New Baby, New Flooring

Back in April Ben, the boys, and I made a trip to Minnesota to visit family and meet our new baby niece.  While there, we decided to surprise them by installing new flooring at my sister’s house.  The same house he built this fantastic under the stairs bookshelf in.

Ashley's Stairs and Bookcases Finished Front

Fortunately, despite having a two-week old baby, they were okay with the idea.  You know what they say, “Nothing says congrats on your new baby like hardwood floors” or something like that.  Plus, they had the wood planks sitting in the house for a while and were excited to gain that space back while improving their home.  Here’s the before, a large room with mid-century bones including a large rock wall, plank and beam ceiling, large windows, and stained beige carpet.  Warning, the rest of these photos are crappy phone pics, but you get the idea.  


After pulling out the carpet, Ben patched areas while I scraped the floors to remove the staples.  Trust me, this is light years easier than pulling individual staples with pliers.


The original plan included only hardwood floors in place of the carpet, but the old tile just wasn’t their style.


While demo was happening, we broke out all the tile and mesh underlayment.


After a day, both areas were nearly ready for flooring.


In the entry, a few old boards were badly cracked, so Ben cut out the trouble areas to patch in new wood.  These are things he gets oddly excited about.


With help from my dad, they knocked out the Brazilian Walnut hardwood install pretty quickly.


Then, tile time!  Ashley considered extending the hardwood into the entry, but Minnesota weather might take a toll on the floors after a while.  Instead, she chose the same slate tile we’ve used in our master bathroom and kitchen.


The tile sits flush with the freshly installed walnut, but also the same flooring that was installed in the kitchen a few years ago.


After finishing up the floors, our time had come to an end and we returned home.  Just a few weeks back, the boys and I made another visit and helped tie up some of the loose ends, like baseboard.  Install was pretty quick and straightforward, but there were seams to patch.  For quick results, I like to use an orbital sander to get everything perfectly smooth.  Not wanting to damage the hardwood floors, I used my go to trick: tape.  Put down two rows of painter’s tape, then several layers of duct tape stacked together.  This makes a stationary buffer between the sander edge and the floor, but is easily removed, leaving the floors unscathed.


Before installing this room’s flooring, the kitchen wood stopped in the door.  The seamless flow looks so nice!


After baseboard install, I was asked to do a little decorating.  Ash saw this rug at Costco and loved it, so it was the base layer for the room.


Luckily, they already had the awesome furniture, so it was only a matter of arranging what they already had.



Over in the corner, we set up a little bar area in an Ikea cabinet.


Of course, a week isn’t much time to tackle a big to do list, especially when Mall of America rides are calling two little boys.  I hoped to reupholster the dining chairs and help install a bay of cabinets on the back wall, but Arik can handle that.


If not, there’s always the next visit to tackle some more projects.  Ash, get your thinking cap on.

11 thoughts on “New Baby, New Flooring

    1. Hi Pamela!

      It’s hard to tell thanks to my crappy photos, but there’s a pair of black chairs in front of the fireplace. Originally we had the chairs swapped, but the dark chairs blocked out more light from the windows, so we switched the placement. The fireplace is woodburning and they’ve never used it, so we didn’t feel too bad putting the heavier chairs in front.


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