My husband and I have been sleeping horribly for the last year or so. We have slept on a queen-sized bed for the last 14 years, but it is simply no longer working for us. Maybe it is because we will both be turning 39 this August. Perhaps it is because the uber-expensive “princess and the pea” mattress that I bought two years ago turned out to be crap. Whatever the reason, this last year I have developed nervous legs, TMJ, insomnia and back pain. Matt sleeps with his feet propped up on a pillow every night to try and reduce his own back pain. We are a big non-sleeping-mess and Matt has resorted to sleeping in the guest room many nights to get away from my incessant tossing-and-turning. We NEED a new mattress and more sleeping square footage so we can stop worrying while we (don’t) sleep if we are bugging the other person. I have been researching king-sized mattresses and decided on one that I really believe will be the answer to our non-slumbering prayers!
Uh…what does this have to do with hardwood floors? Glad you asked! You know what a slippery slope decorating can be. I have the new king mattress ordered and on its way. I have a king headboard and frame sitting in my dining room waiting to be installed. Then it dawned on me that if we are moving out the current bed, then now is the easiest time to replace the awful carpet on our master suite level and install hardwood flooring. The bed arrives June 5th and we aren’t able to work on the project next week due to other commitments. That gives us a few days to move everything, rip out all of our carpet, and prep the floors for install. Eek!
But moving everything off of this entire level meant going through all drawers and closets and reorganizing everything. I managed to fill 7 ginormo black garbage bags with things needing to go to Goodwill. It looked like an episode of hoarders as I was trying to sift through our closest and three dressers. I’m proud to say that we are able to get rid of an entire dresser after my purging. I also needed to sell furniture on Craigslist that was in our current guest bedroom so that this bed could be moved in. And now that room will be need a complete makeover later this summer :). Slippery slope indeed! But I love it. Let’s keep slipping down that decorating slope together, shall we? It’s fun…like sledding only better.
I had to make a flooring purchase fairly quickly, so I reached out to a facebook group that I am a part of comprised of all talented DIY’ers and asked the following:
I’m looking at installing hardwoods on our bedroom suite level this summer. Does anyone have any tips on good places to shop for a deal and installation? We have a lot of closets and a hallway to do in addition to our bedroom so I’m leaning towards hiring out for install. I don’t like the look of oak but love maple, hickory, and some others in mid to darker finishes. I’ve heard that too dark and they show every dust speck and hair so I’m steering away from that. Sources? Tips? Help :).
They came to my rescue and here is what I learned:
Tips on Choosing Hardwood Floors
- Darker stained wood is indeed going to show more dirt.
- The floor’s sheen matters just as much as color. If your floors are glossy, they will show more dust and dirt. Go with a matte finish or a handscraped floor to reduce the appearance of dust.
- Handscraped flooring is where each board has the “old-world” appearance of being scraped by hand. The boards do not have the “piano finish” of completely flat engineered flooring. It’s a different look that one needs to decide if they like. The boards look “ripply” and the sheen will be different because of this. I personally love the look and think they have more character but make sure you see them in person to decide if they are right for you.
- Norwex or E-cloth microfiber mops were recommended for cleaning.
- Options can be overwhelming with real versus engineered hardwood, or floating, glue-down or nail-down flooring options. The type of flooring you currently have in your space will dictate what type of flooring will be easiest to install. Research the installation procedures for each if you are planning on doing the install yourself and decide on what you think you can tackle.
- Pick up samples of flooring and place them in the room(s) to see how they appear under your own lighting and with your own furnishings. This will give you a more accurate view of what they will look like in your space.
Places to Shop for Hardwood Flooring
The most popular places to shop were the following:
- Home Depot
- Lumber Liquidators
You can also pick up samples and then comparison shop online to find the best price for the one you want.
Tips on Installing Hardwood Flooring
- Hire someone. I kid. (Kind of.) I have never installed flooring myself, and I’ve heard some say it’s incredibly easy and others say it’s a nightmare. The price of flooring installation in my area ranges between $2.65 sq/ft-$3.50 sq/ft. Depending on the price of your flooring the install could cost nearly as much as the floor. You will definitely save a significant amount of money installing the floors yourself.
- Glue down floors are more difficult to install than nail down.
- My sister Kim from Sand & Sisal wrote a great post and video tutorial on how to install wood floors with a nailer.
After taking into account all of these considerations, we purchased handscraped bamboo flooring on clearance from Lumber Liquidators. With what I saved on the wood, we have money in the budget left-over to pay for installation. Matt was NOT at all excited about helping me so I figure this is less hassle and cheaper that marital strife and counseling :).
Thanks to all of the DIY’ers who contributed their hardwood flooring tips. You can check out how their flooring looks below. Feel free to add your own flooring link and tips!