Most fellow DIYers would agree that every renovation project seems to uncover some other project that needs to be done either before, during or after the actual one that’s planned.
The epic flooring project we’re starting in a few days is no different. The hubster and I (and probably all other family members within a 20-mile radius who will answer my phone calls) will be installing solid hickory hardwood flooring in our living room, dining room and in portions of our kitchen.
I have never attempted a flooring project of this magnitude, nor have I done any DIY project this big with a curious toddler in tow. So, needless to say, I’m already feeling compelled to curl up in the fetal position and find the nearest corner to hide. But instead, I’m compiling a playlist of songs to help get me through the project (I’ll share it with all of you after it’s put together). You can bet Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” will make the list.
Last Wednesday, my dad helped me pick up the flooring, underlayment and tools from Lumber Liquidators. It was one of the coldest days of the year so far and I locked us out of the house immediately after we got back with the materials. Praise God, my dad was able to use his Ninja skills to break into the house. 🙂 Now we’ve got boxes and bags all over the place, which has created a fun jungle gym situation for our little man.
The wood flooring is supposed to acclimate to our home’s temperature for seven to 10 days before we can install it. So, in the meantime, I went to work on a repair job that was created as a result of our flooring plans (hence the “snowball” reference).
Perhaps you’ll recall we had a little half wall separating our living room and kitchen areas.
Since the hardwood we’re installing will flow through both of these spaces and we want to have the option of turning this in-between spot into a larger dining area, the wall had to go. Unfortunately, so did chunks of drywall with it, so I had a major patch job on my hands.
Tip: Do not use old joint compound to patch drywall. If it’s chunky or pebble-like, pitch it immediately. Your tears will not make it go on any smoother. Ask me how I know. 😉
Fortunately, I found a bit of Patch Plus Primer lightweight spackling that was left over from the church project to finish the job without me needing to go to Crazytown. This stuff goes on like buttah. Love!
One trick I just discovered: If the spackling you’re using seems a little chalky or dry when you apply it, spritz on a little water to help it go on as smooth as silk.
I still have to paint the wall and ceiling where I patched, but thankfully, the twitching has stopped and I think I have everything sanded well enough.
We also have to add some crown molding to the ceiling because it was not originally installed past the half wall (why???). As you can see above, we’re now left with a blank space where it ends (again with the snowball).
I’m crossing my fingers that I can get this wall project done and the crown molding installed before we go to work on the floors.
Until then, if you’ve got any tips for installing solid hardwood flooring, please share!