Let us be honest: this renovation process has taken a lot longer than we anticipated. Originally, we were just going to get the floors done and start moving in. We were ready to roll! But that’s not exactly what happened. One brainstorm lead to another. We were so excited and had a bunch of great ideas in one hand and a hammer in the other. We started ripping things out and got kind of “demo happy”.
The other factor that is playing a role in the amount of time this is taking is — simply put — money. It is important to Greg and me that we truck on through this renovation without taking on any debt. That means no credit cards, no loans, and no “don’t pay until 2025” financing deals. After all, we did just finance a house. We feel that if we can be patient going into this, we will enjoy the “fruits of our labor” even that much more when we’re done… with no debt. In light of that, we decided to take the renovation slow and steady; only starting projects when we had the cash in hand to pay for them. It’s been kind of like in Finding Nemo when Dory keeps saying, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming.” Though the road as been a bit longer than we expected, it’s definitely going to be well worth the wait when we get to start living in our brand new (to us) home and not have to worry about any renovation bills hanging over our heads.
Today, we are one step closer. If you remember, when we first purchased the house, about 50% of the floors were hardwood. The three bedrooms had carpet, the kitchen had tile and the bathrooms had… well… we’re not quite sure what to call it. Cork-like linoleum? (You can find the full before and after floor plan here.) One of the first things we did was pull up the carpet, remove the tile and have hardwood put in the bedrooms and kitchen. Now, the entire house has hardwood floors — with the exception of new tile in the bathrooms. We kept the utility room just the way it is. We have been putting off staining the floors until all of the dirty, gritty work was finished. We are now seeing that light at the end of the tunnel! It’s getting closer and closer to that one fine day when the floors have been finished, the polyurethane odors have hit the road and we can start putting furniture in the house. But there is one big decision we have to make … picking out the stain color.
Last night, we were given a little swatch booklet containing 22 stain color options. The super-cool “floor guy” that will be refinishing them asked that we pick out 3 or 4 of the colors that we would like to see tested on the floors.
I have to admit, when we got the stain deck, I squealed like a little school girl. I was just so excited to finally get to the place in our renovation where we were actually READY to pick out the stain color.
There were more stain choices to choose from than we thought there would be. We started our “process of elimination”. The lighter colors were the first to go. Since day one, Greg and I knew we wanted dark hardwood floors. We’ve read and researched the pros and cons of choosing to go with the dark stain (more susceptible to scratches, requires more frequent dusting, etc), but our love for the luxurious and modern look outweighed the cons.
Another thing we had to think of is the fact a lot of our furniture has either a black/brown tone or is bright white. Therefore, we wanted to steer clear of stains in the red family. Our style is more modern traditional (or as we like to call it Martha Stewart meets Jonathan Adler) than traditional. So in our case, the darker brown tones are the way to go.
After weeding out all of the ultra light and red-toned colors, we ended up with these three options: Dark Walnut, Ebony and Jacobean.
Dark Walnut is Greg’s favorite. He likes how the wood grain is more evident on the sample. However, since this is just a sample, it may look a tad different on our floor. So we are anxious to see a sample of it applied to our floor.
My favorite is the Ebony stain. I have always been a huge fan of dark, dark hardwood floors so this was the one I picked within 5 seconds of being handed the deck. Now that I’ve had a few hours to mill it over, I’m thinking that it may be too dark. I’m not too keen on having to dust/sweep twice a day, everyday. But again, we won’t know until we see a bigger sample on our floor.
My close second favorite is Jacobean. And it’s just fun to say… “Jacobean, Jacobean…”. Greg likes this one a lot as well. A part of me is thinking that maybe it isn’t dark enough. Only if there were something between this one and the Ebony. I’ve got a feeling that we might end up picking this one. But that could all change once we see a sample in the house.
Do any of you out that have any hardwood advice? Weather it be about maintenance or picking out stain color, we would love to hear it!
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