, so I also wanted to make sure whatever we chose didn't look like a cheap imitation of the real stuff we already have.
Stack of Laminate flooring to install.
Select Surfaces Cocoa Walnut from Sam's Club
After looking at numerous stores, we ended up buying our laminate at Sam's Club. Who wudda thunk it?  It's called Cocoa Walnut, it's 14mm with a pre-attached pad. The handscraped, 6 inch wide planks in a dark-medium brown walnut have the rustic look I wanted.

Jim thought the best place to start would be in the master bedroom, because it's not one of the public room. It made sense to me. Start in the room where we would be the only ones to see the mistakes. But you know what? Installation was so simple, it looked perfect when we were done!

Before During and After
New floors in the Master Bedroom - Before, During and After
The Master isn't finished yet. The trim and the closet doors need to be installed, but getting the floors down completely changed the feeling of the room. Painting the paneling made a difference too. My friend Karla says we're pulling the house into the 21st century, which is good since it was stuck in the 1970s.
Love the laminate by the fireplace
Testing the flooring next to the Fireplace. LOVE!
After practicing on the Master Bedroom, we found our rhythm and moved onto the Family Room. Figuring out how to do the laminate next to the fireplace slowed us down a bit, but once we decided on a plan, it went really fast. I forgot to take pictures, but we love how it looks next to the fireplace!

Precision Measuring by my husband
Shout out to my hard-working husband! Love you, Babe!
Jim did a great job on the floors, and everything else this past week. We didn't get everything done that we wanted to get done during his week off, but we got a huge part of it done. We're way ahead of where we were a week ago, and that's fantastic. We actually see an end of the renovations in sight!

AND... Yesterday our cabinet guy called. Our kitchen cabinets will be done this week!!  Whoo-hoo! We'll be picking them up on Monday, and then you'll get to see what we do to the kitchen!  Can't wait!!

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Oct 1, 2015

A Week of Renovating our 1950s Ranch

We finally got to the point where Jim just couldn't continue doing work in the house piece piece after work. So he took the whole week off, and we're getting so much done. Here's some pictures of our progress so far...

Drywalling the Dining Room Opening
From enclosed to open to putting up the drywall.
Once this opening is mudded, painted and trimmed out, you'll never be able to tell it wasn't always open this way. The flow of the house is so much better, and there is so much light now. If Jim hadn't been working up in the corner, he wouldn't have even needed the light on.
Gutting our 1950s Kitchen.
We gutted the kitchen.
I listed our cabinets for sale on Craigslist with the provision that whoever bought them had to remove them. The guy who bought them and his crew worked really hard and were very careful not to damage our walls. I can't tell you how much we appreciated that. 

We would have completely destroyed them if we had tried to remove them. We had no idea they would be so hard to remove, and we're really glad someone else took them out. Although, Jim did jump in to help when they needed some extra hands. 
Removing the Linoleum
Removing the linoleum flooring.
After the cabinets were gone, Jim set about removing the linoleum flooring. He had to be careful, because there is asbestos tile under the luan. It's perfectly safe to leave the asbestos tile in place and put new flooring right over top of it, so that's what we're going to do. 
If you look closely, you can see all the staples.
After the linoleum was gone, we started removing hundreds of staples, but soon realized that pounding them in with a hammer was much easier and faster--not to mention safer, since some of the asbestos tiles were chipping when we were pulling the staples. 

Don't you love the quintessential 1950s tile floor? I'm kind of glad the tiles are staying, even if they're going to get covered up, because it feels like we're preserving some of the house's history.
The opening from the living room to the hallway all drywalled.
With the new opening between the living room and dining room, this opening was unnecessary, so Jim framed it in and drywalled it. Our electrician roughed for power and cable, since this is the corner where our TV will be going.
Closed up from the Hallway
Opening from the Hallway side.
Here you can see that former opening from the hallway. This picture was actually taken while standing in our bathroom. That's another reason I'm glad we closed off this opening. Before, if the bathroom door was left open, you could see the toilet if you were sitting in the living room...not the most beautiful view, if you know what I mean.
Measure twice, cut once...
Gotta love a man with tools!! I can't help it, he looks so darned sexy with his toolbelt. Here Jim is measuring to put up the drywall on the dining room side of the new opening. This took much longer than we expected, because, well, it's an old house and nothing is level, straight, or plumb. 

I would have more pictures, but my Fibromyalgia decided to flare up yesterday afternoon, so Jim sent me home and told me to stay home and rest today. I am so blessed to have a husband who cares so much about my health. I have to admit that I've felt rather guilty staying home today when I know he's over there working so hard. 

Don't worry.  I'll be back at it very soon, and I'll share more pictures as we go along.

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