Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hard Flooring is In

The flooring crew started Thursday, while we were traveling so when we got to the house early Friday morning they had all of the tile laid except for the entry and the hardwood floor was about half finished.

We spent a little time discussing the look we wanted with the tile inset in the entry (or is it a foyer? - what's the difference?  what do you call yours?  what should we call ours?).  I told Alex what kind of look I was going for and we played around with the boards and the tile for a little while.  He said most of the floors he installs with a tile inset have three boards surrounding the tile.  I said I wasn't sure I would like that because I wanted the tile to be the emphasis in that area, not the wood.  He was very hesistant about going narrower than that, so I hemmed and hawed and finally said it was okay to go with the three boards. 

LUCKILY!  He called us in the afternoon and said he'd been mulling over what I'd said all day.  He was nervous that if he put in the three board widths I would end up hating it and that he would feel awful if that happened.  So we went back up to meet him.  We played with the boards again, we put the tile down in the middle and decided that one board width was all that was needed there.  I'm so relieved he trusted his gut AND I realized that I should have stuck to my guns and asked for the narrower trim all along. 

Unfortunately, we didn't get pictures of the tile floors before they laid down the protective covering, so you'll have to wait to see those later.  But, just so you know, I LOVE the tile for the foyer / entry and powder room (same tile).  I'm very happy with the tile I selected for the mudroom and I think I'm going to like the tile in the bathroom.  I'm holding my breath to see if it will really work with the granite and backsplash.  I also really like the slate that we put in the kitchenette area downstairs and think that's the perfect amount of slate for this house and the perfect place to use it.
Looking from the corner of the stairs and the entry towards the kitchen.
The fireplace and piano niche.
The laminate we had installed in Rob's office.   I really like the color.  It's warm and welcoming but not too dark, or too red.  It obviously looks like laminate if the light shines on it just right, which is a little annoying, but we didn't want hardwood floors in this room and we didn't want to pay for the super expensive laminate so I will throw down a rug and be happy that Rob can roll around on his office chair anywhere he wants in his room without damaging the floor. 
We decided to pull back the paper from the slate for a quick picture.  Maybe we'll have to go back up and do that in the other rooms.
Seeing all the footprints on the hardwood floor made us a little anxious so Saturday morning we headed up to the house with our trusty shop vac and broom and started cleaning up as much dust as we could.  The vacuum definitely worked the best.  We were able to get a decent pile with the broom but it created a huge dust cloud and still left a layer of dust behind.  It's nice to know we got out all the dust that normally gets trapped behind the baseboard trim.  While I was vacuuming the floor, Rob used the rental shopvac (which came without any attachments - ANNOYING!) and vacuumed out all the outlets.  I'm so excited about that, because in all our other homes that was never done and it always made a mess when we needed to remove the outlet covers for painting.

Our perfectionist tendencies definitely came out that morning!  But at some point we had to say, enough is enough.


  1. Love the floors and I love your nitty gritty cleaning skills :) yay for shop vacs!

  2. Thanks! Yay indeed for shop vacs. We went back up last night and our nice clean floors are messy again because the framers installed the doors. No complaining from me though, because Yay! Doors. :)

  3. Cleaning is so important! Make sure you vacuum out your vents and ductwork as well. Those can get really full of dust. The air intakes can be especially bad. I know with your fancy heating system, you might not have air intakes the way we do, but still for the AC... and under the window sills, under the baseboard, and (of course) the outlets. But you've done most of that already. I found our steam mop works the best on our laminate.

  4. Good suggestion Lisa. We hadn't really thought about cleaning the vents in the ceiling, but you are right, they will get full of dust too. We'll have to figure out a way to get our shopvac to reach up there.

    We love our steam mop. We used it on all our hard floors in Illinois, including our hardwood. We found the steam evaporated quickly enough that it was not an issue.