Monday, January 18, 2016

Greetings from the Basement (New Floors in the Works)

It's not every day that I walk in the door from work and immediately pour a glass of wine, but today was one of those days. The thing is, I can't complain about it. We are having hardwood floors upstairs refinished and we're also replacing the carpets. So it's great! We have been wanting new carpets since we moved in. The carpets in our house are good quality, but they are worn and the dark teal color, while I actually don’t hate it, doesn’t really do it for me, either. We have a lot of the house's original hardwoods on the main floor, but the TV room (the addition) has carpet, as does the basement, and the bedrooms upstairs, so it's probably a 50/50 split total and will be more like 75/25 when we're finished. 

Anyway, I needed wine because the house is a wreck and we're all gathered together in the basement, which is in shambles because new carpet comes in starting Wednesday, so we have already cleared bookcases. The stain is kind of fumey--it's not bad enough that we need to move out for the night, but we are camped out in the basement with the girls. I'd open windows to some ventilation if it weren't 6 freaking degrees outside! With the girls' rooms emptied so they could be sanded and stained, our master bedroom is nearly impossible to walk through. The whole house feels like it's a chaotic mess, really, and even though I swear it's David who is anal and crazy, I can't WAIT for things to put be tidily put back together. (Hopefully before my friend Julie stays with us this weekend!)

As I said, we've been talking about new carpet since we moved in, but we weren't sure whether we wanted to recarpet all the rooms upstairs or have the hardwoods refinished. After talking it over and going back and forth a bit, we actually consulted with our realtor on what would be our best investment. And so we decided to pull up the carpet in the girls’ bedrooms and refinish the original hardwood floors that are underneath.

(I thought this could totally be a DIY project, but David is insisting on outsourcing it.)

The shitty and unforeseen expense that we (in retrospect) should have thought about is that when they pulled up the carpets, the baseboards no longer reach the floor. I assumed that quarter round would fix the problem, but the gap is too big for quarter round. So we have to either unattach and reattach the original baseboards, lowering them on a plaster wall that may or may not crumble, and then repaint the bottom inch of the wall (doesn't that sound SUPER fun?) or replace all the baseboards. We'll get quotes for both options and then decide, but either way I feel irritated. (Wine helps!)

In terms of investment, I trust that the hardwood floors are the biggest bang for our buck, since they were just sitting there (in pretty good condition) underneath the carpets. They really are nice, too. Our master bedroom has hardwoods under it, but the added sitting room and closet do not. I want the flooring to be consistent throughout our room (right now the carpet in the closet is jarringly different and it’s a huge peeve of mine), but I also don’t want to spend the money to put oak floors down in a 10’x12’ closet. I know it would look great, but frankly, I’d rather take a vacation or save for retirement or pay for college with that money! I also figure that carpet will be quieter in terms of muffling footsteps that are upstairs, and cozier when we’re talking about getting out of bed in the morning (or the middle of the night. Hi, Coco!).

We chose a fiber that is super soft and silky feeling, but is short. I know that “frieze” and twist-style carpet is pretty appealing, but after looking at a zillion carpet squares, I discovered that I prefer carpet that is tighter and tidier looking. (Also, David is totally anti carpet that has a "fleck" or color variation in it. I don't mind it, but he says it "bothers" him.) The new stuff will be a nice, boring beige, except I did choose a patterned runner for the stairs.

This carpet is soft, so it will show footprints and vacuum marks, but we don’t wear shoes upstairs and we are okay with that. I’m excited about having the same carpet throughout—although I usually try to keep the closet doors closed, I love the idea of being able to leave them open and have the look of a big master bedroom. 

The carpet in the TV room and basement will a similarly boring beige, but it's a combination loop and cut carpet, which adds some interest, I guess.

Anyway, January is shaping up to be a big month for some home improvement, which is kind of our trend for the past few years ago. You may remember the kitchen from last February? And the living room shelves from two years ago? I'll have to think about what's on the agenda for next year... 


  1. I love the speckled type carpet because it hides so much and I have 3 boys. If you run out of projects you can determine paint colors for our house to go on the market hopefully by April!

    Sorry your house is so crazy now, I am sure it will be worth it though!

  2. It'll be worth it in the end, in the meanwhile, there's more wine to be had. Photos when you're done, okay?

  3. Miles said you can get larger sized quarter round - he said even Lowes had a few options (ours is 3/4 in, but he said they (Lowes) had 1in) and maybe a lumber store has other options? He had to move the baseboards though after he took them off to put in the new floors (but he was adding flooring not refinishing existing ones) but fortunately they reattached just fine, but I get the concern for your walls and think that outsourcing probably is the way to go!

    I'm excited to see how it all comes together and what rugs you pick! It's gonna look so good!