Hardwood Floor Installation Part I

J and I found a great sale on the hardwood floors that we loved at Lumber Liquidators. Problem was, we were told the floor must be installed glued down. In order to glue down a click-lock hardwood floor, the concrete slab must be almost perfect. Since we had no idea what our foundation looked like under the vinyl and berber carpet we figured it would be a good idea to pull it up and see what we had. We had made the decision to replace the baseboards so that made pulling everything up much simpler.

Obviously the carpet in the living room pulled up very easily. There were a few spots the carpet nails had slightly damaged the slab but easily could be patched. The problem was the sheet vinyl that had been glued down. After a full day, J had only a very small portion of the kitchen pulled up. With a small chisel we worked to chip away but it wasn’t working. The next day J went to Lowes and got some adhesive remover which didn’t help much. Finally they decided to rent a hammer drill with a scraping bit to get the sheet vinyl and glue backing up. This was still a loud, messy and long process, but after about 3 days the floor was clean! During this time we had to move all our furniture out onto our back porch (enclosed sunroom) and live in our bedroom.

Here is J on the machine finishing up in the pantry.

This is what the mess looked like, those shavings are actually the glue that was on the back of the sheet vinyl.


We lived like this for about a week while we got things cleaned up and finalized our decision to purchase the wood. J looked at our slab and realized there was so slope to it and we were a bit nervous with the thought of gluing something back down after all the mess we had just dealt with. After a little bit more research and a call to the Shaw Flooring manufacturers, we found out that the Ventura flooring could be installed floating. That sealed the deal for us! It would make installation much easier (just glue the joints) and if we ever needed to replace a section or replace all of it, we wouldn’t have to go through that demolition again! Unfortunately, we had to let the new wood sit indoors for about a week before we could lay it. That meant another week without furniture!

On a the Saturday morning before I went to Seattle, J and I started laying out the underlayment (moisture barrier and padding) and his dad came over to help us with the installation!

Silly us, we laid about half of the padding down before we realized it was upside down!


After flipping it over and duct taping the seams, we were about ready to go!

The white boxes back there is the 800 square feet of flooring!

While J and his dad were figuring out the pattern, I worked on laying out the boards so that we mixed up the boxes and they could select the boards they wanted to use. Any board I was not happy with I set aside to be returned or used in a corner as scrap.


And as soon as they got the pattern figured out, we started seeing some progress!


At this point, I left for Seattle!!! Part II coming soon!

New front yard patio

Follow up to the parent’s visit post here.

This past weekend with my parents was great. The ended up only staying Friday night and left around 7:30 pm on Saturday evening. Just over a 24 hour trip! Everything I said would happen of course did but it still was a great trip.

Saturday my dad was hoping to help us with a “project” so we started on some yard work. We have a large bed along our walkway to our front door that needed to be landscaped. The problem with this bed is that in the fall it is always full of leaves from the two giant oak trees that are right outside the house. The leaves combined with the shade and weird soil balance makes it very hard to get anything to grow there. After a little talking, we decided to put in a small patio!

The first step was to clean out the weeds and extra plants. This wasn’t too hard to do. We then worked to draw out lines of how big we thought the patio should be. We wanted it just large enough to fit two chairs and a small table.


We ran to Lowes and bought these 16″ pavers with an embossed brick like pattern in them. The large size made the patio easy to lay and helped with the stability. I loved the off white color that was very neutral and will help hide dirt. They were $4 each and I used a 10% off coupon.

J and my dad started working on compacting the dirt and making sure everything was level.



In about 2 hours the guys had the dirt compacted and the patio laid out. We cleaned off the dirt and it was ready for use!



I think it really helps warm up the front of the house. We are going to look for some white chairs to go with the trim of the house. Thanks Mom and Dad!